Jan. 30, 2013, was the best day of our lives. It was the day that our son, Philip Michael Hannan, came into this world. Now, more than nine months later, we reflect on that most special day.
The days leading up to Philip’s birth were quite eventful. In early January, my obstetrician, Dr. Jody Morris, notified us that I would need to schedule a Cesarian section at 39 weeks – at the end of the month. We were terrified at the prospect of major surgery but also thankful, being the planners that we are, to have a firm delivery date on the calendar!
And, of course, above all, we could not wait to meet our new baby. We had decided early on that the baby’s gender would be a surprise.
Those last few weeks of January were busy even though I was officially on bed rest. I was in nesting mode on overdrive, as JT so aptly remembers. Finally, the evening of Jan. 29 came. My mother, now Philip’s “Mimi,” came in town from Baton Rouge, and we had a nice meal together. JT and I spent the evening contemplating just how much our lives were going to change, in ways at that time that we were unable to comprehend. We spent time packing for the hospital and also praying for a safe delivery for our precious “Baby H” and me.
The big day had arrived
The alarm clock went off at 4 a.m. JT and I jumped out of bed and got ready to go! My mom helped me to the warm car, and off we went to Ochsner. I remember kissing our two cats goodbye; it almost felt as if I’d never return!
We sat patiently in the waiting room in labor and delivery until the nurse came out and said, “Hannan family, let’s have a baby this morning!”
In prep for surgery, JT seemed eerily calm. He kissed me as I walked out the room and into the OR. He rejoined us a little while later after I’d had my spinal block and the surgery had already begun. He later told me that after I left for the OR, a nurse handed him scrubs and a mask, which is when he became very nervous, heart palpitations and all! He was my rock and kept me calm through the surgery.
I remember they were playing music in the OR, and a big 1970s hit – “Brick House” by the Commodores – came on just a few minutes before our sweet baby was ready to make his debut. For the record, I do not like this song, and, in fact, I specifically requested that this song not be played at our wedding. Sure enough, the song came on and Dr. Jody said, “This is a great song to have a baby to…”
At which JT, being the wonderful husband that he is, quickly replied, “Please do not deliver our child to this song; my wife hates it!”
So, Dr. Jody slowed down for just another minute or two, and suddenly “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by the Police came on the radio. What a great song that was to have playing when our sweet baby entered this world.
Dr. Jody said, “OK, Katherine, you are going to feel a lot of pressure, but you’re going to be fine. Here we go!” And about 30 seconds later, we heard the gurgling cries of our precious baby. Dr. Jody then said, “It’s a boy! And, JT, he’s holding a Callaway golf club!” (JT and Dr. Jody both love golf.)
The nurses swiftly wrapped our baby up in blankets and brought him to me. I kissed him on his pudgy cheeks with tears rolling down mine, and I am so thankful that beautiful moment was captured in a photograph.
At that moment, a big piece of my heart left my body and forever joined his. JT and I had decided long before his birth that if the baby were a boy, his name would be Philip Michael Hannan, in honor of Uncle Phil, the former Archbishop of New Orleans, and JT’s father, Michael Hannan.
We immediately gave our sweet boy his wonderful name, and away JT and Philip went to the nursery. I was wheeled into recovery, and it was there that I was able to hold my son for the first time.
Jan. 30, 2013, was the day that I first experienced a love that I never knew I could feel. We were in complete amazement at this little miracle nestled in our arms and so thankful to God for this wonderful gift. This baby was a miracle, as all babies are, and we understood in those first moments just how blessed we were. Our lives were forever changed. Life would never be the same. And by the grace of God, our lives have become richer and deeper in faith and love, in so many ways that we never knew were possible just one year ago.