BARSTOW For many people Jan. 1 is a time of new beginnings. For Brittany Davis and her family that beginning is named Zoey.

Zoey Kalena Kealoha Hunsinger, whose middle names reflect her mother's Pacific Island heritage, lay in her bassinet unaware that she is the first baby to be born at Barstow Community Hospital in 2011. Weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19.3 inches long, Zoey was born at 9:39 p.m. Jan. 1, 2011.

"This is pretty amazing, more so for me," Davis said, adding that Zoey's father, Kevin Hunsinger, is with the U.S. Marine Corps fighting in Afghanistan and won't be home until May. "Now I have a part of her dad with me. It's comforting to have her with me."

Davis, who currently lives in Murrieta, was at her mother's house in Barstow for the holiday weekend. Zoey wasn't due until Jan. 18, she said. But while many spent New Years sleeping in or watching the Rose Parade, Davis awoke at 7:30 a.m. to find that her water had broken and her little girl was on the way.

Zoey coming early came as a surprise to more than just Davis. Lisa Green, Davis's mother, said New Years weekend would have been her daughter's last visit before she had the baby. Instead, Green found herself rushing Davis to the hospital.

"We were sleeping and she called out my name from her room," she said. "We were going to try and drive her to Murrietta. But we decided to take her to Barstow hospital."

Zoey is Green's third grandchild and her second granddaughter. One thing Green said she noticed is unlike her two older grandchildren, Zoey looks more like her father.

"Our Pacific Islander genes were dominant in my other two grandchildren," she said. "I really thought (Zoey) looks like her dad. She's got her dad's genes."

Both Davis and Green said the delivery was mild with few complications. Davis will be coming home from the hospital Jan. 3.

When asked why she chose the name, Davis said Zoey's father chose it.

"It just came to him," she said. "He was excited and sad that he couldn't be here. It boosted his morale a little bit."

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(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com