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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 2, 2006

Soldier bears year's first baby

By Loren Moreno
Advertiser Staff Writer

Pfc. Valerie Kyle, of Schofield Barracks, says her New Year's resolution is to try to keep her baby, Ashlynn Janae Kyle, from crying. Kyle was surprised that Ashlynn's birth, at 12:26 a.m. was the state's first in 2006.

REBECCA BREYER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Army Pfc. Valerie Kyle gave birth to Hawai'i's first baby of 2006, a 7-pound, 6 1/2-ounce girl who arrived at 12:26 a.m. yesterday five days early.

The newborn was named Ashlynn Janae Kyle, a name chosen by the baby's father.

Kyle, 21, said she never thought she'd give birth to the first baby of the new year and still didn't think she had when she gave birth to little Ashlynn at Tripler Army Medical Center.

"I figured someone probably had their baby at 12:01," said Kyle, a personnel clerk at Schofield Barracks. Her due date had been Jan. 6.

Late Saturday night, doctors induced labor just before midnight and about half an hour later, without complication, Ashlynn was born, said Kyle.

Kyle is from Memphis, Tenn., and has lived in Hawai'i for three years. She said her new job as a mother is going to be much harder than being a soldier.

When asked what her New Year's resolution is, Kyle simply said: "Try to keep her from crying."

News photographers surrounded baby Ashlynn in a small room in the hospital as she slept in a small bassinet. Kyle was reluctant to wake her sleeping infant but later took her in her arms to pose for the cameras.

"They're trying to get pictures of you," Kyle told Ashlynn as her eyes began to open. "You're famous."

Kyle was home Saturday night spending New Year's Eve watching television. At about 7 p.m., she started to have contractions.

She phoned a friend, Michelle Beasley, and asked her to take her to the hospital.

"I was actually washing the dishes when she called and I literally dropped the dishes in the sink," Beasley said.

From 'Ewa Beach, Beasley drove to Schofield to pick up Kyle and then rushed her to Tripler.

"I just kept telling her not to have the baby in the truck," Beasley said.

When the pair arrived at Tripler, doctors told them Kyle was 6 centimeters dilated.

Beasley, who is seven weeks pregnant, said going through the process last night with her friend was like practice for what she will go through in a few months.

Kyle was joined in her hospital room early yesterday by friends, including her roommate, Amber Kelly.

Kelly was out watching a fireworks show in Waikiki when she got a call that Kyle had given birth to a baby girl.

"I was joking with her before we went out. Before I left the house I told her, 'Please don't have the baby on New Year's,' " said Kelly.

Kyle has been getting phone calls from relatives on the Mainland, including Ashlynn's grandparents, who live in Tennessee and Virginia.

"They are more excited than I am," Kyle said.

Ashlynn has already begun to receive gifts from friends and relatives, including a small stuffed reindeer sent to her before she was born by her father, Lynwood Harris, who is in Philadelphia. The stuffed animal kept her company in her crib while she slept yesterday.

Kyle said she is scheduled to leave Hawai'i in a couple of months and will return to Memphis, where Ashlynn will meet her extended family for the first time.

Reach Loren Moreno at lmoreno@honoluluadvertiser.com.