updated 09/13/2010 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/13/2010 AT 9:45 AM ET
Mario Lopez is in awe of the women in his life.
The new dad, who welcomed baby girl Gia Francesca Lopez with his girlfriend Courtney Mazza on Saturday, says he’s overjoyed about the new arrival.
“She’s precious … I just want to go and stare at her,” Lopez, 36, tells Extra of his daughter. And Mazza? She “is a rock star!” he raves. “She was so tough and so strong during the whole thing.”
The same can’t quite be said for the actor and Extra host.
“I peeked over too much you don’t want to do that ‘cause there was a lot going on right there,” he jokes of watching the birth. “It was like a CSI episode. So I went back and this beautiful baby girl came out.”
But the doting dad almost missed the big event all together. He was at an engagement in Vegas when Mazza, 28, called him to say she’d gone into labor.
“I thought it was a practical joke,” says Lopez. “Then my mom and sister started blowing up my phone and telling me it’s really happening. There was one flight left and we barely made it!”
The new father was equally thrilled to see that his little girl was healthy and robust, just as he’d hoped.
“She’s chubby and she looks so cute,” he says. “The whole thing is so surreal, and it happened so quick. I feel amazing.”