Lopez Nearly Missed Baby’s Birth

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September 13, 2010 | 2:30pm EST

Actor-turned-U.S. TV personality Mario Lopez almost missed the birth of his newborn daughter on Saturday – because he was convinced his girlfriend was joking when she said she was in labor.

The former Saved By The Bell star and Courtney Mazza became parents to little Gia Francesca at the weekend, but Lopez admits he didn’t take the news of his baby’s impending birth seriously until his relatives called in a panic.

And Lopez faced a race against time to make the last flight out of Las Vegas, where he was attending an event, and home to Los Angeles to make it to the hospital in time.

He tells People.com, “I thought it was a practical joke. Then my mom and sister started blowing up (calling) my phone and telling me it’s really happening. There was one flight left and we barely made it!”

Lopez hopes to write a book and create a reality TV show about first-time fatherhood.