Gabrielle's perfect timing

Mom's labor begins at wedding reception

Mom's labor begins at wedding reception

March 28, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD


Shelly Claypool couldn't even finish "The Electric Slide."

The new - and pregnant - bride bowed out of her wedding reception's line dance after experiencing light contractions. With sparkling apple cider and cranberry juice flowing and nearly 30 friends and family celebrating, Claypool and her new husband, Brad Claypool, said they didn't have time to time her contractions, but both knew time was running out.

And sure enough, it did.

Still wearing the pearl necklace and crystal earrings she wore while exchanging her vows, but missing her wedding band and engagement ring, which she had to remove with butter, Shelly Claypool gave birth to the couple's first child, Gabrielle Claypool, on March 19 at 1:30 a.m., about six hours after tying the knot.

"My hair was still done up in baby's breath," Shelly said with a laugh. "The nurse said, 'At least you delivered in style.'"


Shelly, 23, said she usually is very organized, but didn't plan this one well.

The couple's wedding announcement ran in The Herald-Mail the day of their wedding.

"It was so last minute," she said.

Brad and Shelly have been together for the past two years and were engaged before she got pregnant. Gabrielle wasn't due until March 26, so when March 18 was offered as a date to have their wedding and reception at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Martinsburg W.Va., Shelly Claypool said she figured she was safe.

"Everyone had bets," said Brad Claypool, 29. He added that no money was wagered, but if it had, his mother and Shelly's friend would have won.

Shelly said her stomach started getting tight at the reception after the garter toss. She still was having light contractions on their way home to Hagerstown.

"We were going to cuddle, but it didn't end up that way," she said.

Instead, the couple went to a bowling alley, where they planned to meet Brad's brother, but they took a detour.

"My contractions grew strong," she said.

The couple went to the hospital at 8:30 p.m. She delivered Gabrielle, who weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long, at 1:30 a.m.

"Oh, the stories we're going to tell her when she gets older," Brad Claypool said with a laugh.

Shelly also has two boys, Ethan Mauk, 5, and Trevor Mauk, 4, from a previous marriage.

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