Hadas and Eli Estroti welcomed a 6 pound, 12 ounce baby girl into the world at 7:03 a.m, Tuesday, the first in the new year for Monroe County.
"I never thought about it," the happy mother said as she placed her finger in the tiny hand of her newborn asleep in her arms.
They also have a 2 year old daughter.
"She wanted a sister so she was happy, the mother said with a smile. "Her new sister (the newborn) gave her an Elmo."
Hadas was three days late when she started with labor pains New Year's Eve. She arrived at the Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island around 3:30 a.m. and Dr. Richard Walker delivered the still unnamed baby girl a few hours later, said Maggie Vogelsand, the delivery nurse.
There were two other mothers vying for the honor of first baby of the New Year, however, one delivered a boy at 9:14 p.m. and the other a girl at 9:45 p.m.
"That doesn't qualify because it is before midnight," she said with a smile. "It's a gift to them that they can still claim them on their 2012 taxes."
Vogelsand said it was a tense night with two in labor, waiting to see if they could make midnight, hoping there would be a baby born on the first day of 2013. In past years it has taken two or three days before a baby was born at the hospital, she laughed.
Then in came Hadas and Eli Estroti and the tradition carries on, she said.
"I love being here for New Year's," she said. "It makes my eyes water when they are born. These are special babies."