Tori Elizabeth Freed, weighing in at 6 pounds, 6 ounces, was the first baby of the year to be born at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
She was born two minutes after midnight and two weeks ahead of schedule, said father Dan Freed, 40, in a telephone interview from the hospital.
"We weren't prepared. We figured we had at least a couple of weeks," said Freed, whose wife, Kari, 38, wasn't expecting to give birth until Jan. 15. "We were just relaxing at home, watching the ball drop at Times Square and watching everybody celebrate New Year's in New York."
Then, about a half hour later, Freed said, "the water broke."
The couple, who live in Corona del Mar, leapt into action. They dropped off their 4-year-old son, Donovan, with neighbors, then made a beeline for the hospital.
"Thankfully, the hospital's only a couple of miles away from where we live," said Freed, a pharmaceutical attorney who works in Irvine.
Ultimately, Tori Elizabeth was delivered by C-section, Freed said.
Now, the couple hopes relatives will help them out with the new baby.
Kari's mother is coming in from Tokyo in the next few days and Dan's family soon will be arriving from Portland, he said.
"It's funny," Dan said. "Kari's birthday is Jan. 11, and we were hoping that maybe Tori would be born on the same day. We were hoping for a 1-11-11 baby. But this is fine all the same. I couldn't be prouder."
Kari, in a quick telephone interview, said, "I feel great. Everything went smooth. The baby and I are doing great."
The couple has been married 10 years, and they moved to Corona del Mar from Los Angeles two years ago.