The first baby born in Bakersfield in 2018 almost didn’t get that recognition.

Ximena Aguilar — 5.9 pounds, 21 inches — was supposed to be born on Jan. 30 but she couldn't wait any longer to come out, mom Mercedes Macias said. Ximena, a girl, was born at 1:08 a.m. Monday at Memorial Hospital in downtown Bakersfield.

“It’s not what I anticipated, but it’s pretty exciting,” Macias said. “It will be really special for her to know that she is one of the first (born in 2018). I can’t wait to be able to tell her.”

Macias said she went into labor at around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, with the baby coming out nearly five hours later. Ximena was born naturally and despite coming into the world early, Macias said she is completely healthy.

“The whole experience went really quickly,” she said. “It was a lot quicker than I anticipated. She wanted to make a grand entrance.”

Macias said the only real complication during the pregnancy was that Ximena liked to lay sideways in her mom’s belly most of the time, which was very uncomfortable.

“I had a hard time breathing and eating,” Macias said.

After the baby was born, Macias it was a strange experience for her in the sense that she was no longer carrying her.

“It was good to see her out, but there was a little bit of missing her there as well,” she said. “I looked down and thought ‘she’s gone.’”

Ximena is the first child for Macias and her husband, Jose Aguilar, both from Tehachapi. Although they are both excited about being first-time parents, they said they’re nervous about making sure they care for their daughter right.

“It’s a little scary,” she said. “I hope i’m doing things right, but it’s exciting as well.”

Aguilar said he feels a little unprepared due to his daughter’s early arrival.

“It feels a little weird,” he said. “It caught everybody by surprise. Everyone’s still in shock. I was hoping I would still have some time to prepare.”

Aguilar said he and his wife still have to finish up work on the baby’s room. He said they have purchased a crib and other equipment but they still need to be put together. The room also needs to be painted.

Macias said she’s looking forward to spending more time with Ximena and getting to know her.

“It feels like I’m getting to know a new person, but I’m also just experiencing holding her. She’s mine and i made her,” she said. “I want to relax and enjoy her.”

Ximena was one of at least five babies that were born in Kern County on New Year’s Day.

The earliest baby born countywide appears to be one at the Delano Regional Medical Center. The hospital said that a set of twins were born in separate years. One of them was born at 11:58 p.m. on Sunday and the other at 12:16 a.m. on Monday.

Adventist Health said a baby was born at 3:22 a.m. Another was born at 3:41 a.m. at the Kern Medical Center, according to the hospital. Mercy Southwest said a baby was born around 4 a.m. They were all boys.

Joseph Luiz can be reached at 661-395-7368. Follow him on Twitter: @JLuiz_TBC.