Baby born during the legislative session makes history

Published: Jun. 24, 2016 at 1:42 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2016 at 1:59 PM CDT
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A New Orleans area state representative made history during this legislative session, creating a lot more than bills during her weeks at the capitol!

Stephanie Hilferty (R-New Orleans) blazed the mother of all trails.

"I was the first woman to give birth during a session. My baby's name is Claire Marie but everybody was suggesting things like baby session. It's been the longest session in Louisiana history," Hilferty said.

Claire Marie heard lots of debate. For months, while her mom was inside the house chamber, she was inside her mom.

"I was the pregnant lady walking around," she said.

Hilferty found out she was pregnant in September of last year, right after qualifying.

"So quite the surprise, an excellent surprise," she said. "But we were caught off guard and had to look to see what we were going to do to prepare for that," she said.

Her husband, attorney Michael Lillis couldn't imagine how the hectic back and forth schedule at the Capitol would eventually play out.

"I limited my worries to the baby being delivered on I-10, or something like that that you really couldn't expect," Lillis said. "I know one of Governor Jindal's children was born in a car."

Stephanie Hilferty was determined to go about the people's business even as her pregnancy went to term. She's one of only 22 female lawmakers in the House and Senate.

"Most of my advice and stories came from the men because there are more of them," she laughed.

She attended an important House Ways and Means Committee meeting the day before Claire Marie was born by emergency C-section.

"That day was May 10. I was back 13 days after that. Back on the house floor," she said.

That was faster than the four to six weeks recommended by her doctor. The session was still going strong.

"She was saying if there was a boy we could name the baby Bill or something like that to play off of it," her husband said.

She could be seen rolling a suitcase down the halls.

"People would make jokes saying is the baby in there? Are you moving in? I'm like, no, it's the breast pump.They say sorry I asked."

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