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Utah military couple welcomes first baby amid pandemic, earthquake

By Felicia Martinez, KSL TV | Posted - Mar. 25, 2020 at 8:57 a.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — As if bringing life into the world as new parents isn’t scary enough, a pandemic and earthquake are just a few more obstacles to add to the mix.

A Utah military couple shared their journey with KSL TV, including getting the husband home from a deployment in Afghanistan.

“Oh, she was born into a storm,” said her mom, Lacey Kiger. “Like she really shook things up.”

At 6 pounds, 5 ounces and 17 inches tall, Adeline Kiger was born into a storm alright, but she couldn’t be more perfect. Her parents Lacey and Ryan Kiger have faced a few hurdles before and after her birth.

“Flight, birth, earthquake,” Ryan said.

“And coronavirus,” Lacey added.

Luckily for Adeline, both her parents are true soldiers.

Her daddy’s a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves and was serving a deployment in Afghanistan. He was allowed to come home for two weeks, and he was determined to get home for the birth of his first child.

“With everything shutting down and travel bans, I had to come home two days early from Afghanistan through Kuwait, got the last flight out of Kuwait, before they shut down the airport completely,” Ryan said.

Meanwhile, Lacey, a staff sergeant for the Utah National Guard, was also worried about bringing a newborn into what feels like a crazy new world.

“The whole pandemic really terrifies me,” she said.

Fears aside, on St. Patrick’s Day, the couple welcomed baby Adeline into their lives, only for things to get rattled one more time.

Adeline Kiger with her parents Lacey and Ryan Kiger. (Photo: KSL TV)

“Twelve-and-a-half hours later, (we) had our first earthquake,” Lacey said. “I swear my eyes were the size of golf balls, and I looked at him like, ‘What is going on?’”

Baby Adeline slept right through it.

“She didn’t care, she was fine,” Lacey said.

However, as a new mother, her emotions were stirred.

“The earthquake really terrified me,” she said. “That really shook me up. The whole building was swaying. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, here I am 12 hours into this new mom thing and this building is about to collapse.’”

Through it all, baby Adeline has been a blessing and a welcomed distraction, the Kigers said. She will grow up with quite the story to tell, too.

“She’s going to definitely be moving mountains when she grows up,” Lacey said.

Due to travel restrictions, Ryan will now get to stay home much longer than planned before returning back to Afghanistan to complete his mission with the U.S. Army Reserves.

Felicia Martinez

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