First Craig County child born in 2018 delivered at LGH

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Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

On January 1, 2018, Benjamin Luke Fridley was the first baby born at Lewis Gale Hospital. Rachel shared that, “Gregory is so excited to be Ben’s daddy, and I am so blessed to have this sweet little boy as my first son.” Ben put the ‘happy’ in their New Year.

Everyone has a desire to ring in the New Year with someone special. This year, Gregory and Rachel Fridley did just that.


On January 1, 2018, at Lewis Gale Hospital, little Benjamin ‘Ben’ Luke Fridley, after holding off for four days from his due date, decided to enter the world. He was birthed before 7 a.m. to make the New Year even more special for his mom and dad.

“I was actually surprised since he was born so late in the morning,” his parents said. “But it was exciting because it really was a great start to our New Year.”

Rachel said that at about 20 weeks, she had to know which gender her child was going to be. “I couldn’t wait any longer,” she said.

On December 31, Rachel started having contractions. “I was having some contractions around lunchtime, but they went away until about 5ish,” she added. They subsided, so they felt that maybe it was a false alarm.

Rachel’s mom, Christina Bevins, had a different thought though. “I had a feeling it would be that night as she had been having mild contractions throughout the day and stronger ones since 5 p.m.,” she shared. “She and I are very close, so her dad and I were with them through the day.”

At 9 p.m., Rachel’s contractions indicated to the family that it was time to go to the hospital. That was when ‘the call’ went out. “We had just left their house about an hour before we got a phone call,” Christina said. “I was able to be with her during the entire process.”

Gregory chose the name, Benjamin. “He picked that name because he liked it and the name Luke runs in the family (my uncle Lukas),” Rachel shared.

Ben is Rachel and Greg’s first child.

Weeks before ‘little Ben’ came into the world, Rachel and Gregory knew that they were going to have a boy.

Though there were no special gifts from LGH of being the first baby born, Rachel shared that she received other gifts. “My sweet husband bought me flowers, and my dad brought me a chocolate bouquet. My husband’s grandma brought us a fruit basket, so we certainly did celebrate,” Rachel shared.

Ben is now safe, warm and at home with his room decorated with Snoopy and Sports, “thanks to Gregory’s wonderful parents, my amazing in-laws.”

“He is staying in our room right now also,” Rachel said.

“I have been able to be with him every day since his birth and help his mama with anything she needs,” Rachel’s mom shared. “My life will forever be changed from January 1, 2018!”

She added, “To Rachel and Greg, I know that this precious boy is blessed beyond measure to have you both as his parents. To Ben, you are the most precious and beautiful little boy in the whole world. I have prayed for you and my only wish for you is that you let God lead you on the wild journey called Life.”

Rachel concluded with, “Gregory is so excited to be Ben’s daddy and I am so blessed to have this sweet little boy as my first son.” Ben put the ‘happy’ in their New Year.