PROVO -- While residents throughout Utah were ringing in the new year with toasts, fireworks and kisses from loved ones, Necia Bennett was in labor and delivery preparing to welcome her first child.

Baby William Ike Bennett was born at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center at about 12:30 a.m. after more than 16 hours of labor.

"We were aiming for yesterday but he decided he wanted to be a New Year's baby," Necia said. "We just didn't rush him."

Necia's labor was induced at about 7 a.m. Saturday. Father Chase Bennett says they didn't expect William would take so long that he would be a 2012 baby.

"We thought she would be done around 2 p.m.; the doctor said 4 at the latest," Chase said. "He just came at his own pace."

Every time the doctors and nurses tried to speed up Necia's labor, William's heart rate would drop and labor would have to be slowed down again.

William received an all-star welcome into the world as fireworks were shooting off just outside the hospital window.

"Just as they told me to start pushing, the fireworks started to go off outside and everyone ran over to the window to watch," Necia said. "You could hear all the nurses and family cheering in the hall when he finally came."

The Santaquin couple says they are excited to have a New Year's baby and hope little William's birthday will be special for years to come.

"We can have a big party every year for his birthday, so that is pretty exciting," Chase said.

Necia said that while she didn't plan to become a mom in the first minutes of the new year she wouldn't change it.

"We are just way excited. It was definitely an experience," Necia said. "It was definitely worth the wait."

William weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and measured 20 inches long when he was born. Both mom and baby are doing well and are planning to go home today.

New Year's Day Babies

-William Ike Bennett born to Chase and Necia Bennett at 12:30 a.m. at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, 7 lbs 5 oz. 20"

-Unnamed baby girl born to Ashley and Klark Brinkerhoff at 5:05 a.m. at American Fork Hospital, 6 lbs 13 oz. 19"