Not long after his cousin gave birth on Christmas Day, Belpre Township resident Jeff Welsch wondered aloud about the chances of his daughter with fiancee Brielle Thomas being born on New Year's Day.
He didn't really expect it to happen, but Brooklyn Ann Welsch had other plans.
At 10:05 a.m. Wednesday, Brooklyn became the first baby born in Washington County in 2014, tipping the scales at 5 pounds, 9 ounces, at Marietta Memorial Hospital.
"She wasn't due 'til Jan. 22," said Thomas, 26.
That meant some of the preparations for Brooklyn - who shares a middle name with her dad's mother and mom's grandmother - weren't complete by the time she arrived.
"She'll be going with me to my baby shower," Thomas laughed.
Brooklyn Ann Welsch
- First baby born in Washington County in 2014.
- Parents: Brielle Thomas and Jeff Welsch, of Belpre Township.
Cheyanne Elizabeth Cline
- Last baby born in Washington County in 2013.
- Parents: Roxanne and Dave Cline, of Dunham Township.
Source: Times research.
Welsch, 28, will officially become the stepfather to Thomas' 6-year-old daughter when the couple marries this year, but having a new baby is "a whole different experience, that's for sure."
"I'm glad she knows what she's doing," Welsch said of his fiancee. "This'll be my first rodeo."
Thomas said his 6-year-old daughter is eager to fill the role of big sister.
"She's ready to be (a) big helper," she said.
Not far away at the hospital Wednesday, Dunham Township residents Roxanne and Dave Cline were relaxing with the newest addition to their family - Cheyanne Elizabeth Cline, born at 1:16 p.m. Tuesday, the last addition to Washington County's population in 2013.
Like Brooklyn, Cheyanne came a little earlier than expected, beating her Jan. 6 due date by a week. Dave Cline said Memorial is definitely the most unusual place he and his wife have spent New Year's Eve.
"Usually we take the kids and go somewhere, over to my mom's or my brother's," he said.
The couple have three sons - Brandon, 7; Wyatt, 5; and Nathaniel, 2 - and said they were excited about having a little sister.
"They were down here today, bouncing around," Dave said of his sons.
Welcoming a girl into a family of boys is a little bit of history repeating for Dave Cline, the oldest of five children, the first four of whom were boys. Now, he said, Roxanne will have someone to pal around with while her husband and sons do guy stuff.
"We can go fishing and hunting, and they can go shopping together," he laughed.
Cheyanne's name is a link to her family, sharing four letters with Roxanne and her mother, Maryanne.
"Anne's a family tradition. So the name 'Anne' had to be in it," Roxanne said.
Her middle name is Elizabeth, after Roxanne's grandmother.