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Hawaii’s first baby of 2022 was born at midnight

  • COURTESY HAWAII PACIFIC HEALTH Kamalei Kepa was born at midnight New Year’s Day at Kapiolani Medical Center.

    COURTESY HAWAII PACIFIC HEALTH

    Kamalei Kepa was born at midnight New Year’s Day at Kapiolani Medical Center.

A Hilo couple welcomed Hawaii’s first baby born in 2022 at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu.

Kamalei Kepa was born at exactly 12 a.m. today.

Leeann Toro and Ivan Kepa are the proud parents of the baby girl who weighed in at 8 pounds and 10.4 ounces, and is 20.5 inches long.

“Her due date was Dec. 30,” Kepa said. “We were hoping for a New Year’s baby but didn’t think it would be at the top of the hour. Kamalei almost arrived a little sooner, but we had to wait for everyone to come into the room. As soon as the Kapiolani team was set up, it took two more pushes and baby was out.”

“Mom and baby are resting comfortably on this New Year’s Day,” Hawaii Pacific Health announced.

Kamalei beat out a baby boy born at 12:13 a.m. at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center.

The name Kamalei is a combination of her two older siblings’ names — Kamahao (her brother) and Hiilei (her sister).

She is said to look a lot like her brother, but her sister, who asked her parents daily when her baby sister would arrive, is most excited.

Kamalei is the couple’s second child born at Kapiolani, which is Hawaii’s only maternity, newborn and pediatric specialty hospital where more than 6,000 babies are born a year.

Kaiser baby Kiai Manners was born to Marjorie Betiong and Elijah Manners, weighing 8 pounds, 1.4 ounces, and measuring 19.25 inches long.

The Queen’s Medical Center — Punchbowl’s first baby of the year, Kolt Kalinookukunaokala Kaninau Montizor, arrived at 4:02 a.m., weighing 8 pounds, 10.6 ounces.

He is the fourth son of Breanne and Franklin Montizor Jr. of Molokai.

Kolt joins brothers Kyan, 16, Kingston, 11 and Kruz, 10.

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