Baby New Year born on Jan. 1

TROY — Miami County’s New Year baby came quite unexpectedly for his first-time mom.

Kayla Gray, 21, of Covington, said by the time she realized she was in labor, baby Jaxtyn Michael was well on his way.

Gray said she got to the hospital at about 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 1 after waking up to contractions. By the time she arrived, she was already dilated to 8 centimeters, she said.

“I was like, oh wow, I guess I’m having a baby today,” said Gray, who joked that his birthday would be pretty easy to remember.

Lyndsey Moland, the proud grandmother to her first grandchild, said her daughter did excellent during the birth.

“She fought through it,” Moland said.

Jaxtyn Michael came into the world at 9:10 a.m. Jan. 1, 2o21, at Upper Valley Medical Center, to Gray and Jake King of Dayton.

On top of being pregnant during a global pandemic, Gray was diagnosed with the coronavirus near the end of her pregnancy. She was at the end of her quarantine when she delivered and said her symptoms were relatively mild, with headaches and a stuffy nose, but the diagnosis left concerns for the baby’s health. The baby thankfully tested negative for the virus after his birth, Gray said.

The Covington High School graduate said the baby boy was actually due on Jan. 10, and her family had joked about having the first baby in the county.

“That was awesome,” Gray said. “We always joked the whole pregnancy that what if I had the New Year’s baby, and then it happened. We couldn’t believe it.”

Gray said Jaxtyn weighed in at 7 pounds, 5.2 ounces and measured 21 inches long.

Moland said Jaxtyn is as perfect as she had envisioned him.

“It’s awesome, he’s so sweet,” Moland said.

Gray said King held the baby all day on the day of his birth, and both parents fell instantly in love.

“He’s so cute, he’s the best,” Gray said. “It’s an immediate love. It’s life-changing, that’s for sure. I just feel all kinds of emotions.”

Dad feels the same, she said.

“He’s excited, too. I think he feels a bunch of emotions, too.”