Region’s first baby of 2019 born a minute after midnight

January 2, 2019
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Nathaniel and Katheryn Boone, of Scott Depot, W.Va., welcome the birth of their newborn daughter, Emma Elizabeth, the first baby born in the Tri-State in 2019. Katheryn Boone gave birth at St. Mary's Medical Center between midnight and 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Emma is the couple's first child.

HUNTINGTON — Before some couples had even finished their New Year’s kiss, Nathaniel and Katheryn Boone were already starting their 2019 on a life-changing high note.

“Auld Lang Syne” was still in its first verse when their first child, Emma Elizabeth Boone, came into the world at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary’s Medical Center — the healthy 5-pound, 9-ounce girl instantly becoming the undisputed first baby born in the region in 2019.

“We watched the ball drop from here as I was pushing,” Katheryn, 29, said,

laughing, from her hospital bed, holding the Scott Depot, West Virginia, couple’s calm and swaddled baby.

Emma arrived just three days prior to her Jan. 4 due date, so there was at least some thought their daughter might be a New Year’s Day baby, the Boones said. Katheryn started labor at St. Mary’s around 8 a.m. Monday, but the delivery lasted a quicker-than-expected 15 minutes later that night.

Celebrating the new year, or even considering if Emma was the first birth of 2019, was an afterthought behind the overwhelming exhaustion, Katheryn said.

The Boones had a much deeper joy on their mind.

“We kind of had an idea because 12:01 a.m. is a little hard to beat,” said Nathaniel, 28. “But it didn’t matter to us what day she was born on as long as she’s healthy and happy.”

But in the stillness of the family’s first afternoon together, Emma’s instant claim to fame set in as icing on the cake for an already special day.

“We’ve said that we need to make sure that the party in New York City is not for her,” Katheryn joked.

“We don’t want her to get a big head or anything,” Nathaniel added.

Regardless of the day, the long wait to parenthood had finally came to fruition, uncorking a whirlwind of emotions and setting the path for the family’s new life together.

“It’s great to finally hold her in your arms rather than just rumbling around in her tummy,” Nathaniel said.

“It’s a miracle, and it’s a blessing.”

Emma was indeed born healthy and happy as they had hoped and is expected to be discharged by the end of the week.

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