E. Tenn welcomes leap day pair

By: Jessa Goddard
By: Jessa Goddard

BLOUNT COUNTY (WVLT) -- Leap Day only comes once every four years, but the birth of your child only happens once in a lifetime.

For that reason, many area hospitals had no scheduled births on Friday.

But that didn’t mean there weren’t at least a few surprises for parents in East Tennessee.

Carrie and Matthew White have been planning for the birth of their child for nine months, though Matthew took it a step further by betting on it.

"A couple months ago, we learned what the due date was, and people around work started guessing the date of delivery, and I really wanted the 29th and a leap year baby,” he said.

That's exactly what he got as little Reagan White leaped into the world nearly a week early.

Just down the hall at Blount Memorial Hospital, Piper Howell finally made an appearance, nearly a week late.

"I was due February 24th, and she was being stubborn and said ‘I don't want to be due until leap year,’" Jennifer Howell said.

Which came as a relief to Lee Howell, a new Leap Day and first time father.

"I'm just so proud of both of them,” he said. “I'm just glad she got here happy and safe."

Leap Day babies can only celebrate their real birthday once every four years, and some say they feel a little cheated.

But the Whites' and the Howells' are already planning to have a little fun with it.

"He'll have a birthday every four years,” Matthew said. “In a couple years when he asks, ‘daddy, what are we doing for my birthday,’ I get to say, ‘son, you don't have a birthday for two more years.’"

"Well, if she can't get married until she's 21, that's a long way from now,” laughed Jennifer.

Reagan and Piper not only share the same birthing center and unique birthday, but they could even be competing for the same table at Chuck E. Cheese one day.

"She's made it on television her first day, so you know, she's already standing out,” said Lee.

Both families plan to celebrate birthdays on February 28th.

WVLT would like to thank the White’s and Howell’s for sharing their newborns with us, and especially, Carrie and Jennifer who let our cameras in to record right after giving birth!

We would like to be among the first to wish Reagan and Piper a very happy birthday!

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