As the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, the staff at San Diego’s Sharp Mary Birch Hospital welcomed the hospital’s very first baby of 2014 into the world.
According to officials from Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns in Kearny Mesa, little Madison Sydney Shenkel was born at exactly 12:04 a.m. on New Year’s Day to mother Diana Shenkel and father Andrew Shenkel.
The healthy newborn weighed 6-pounds-13-ounces and measured 19 inches, the hospital said.
For first-time mother Diana, her daughter’s birth on New Year’s Day was unexpected. Diana said she, along with all of her friends and family, thought Baby Madison would be born later this month.
“I thought she was going to come late,” Diana told NBC 7. “I thought I was going to have her in like two weeks, maybe.”
As the clock approached midnight, Diana said she began having contractions and didn’t really realize the baby was coming. In some scary moments, Diana said Madison’s heart rate dropped and nurses rushed her to the operating room for an emergency cesarean section.
A half hour later, Baby Madison arrived – perfectly healthy, Diana said.
The child's mother and father, beaming with pride over their new little one, said they’re excited their daughter has such a memorable birth date. They’re looking forward to ringing in Madison’s birthday each year with a big New Year’s celebration.
Though the one-day-old is still coming into her own, the parents said they noticed two things about their newborn right away: her strong grip and brown hair.
“She’s quite fuzzy,” said Diana, with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Andrew was impressed when Madison's little fingers grabbed his hand and wrapped tightly around his index finger.
"She's got a grip," he said, in awe of his newborn.
Meanwhile, staff at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Diego's Grantville area confirmed that their hospital’s first baby boy of the year was born at 12:02 a.m.
Little Jacobo Ayala (pictured below) was born to first-time parents Vanessa and Juan Carlos Ayala. The proud parents told NBC 7 Jacobo was due Dec. 28, but the newborn decided to wait until the New Year to make his highly-anticipated debut.
Vanessa said the birth of her baby boy was the perfect way to ring in the New Year holiday.
"This was the best New Year's for us, so far," said Vanessa. "It was a party here; everyone was going wild. It was a great New Year's -- unforgettable."
The Ayalas said that so far, their one-day-old is a very "easy-going" and quiet baby. The couple said they're looking forward to experiencing parenthood for the first time in 2014.
"I've never been a dad before. It's really special," said Juan Carlos. "Having him any other day is special, but having him today maybe makes it even more special."