BARSTOW - Jessica Aguilar was looking forward to a good night's rest after celebrating on New Year's Eve.

One little person had other plans.

Aguilar, 16, went to bed just before 2 a.m. only to be awakened by contractions at 4:30 in the morning. She hurried to Barstow Community Hospital where she gave birth to Barstow's first baby of 2008, Dominick Smith Jr., at 3:11 p.m. Dominick weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19.8 inches long at birth. He was named in honor of his father Dominick Smith Sr.

Aguilar said her due date was Jan. 7 and didn't expect to have a New Year's baby.

"I wasn't thinking about having him on New Year's," Aguilar said. " I'm just happy. It came out of nowhere. I didn't think I would have the first baby. It's been a long couple days. I've had no sleep for two days."

Smith, 17, joined Aguilar's mom and grandmother in the delivery room on Tuesday and has spent most of the last two days in a hospital room. He said the delivery room was an overwhelming experience.

"I got kind of scared, but everything was cool," Smith said.

Teen pregnancy has become a more visible issue recently. The national birth rate for teenagers age 15-19 increased by three percent in 2006 according to a report the Center for Disease Control. The increase is the first since 1991.

As a young expecting mother, Aguilar enrolled in the CalSafe program at Central High School. The program is funded by San Bernardino County and is designed to help prepare expecting mothers for childcare. The program covers everything from prenatal care to cooking and provides money for daycare and other items to allow the girls to continue their education, said Central Principal Jim Davis.

"I think girls and sometimes boys have a romantic notion of having kids," he said. "I think they get set on that. They are envious of the attention girls get with a baby, but that wears off and then you're into parenthood which is not the most exciting thing."

Davis said having the girls at Central helps keep them safe because they aren't exposed to the possible danger of being bumped into or having to walk the Barstow campus. Girls enrolled in the program still continue to take regular high school classes. Despite the national increase in teen mothers, Davis said the local program has had a steady enrollment of 30 to 35 girls at a time for the last several years.

Aguilar said the program helped her and believes it will continue to. She plans on finishing this school year at Central and transferring to Barstow High School next year.

Stephanie Aguilar, Jessica's mom, said she's glad the school offers the program.

"It makes them become a mother," Stephanie said. "It teaches them responsibility. A lot of the girls are really young and don't really know a lot about children. I even found some of the things in her books interesting."