The couple had no idea their baby would be anywhere near a contender for the first of 2010.

When Zavian Nathaniel Mojarro came into the world at 10:45 p.m. on Friday, everyone in the room knew his birth marked a special occasion.

Everyone except for Zavian.

Born to Manny and Billie Mojarro, Zavian was the first baby born at Ashland Community Hospital in 2010.

The healthy baby boy was born weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and was 19 inches long.

Bathing the infant on Saturday, just hours after his birth, his parents were talkative one moment and silent the next, taking in every look they could at their son.

"He's amazing," said Zavian's mother, Billie. "He's got daddy's big feet."

Zavian is the couple's third child together. They also have a 2-year-old child and a 1-year-old.

The couple had no idea their baby would be anywhere near a contender for the first of 2010.

"We actually thought he would be coming around the 28th (of January)," Manny said. "He came early."

Early, and unexpectedly. Billie started to feel contractions several days before New Years. She and Manny rushed to ACH, but Zavian wasn't quite ready to enter the world.

"We labored for three days," Manny said, his choice of words hinting at a special connection between he and his wife.

On Jan. 10, the couple decided to take a stroll through the campus of Southern Oregon University. A few minutes of walking was all the prodding little Zavian needed.

"The contractions came back really strong," Manny said, "and we knew he was ready."

The Medford couple had their baby at the Ashland hospital because they wanted to have a water birth. ACH is the only hospital in Southern Oregon to offer water births as an option.

Water births are like traditional births, but carried out while the mother is in a small, wading-type pool filled partially with water.

At the hospital the following day, the family was greeted by a special guest: Ashland's first baby of 1960, Marilyn Kirk. Kirk made a quilt for the family, and presented it to the parents on behalf of their son.

"It's something my family made a big deal over," Kirk said of being the town's first baby 50 years ago. "It's not necessarily meaningful in itself, but it meant a lot to me."

Manny said he would be sure to impress on Zavian the unique significance of his birthday.

"It's pretty amazing," he said. "It does mean a lot."

Manny and Billie left the hospital with Zavian on Sunday. Their immediate plans are to introduce him to their other children, and adjust to their new lives. Finishing Zavian's bath Saturday, both seemed eager to begin.

"He's the most beautiful thing in the whole world," Manny said, before adding, "I guess we all are."

Elon Glucklich is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Contact him at eglucklich@gmail.com