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E'town couple welcomes first child of New Year

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Parents shocked to give birth to a son after being told they were expecting a girl

By Marty Finley

Chris and Elisha Clan have to return the tutus and redo the nursery.

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The Elizabethtown couple welcomed their first child, a son, at 3:17 a.m. New Year’s Day, after being told by doctors the child they were expecting was a girl.

Stephen Elias Clan was 7 pounds, 13 ounces and 19 inches long, according to medical records at Hardin Memorial Hospital. He was the first child born in 2014 at the hospital.

Chris, 24, and Elisha, 22, said they were shocked by the news after preparing for months to welcome a little girl.

“His room is girl to the bone,” a tired Elisha said as she held her new bundle Wednesday morning. “It’s really cute and I worked really hard on it.”

But the new parents are unfazed by the twist in their pregnancy tale.

“That’s OK, though,” Elisha said. “I have eight weeks off. I’ll fix it.”

When asked if their parents were shocked, Elisa shook her head.

“Oh yeah, everyone was shocked,” she said.

The couple works at HMH and met through their jobs. Elisha works in patient registration and Chris works in the sterile processing department.

Michelle Murphy, director of marketing and public relations at HMH, said it is an unusual but welcome treat to have the first baby of the New Year be born to employees. She presented the couple with a customized gift on behalf of the hospital.

“It’s like having one of the family,” Murphy said.

The Clans started off as close friends but eventually started dating. They married in August of 2012.

The two bleary-eyed parents only caught a few hours of sleep following a grueling labor that lasted hours and ended with a cesarean section. Chris said they entered the hospital around 7 a.m. Tuesday for labor induction. His wife’s epidural wore off before the baby’s arrival.

A C-section was performed because labor progress stalled, the couple said. Labor was induced at 39 weeks because of concern over lingering blood pressure problems.

Elisha, however, was recovering nicely and was surrounded by family and friends who took turns holding the infant.

“I feel good,” she said. “I’m really tired.”

Though unprepared for a boy, they quickly settled upon the name Stephen, inspired by the Biblical martyr who was stoned to death for his faith in Christ. The couple said they were moved by the Biblical account and Stephen’s willingness to forgive his killers.

Elias, meanwhile, was chosen by Chris. His preference was a boy, but he said he had found contentment in having a girl.

The care at HMH, meanwhile, was deemed excellent by the couple. Elisha said her nurses were caring and endured the labor with her while tending to all of her needs.

The pregnancy itself was described as easy and smooth by Elisha, who avoided morning sickness altogether. Both expressed satisfaction with the journey’s ending.

“It’s a relief,” Chris said.

“We’re just glad he’s here,” Elisha added. “I felt like I was pregnant for a long time so it’s kind of surreal he’s here.”

Murphy said HMH welcomed several babies on the first day of 2014.

“There’s a lot of babies up there,” she said. 

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.