By Kim Walter
The parents of Winchester Medical Center's baby New Year arrived at the facility in the nick of time.
Eric and Amber Fisher, both 31-year-old Winchester residents, pulled into the hospital's parking lot Tuesday morning, and within 15 minutes, Penelope Brooke was born at 7:58 a.m.
The 7-pound 10-ounce girl wasn't due until Jan. 4, according to her mother.
"Her due date wasn't until this Friday, but I was kind of hoping for her to come in December," Amber Fisher said Wednesday. "We definitely didn't even think about her being a New Year's baby."
The couple was visiting with family in Frederick, Md., when Amber Fisher began having contractions at about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
"As soon as that started happening, we got in the car and headed to Winchester," her husband said. "Her water actually broke in the parking lot ... I didn't think [Penelope] would come as quickly as she did."
The couple's doctor was right behind them and was able to get them into a room, ready to deliver, just in time. Since it was almost 8 a.m. by the time she arrived, the Fishers figured a baby New Year had already been born.
"We passed a couple women who were being induced and going into labor by the time we got through the door," Amber Fisher said.
The baby girl's name wasn't settled upon until Tuesday afternoon.
"We're not very good at that," she said, laughing. The couple's first daughter, 2-year-old Caitlyn, also got her name after some back and forth between the parents.
So far everything is going well with the new addition, who already has a full head of hair.
"It's very exciting, and she's been a perfectly healthy and happy baby," her mother said. "I really didn't even realize that it was New Year's Day, or that she would be the first baby born here in 2013 until a nurse came in and told us."
Eric Fisher shared in the excitement, adding that Penelope's birthday wouldn't be an easy one to forget.
"The whole process is much easier the second time around. We know more of what to expect and we're more confident as parents," he said. "As far as her being a New Year's baby ... I think she's destined for fame."
Caitlyn was able to meet her new sister Tuesday evening, and the couple said she's very excited.
"She loves the idea of being a big sister," her father said. "We really can't wait to welcome our new baby girl to the family ... it's been a great year so far."
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org