She’s No. 1
WINCHESTER — Riley Ellen Riggleman is only two days old, but she’s already achieved something most people haven’t.
Born at 12:16 a.m. Thursday at Winchester Medical Center, she was the first baby of 2015 born in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. She’s also the only baby born at a local hospital on Jan. 1, hospital staff in Winchester and Warren County confirmed.
On Friday, her parents Alicia and Rob Riggleman planned to return home to Inwood, West Virginia, where they’ll celebrate the first family member in recent history born on a major holiday.
“It wasn’t planned,” said Alicia Riggleman, 32. Her due date was Dec. 27. “So we weren’t sure if we were going to have a Christmas or a New Year’s baby.”
The couple planned on ringing in the New Year at home over shrimp and crab legs, but headed for Winchester when contractions throughout the day became stronger and closer together. They remembered arriving at the hospital around 9:30 or 10 p.m.
“Instead of watching the ball drop, we were watching the baby drop,” she said, laughing.
It was a quick delivery, and big brother Brycen, 3, was still in the waiting room with his grandmother when his baby sister was born.
“She’s pretty,” his mother remembered him telling her when he met Riley.
“He wanted a baby sister from the beginning,” she said.
On Wednesday, eight babies were born at Winchester Medical Center, said Public Relations Manager Carol Weare, and by late afternoon Friday had welcomed several more. She called it odd that only one was born on Jan. 1 and said the hospital normally delivers about 200 babies a month. Winchester and Warren both planned to give a $100 gift card to the first family of the New Year.
High school sweethearts, the Rigglemans grew up in Moorefield, West Virginia, before attending Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Rob Riggleman, 33, is a sports program supervisor for Frederick County Parks and Recreation, and his wife is a school counselor at Musselman High School in Inwood.
Riley Ellen was 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches long when she was born. She’s named in part for a grandmother and two great-grandmothers, all named Ellen, and her paternal aunt, whose middle name is Ellen.
As for the name Riley, it’s just a name her parents liked.
“It’ll be neat to celebrate every year on New Year’s Eve her birthday as well as the New Year,” her mother said. “We had joked about having the first baby of the New Year and then it actually happened.”
Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org