Her third baby wasn't due until January, so the Dec. 6 doctor's visit was routine for Faith Hill—until she went into labor. Fortunately, husband Tim McGraw was with her at the doctor's office and promptly drove the country star to the hospital. At 4:39 p.m., Audrey Caroline McGraw (named after Mom, whose given name is Audrey) made her early debut. "What a way to kick off the holiday season," exulted Hill.

Not that Hill and McGraw, both 34, were unprepared. "Everything was ready," says friend and fellow country singer Martina McBride. "Faith's very organized—very, very together." In fact the only source of suspense was the new arrival's gender. The couple, along with daughters Gracie, 4, and Maggie, 3, "wanted to be surprised," says McBride. Now the girls, says family spokesman Paul Freundlich, "are all ready to take her home and dress her up." McGraw has another reason to be thrilled. "I couldn't be happier," he says. "I'm still king of the house."

Audrey's unexpected arrival did scuttle McBride's plans to throw a baby shower for her friend. "I was wanting to have a lunch for Faith," she says, "but we didn't have a chance. I'm sure we'll have some kind of celebration after Christmas." In the meantime the family is keeping busy discussing whom Audrey resembles. "If you ask Tim, she looks like Faith," says Freundlich. "But if you ask Faith, she looks like Tim."