At just more than 12 hours old, Jackson Zachary Kammueller was calm and relaxed despite the four cameras all trained on him and more than a half-dozen people gathered in his small room.

“It’s a good strong name,” mom Bridget Gongora said of her son’s first name.

Gongora, 29, and her husband, Zachary Kammueller, 38, weren’t running on a few hours sleep because they were out celebrating the new year. No, the couple was pleasantly exhausted due to the somewhat unexpected arrival of their first child.

Born at 12:41 a.m., Jackson was Rochester’s first baby born in 2019. This year, Mayo Clinic Hospital–Methodist Campus was the one to have the honor of welcoming the city’s first baby into the world.

New Year's Baby

Jackson Zachary Kammueller was the first baby born in Rochester in 2019.

But being born on New Year’s Day wasn’t supposed to be the plan for Jackson. Gongora said her due date was originally Christmas Eve. Dec. 24 came and went, and then it was Christmas, and then it was the day after Christmas and soon enough, the couple was nearing their induction date of Jan. 2.

On New Year’s Eve, the couple went in for a routine appointment only to find out that Gongora was in labor. Forty-one minutes after 2019 began, the 7-pound, 10-ounce, 20 1/4-inch baby boy entered the world.

“We’ve just been so eager to meet him,” Gongora said. “Each day a baby is overdue, you get a little more anxious.”

With a head full of dark brown hair (like his mother,) Jackson is a perfect mix of his parents, Gongora said.

Standing proudly next to her as reporters inquired, Kammueller had the faded footprints of his son on his forearm. “I finally got some ink,” he joked.

One grandparent waited quietly in the hall as Jackson got his first moment of fame, but Kammueller said it had been a steady parade of visitors the night before as family members near and far came to see the new addition.

For those parents still expecting, Kammueller and Gongora had these words of advice.

“You feel completely unprepared in the moment,” Kammueller said. “Enjoy every part of it.”

“Cherish every moment because it goes by so fast,” Gongora said.

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Public Safety Reporter

Emily is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. A Minnesota native, Emily worked at two newspapers in New England before returning to the Land of 10,000 Lakes in July 2018.

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