Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you.
These are the words you can hear in Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja's delivery room. But the song doesn't coming from a CD player or iPod. Rather, it comes from the doctor himself. Known around the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Magee-Womens Hospital as the "singing doctor," Andrew-Jaja welcomes each of his patients into the world with a beautiful rendition of "Happy Birthday." The ob-gyn, who has sung his whole life, started the tradition almost 30 years ago at the end of his residency.
"There was an older obstetrician-gynecologist on staff, and he loved to sing," Andrew-Jaja says. "Later on when he was about to retire, he asked me, 'Andy, do you sing to your babies?' And I said, 'No, that's your stuff.' He said, 'Go ahead. Do it.' So I took it over."
Since the passing of the baton, Andrew-Jaja has delivered more than 8,000 babies, each one greeted with a song. Of course, his patients aren't the only ones who get miniconcerts. Andrew-Jaja croons to other babies in the hospital, opting for Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." To him, this tune perfectly sums up the arrival of a child.
"It's a wonderful thing in my hand," Andrew-Jaja says of holding a baby. "You forget about all the crisis going on everywhere for a moment when you see that miracle of life in front of you."
We couldn't agree more.