A military wife recently surprised her husband with their week-old baby after his boot camp training kept him hundreds of miles away.
Ashleigh Rodriguez Paez, of Pensacola, Florida, told Fox News Digital that she gave birth to her daughter, Lyla Hadassah, on Feb. 1.
At the time, her husband was going through Navy boot camp training in Great Lakes, Illinois.
Her husband, Roger Rodriguez Paez, who hails from Venezuela, officially became a U.S. citizen on the exact day that their little Lyla was born.
He also graduated from boot camp this past Thursday.
Talk about major life milestones: Roger Rodriguez Paez became a father, a U.S. citizen and a Navy sailor all in a week’s time.
Ashleigh Rodriguez Paez explained that both she and her husband were hoping for a baby girl.
The couple decided to do things the old-fashioned way — and waited to find out the gender of the baby until the big day.
“We didn’t know if it was going to be a boy or a girl, but we both really wanted a girl,” she said.
The first-time mom had a difficult delivery, but ultimately delivered a healthy baby girl. First checking in with medical professionals, Ashleigh Rodriguez Paez — who works as a labor and delivery nurse — decided to make the trek to see her husband.
She said she ran it by the baby’s pediatrician and another doctor, and they both approved of the trip.
“They both were like, ‘Yeah, that’s fine. Just keep her covered. Don’t let people come and touch her,'” she said.
On the day that Roger Rodriguez Paez graduated, the couple met at an airport in Chicago.
Heartwarming video showed the couple embracing before the new dad held his daughter for the first time.
“When he saw us, he was running through the airport, and he gave me a hug,” Ashleigh Rodriguez Paez said. “And then I gave him Lyla … It was magic in his eyes.”
“I guess that’s super cheesy, but he was just so blown away,” she said.
The new mom was told that she would love her spouse even more when she saw him as a parent. Speaking to Fox News Digital, she said she can confirm that, for her, the idea does indeed ring true.
“That was like a moment for me, watching him with her for the first time… because it kind of felt like I was a single parent, in a sense,” she said.
“So it was very much reassuring when I finally got them together, and he finally got to meet her, and then we could have moments together as a family.”
She emphasized that her husband’s absence from her delivery was just as difficult for him as it was for her.
“This is a huge sacrifice for him, for him to go away,” she said.
“He’s not alone. You know, there’s other men in his division when he was graduating, going through the same thing… It’s just amazing what these Navy sailors and other military people do for their families.”
Roger Rodriguez Paez will now go through tech school at Great Lakes. The couple plans to move with their little girl to San Diego from there, Ashleigh Rodriguez Paez told Fox News Digital.