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Army Maj. Christie Vaulx holds daughter Alison Cheyanne, the first baby born this year at a U.S. military hospital in the Pacific, on Thursday. Her husband, Army Master Sgt. Michael Vaulx, holds their 2-year-old son, Carson, in their home in Kishaba Housing on Camp Foster, Okinawa.

Army Maj. Christie Vaulx holds daughter Alison Cheyanne, the first baby born this year at a U.S. military hospital in the Pacific, on Thursday. Her husband, Army Master Sgt. Michael Vaulx, holds their 2-year-old son, Carson, in their home in Kishaba Housing on Camp Foster, Okinawa. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — While several births at U.S. military hospitals in the Pacific were the first of the new year at their respective facilities, an early-morning birth at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Lester takes top honors for the first baby born in the region.

Alison Cheyanne Vaulx was born at 5:25 a.m. on Jan. 1, weighing in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and 19½ inches long. She was supposed to be born on Jan. 3, when mother Army Maj. Christie Vaulx, regional counsel for the Pacific Army and Air Force Exchange Service, was to have labor induced.

Christie Vaulx wasn’t quite sure she was going into labor when it happened, but she guesses it started at about 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. She and husband Army Master Sgt. Michael Vaulx, of the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, began their trip to the hospital at about 1:30 a.m., but they weren’t quite sure she was having the baby.

“I just thought it was maybe bad food,” said Michael Vaulx during an interview in their home in the Kishaba Housing Area on Camp Foster. Since they weren’t sure it was labor, they took along 2-year-old son Carson.

Even though it’s only a couple of miles to the hospital from their house, the drive took nearly 25 minutes, Christie Vaulx said, due to heavy traffic. At one point she told her husband: “I’m going to get out and walk.”

They said they made it to the hospital by 2 a.m., and a little more than three hours later, Alison was born.

As Alison was being born, Carson, who was sleeping in the same room, woke up and wondered what was happening. Michael Vaulx said he quickly lulled him back to sleep and made it back to his wife’s side just in time to see his daughter born and to cut the umbilical cord.

The couple didn’t realize they had the first baby in the Pacific until getting a call from the hospital. Christie Vaulx said they really didn’t think about it, but when they did, she was surprised 5:25 a.m. was early enough to be in the running.

The first new baby on a military base in mainland Japan was born Jan. 1 at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka at 11:35 a.m. Devonne Alexander Lozada, born to Mariluz Lozada, weighed 8 pounds, 5.8 ounces and was 21¼ inches long.

Winning the race in South Korea was Sabrina Marie Wilcox, born at 7:16 a.m., according to a 121st General Hospital spokesman. She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20¾ inches long.

She was the first baby for Spc. David Wilcox and his wife, Rose Marie Torino Wilcox. Spc. Wilcox, 24, of Gilman, Iowa, is stationed at Camp Casey with Company C, 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment.

The Vaulx family said the naval hospital has planned a ceremony for Jan. 25 to celebrate Alison being the first baby born there this year.

“They’re going to do various things for us,” Christie Vaulx said, “so that will be a nice surprise, too.”

Teri Weaver and Allison Batdorff contributed to this report.


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