Centra Health celebrates birth of ‘New Year’s Baby’ for 2021 at Lynchburg hospital


Cooper Bryce Van De Perre was born at 1:43 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2021, at Virginia Baptist Hospital, making him Centra’s first baby of the new year. (Photo: Courtesy Centra Health)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Proud parents Kaleb and Piper Van De Perre rung in the new year by meeting their baby boy — who will forever be known as Centra Health’s first baby of 2021 — for the first time at a Lynchburg hospital early Friday morning.

“After a year of unprecedented illness, election fatigue and social unrest, 2020 was a year most people want to put behind them,” said Centra Health in a statement announcing the birth. “As we enter 2021, the hope of better times to come begins almost immediately with the birth of one of our newest citizens!”

Even though Piper wasn’t due until Jan. 18, she ended up at Virginia Baptist Hospital’s Labor and Delivery unit on New Year’s Eve because her little baby couldn’t wait to ring in the New Year!

“I thought we might be the first baby of the New Year, but I knew another mother who might already be in labor could arrive at the hospital and be ahead of us,” said Piper. “I also knew there was a mother in the room next to me pushing when I was pushing. So, we weren’t sure until he actually arrived.”

Just before 1:45 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1, Kaleb and Piper welcomed their second son, Cooper Bryce, into this world at eight pounds, one ounce, and 20 inches long.

Both Kaleb and Piper were grateful for a healthy baby and a safe delivery in the middle of a pandemic, saying “it ended up being really quiet and calm since it was just the two of us.”

When asked what this meant for the new year, Kaleb said, “we hope this year is like his delivery, good, safe and easy.”

According to Centra the hat little Cooper is wearing in pictures above — which includes a bit of gold sparkle as “a hopeful sign of celebration of life and the year to come” — was made specifically for the New Year’s Baby by the mother of a Labor and Delivery nurse.

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