@noeliaizarza / TikTok

When Ashleigh Rodriguez Paez gave birth to her daughter on February 1st, she decided to surprise her husband with their week-old baby after his boot camp training kept him hundreds of miles away. Ashleigh gave birth to their daughter, Lyla Hadassah, in Pensacola, Florida, but her husband Roger Rodriguez Paez was going through Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. Roger, who is originally from Venezuela, officially became a U.S. citizen on the exact same day that their daughter was born. All in a week’s time, Roger Rodriguez Paez became a father, a U.S. citizen and a Navy sailor.

The couple decided to do things the old-fashioned way and wait to find out the gender of the baby until birth. Ashleigh shared that the couple was secretly hoping for a baby girl. “We didn’t know if it was going to be a boy or a girl, but we both really wanted a girl,” she told Fox. After giving birth to her baby, Ashleigh checked in with medical professionals to see if it was okay for her to travel to see her husband. With the approval of the baby’s pediatrician and another doctor, Ashleigh decided to make the trek. “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 graduated, the pair met at an airport in Chicago. In a sweet video, it shows Roger’s reaction to meeting 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 her love for her husband would grow even more once she saw him as a parent. she confirmed that after seeing Roger meet their daughter, it was 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.”

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