Former Marshalltown resident fathers first Iowan born in 2013

He has 10 fingers and 10 toes. That is all that matters to Ryder Frink’s parents. But Ryder’s birth also carries with it a quirk: he is the first baby born in Iowa in 2013.

“I am just happy he came out healthy,” said Patrick Frink, Ryder’s father. “We are kind of excited that he was the first one born in Iowa.”

Patrick was born and raised in Marshalltown and now lives in Pleasant Hill with his wife Ashley and their 7-year-old daughter Calleah.

Ashley gave birth to the couple’s 6-pound, 12-ounce newborn at 12:13 a.m. Tuesday at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, making Ryder the state’s first baby of 2013 by a slim four minutes.

Although Ashley’s due date was not until Jan. 6, Patrick and her joked that Ryder might be early getting here. Their daughter was also a couple weeks premature. When they paid Ashley’s OB-GYN a visit Monday, her water broke in the office. About 10 hours later, Ryder was born, Patrick said.

Despite being slightly premature, Patrick, 28, said the 19-inch tyke does what all newborns do.

“Eat and sleep,” he said. “That’s about their two main functions.”

Patrick said he still has family in Marshalltown. He was the older brother of Andres Favela, the 10-year-old who drowned in the Iowa River in June.

He said his son’s birth is a blessing on his family, but the story behind Ryder’s name is a little less interesting than his “first Iowan born in 2013” distinction: it’s the only name on which both he and Ashley could agree.

Still, he said, being the state’s first baby is pretty cool.

“It’s going to be pretty easy to remember when his birthday is,” Patrick said.