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Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ben Booth and his wife, Tessa, look at their newborn daughter, Alyssa Claire, on Tuesday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ben Booth and his wife, Tessa, look at their newborn daughter, Alyssa Claire, on Tuesday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. (Scott Schonauer / S&S)

LANDSTUHL, Germany — For Petty Officer 3rd Class Ben Booth and his wife, Tessa, the New Year began with immense anticipation.

Although their baby girl wasn’t due for another month and a half, she was born on New Year’s Day morning at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Alyssa Claire Booth — who weighed only 3 pounds and 6 ounces — is believed to be the first baby born at a U.S. military hospital in Europe.

Ben Booth, a construction mechanic based in Naples, Italy, said he was “a nervous wreck” right before the birth and worried for his wife and daughter. But on Tuesday, he couldn’t have been happier. The mother and baby are doing well.

“It’s definitely one of the best moments of my life so far,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Their daughter remains in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, but the parents said she is healthy and progressing fine.

They flew to Germany on Dec. 17 because of the possibility of complications. The Booths knew their daughter would be born earlier than her Feb. 19 due date, which is coincidently her father’s birthday, but they had no idea she would come on New Year’s Day.

“The only thing I can say is that I didn’t know that the first time you see somebody you could fall in love that much,” Tessa Booth said, holding back tears. “I don’t want to cry. But she’s everything to us.”

The couple said their daughter must stay hospitalized for four to six weeks before they can take her home.

This is their first child.


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