Someday when she is older, River Noelani Hite may be asked where she got such a beautiful and distinctive name.

Just one month old this coming Sunday, she can't tell the story yet. But when she does, she can start by recalling that way back in September 2013, there was a historic flood in Boulder.

River's parents are Jay Hite and Susie Tehlirian, a married couple living in unincorporated east Boulder County.

She is an immigration attorney working in Boulder. He is a chemistry teacher, who this fall starts at Skyline High School in Longmont. And when the floods closed their workplaces down, there they were, home alone.

And, as can sometimes happen, one thing led to another

River Noelani Hite, whose name is partly in recognition of the historic flood during which she was conceived, takes a nap in her stroller Tuesday on the
River Noelani Hite, whose name is partly in recognition of the historic flood during which she was conceived, takes a nap in her stroller Tuesday on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera)

"We had been trying for two months to have a baby," Tehlirian said on Tuesday. "So I was keeping track of my ovulation cycle. I knew my ovulation window, that I was ovulating Sept. 10... We both had off the rest of the week off..."

At an Oct. 4 obstetric appointment, Tehlirian, 34, found out she was pregnant. Conception, she said, "was definitely over the flood week."

Flood conditions set in throughout Boulder County the evening of Sept. 11, and persisted into the following week.

The couple learned their first child's gender in December, and, not long after, they had settled on a name.

River — it's often being shortened to "Riv" already — doesn't only evoke that memorable week in September. It is also a tribute to the lakes both parents grew up near in their home state of Michigan, as well as the ecosystem of Colorado, so frequently influenced by its often dynamic waterways.

Additionally, it reflects their shared birth sign, Pisces.

Jay Hite and his wife Susie Tehlirian take a stroll on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder on Tuesday with their newborn baby girl, River Noelani Hite, whose
Jay Hite and his wife Susie Tehlirian take a stroll on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder on Tuesday with their newborn baby girl, River Noelani Hite, whose name is partly in recognition of the flood during which she was conceived . (Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera)

Noelani, their daughter's middle name, harkens to the two years the couple spent in Hawaii, 2008 to 2010. In Hawaiian, said her mother, "It means beautiful girl from heaven, or it means heavenly mist. It just depends what translation you use."

The couple's home survived the flood in good shape, but they were well aware of the difficulties around them.

"We were here (at home), hoping that everybody else was OK — and having lots of time at the house, and having time for baby-making," said Hite, also 34.

"We couldn't leave our subdivision," Tehlirian said. "I was teaching at Front Range (Community College) as well as my regular job that semester, and the road I took for that job, Dillon Road between 95th and 287, had totally collapsed. I just heard about all the terrible things" that were happening around them.

Recent birth notices in the Daily Camera, which listed River Noelani Hite's arrival, also included a Longmont infant with the middle name of River. That couple could not be reached Tuesday.

Hite said he expected the area might witness a wave of "flood babies."

However, Boulder Community Health spokeswoman Patty Sedano said the hospital's family birth center typically registers about 100 to 120 births per month. and at the end of Tuesday's shift, they stood at just 63.

"So our tracking for the month of June is 116, which truly falls within our parameters. We thought we'd see an increase," she said, "but that is not the case."

Hite said he is not aware of any other Rivers among his daughter's local peers, although he noted that "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson gave that name to her baby girl, born June 12.

"So," the proud papa said, "I guess we started something."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Charlie Brennan at 303-473-1327, brennanc@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/chasbrennan.