SAFETY HARBOR — Born just 13 seconds after midnight on New Year's Day, Baylin Henry Konitzer appeared to be the first baby born in 2013 in the Tampa Bay area.
Baylin made his appearance at Safety Harbor's Mease Countryside Hospital, weighing 8 pounds and measuring 21 inches long.
He was 25-year-old Monica Johnson's first child, and he was in a hurry, arriving a week ahead of schedule.
"It's a really good start to the new year so far," said father Steven Konitzer, 27.
Doctors had given Johnson a due date of Jan. 6 but decided to induce labor after her blood pressure remained elevated for a few days, hospital spokeswoman Sherry Robinson said.
She checked into the hospital at 11:30 a.m. Monday and waited hours for her labor to begin.
Shortly before midnight, an excited group of family members — Konitzer and his mother, along with Johnson's father and stepmother — watched as a medical team worked with Johnson, who appeared ready to deliver.
"We were all watching the clock on the monitors," Konitzer said.
The family realized "within a few seconds of him coming out" that the squalling newborn had arrived only 13 seconds into the new year, Konitzer said.
The final push took just 20 minutes.
The couple live in Clearwater and are engaged. They both work at Walgreens, where Johnson is an assistant manager and Konitzer is a shift leader. The name Baylin means "mighty warrior" in Cherokee, the couple reported.
While Baylin is the couple's first child, he will grow up with Konitzer's 3-year-old daughter, who lives with them part of the time.
Baylin wasn't the only baby eager to see the new year.
Jayden Lee Rosado, born at Tampa General Hospital at 1:13 a.m., was the first Hillsborough County birth of the new year, hospital spokeswoman Ellen Fiss said. Jayden was born to parents Fernando and Jin Lee-Rosado of Spring Hill. He weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 20 inches long.
"The parents are very happy," Fiss said.
Hernando County's first baby was born at 12:45 a.m. at Spring Hill Regional. Makenzie Marshall, 5 pounds, 12 ounces and 17 inches long, wasn't due until Jan. 16 but couldn't wait, said her mother, Melinda Marshall, 31, of Beverly Hills. Makenzie was born via C-section after Marshall went into labor late Monday night.
"It didn't dawn on me until the emergency room people told me she could be the first baby," Marshall said. "I wish I could have been more excited, but I was in so much pain."
In Pasco County, Christina Bailey arrived at Medical Center of Trinity in labor and gave birth to a 5 pound, 10 ounce, 19-inch-long baby boy at 7:28 a.m., said Mary Sommise, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Bailey had not decided on her son's name.
Staff writers Robbyn Mitchell and Shelley Rossetter contributed to this report. Andrew Meacham can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2248.