Steamboat Springs Jackie Cardenas was waiting tables at her sister-in-law's restaurant Friday when she felt the first contraction.
That contraction started a two-day labor process that brought Zachary James into the world.
Zachary, who weighed in at 6 pounds and 9 ounces, was Yampa Valley Regional Medical Center's first birth of 2006. He was also the only baby born in the hospital on New Year's Day.
Andy and Jackie Cardenas never expected to have a New Year's baby. Zachary was no exception -- he wasn't due until Jan. 28.
"He was ready," Jackie Cardenas said Tuesday. "He was very unexpected."
She was filling in for a sick waitress at Dinty Moore's Family Restaurant in Oak Creek on Friday. Cardenas had no problem working despite her pregnancy.
"It's not me to sit around and do nothing," she said. "I was bored."
Cardenas' boredom that night changed after 8 p.m., when the first contraction came. She and her husband waited about two hours before checking into the hospital.
Cardenas remained in labor for two days. Zachary was born at 8:09 p.m. Sunday, New Year's Day.
Zachary is the fourth child to become part of the family; the others are ages 10, 13 and 16.
The two older children have been helping out at home since she went to the hospital, Jackie Cardenas said.
The children got to meet their new brother on Monday. The parents also have had the opportunity to feed Zachary, change him and witness his first bath.
Still, they said, they just haven't seen him quite enough.
"Not as much as anybody would like," Andy Cardenas said.
Zachary, who is healthy, is expected to go home Friday.
However, the house isn't ready for him. Mom and Dad thought they would have more time to prepare.
Zachary may not mind -- he has been quiet and content.
He has the same frown as his father and grandfather, his parents said.
Also, Andy Cardenas said, Zachary has a future as a motocross star.
"Dad's hoping," Jackie Card--enas said.
She said she thought her son might come early, but she didn't expect him so soon. But that's OK, she said.
"We're glad he's here."
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