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Carle Health welcomes Leap Day babies, including twins who will have different birth dates

Carle Health welcomes Leap Day babies, including twins who will have different birth dates

Along with all of the usual baby preparation that goes into welcoming a new baby into the home, one
couple at Carle Foundation Hospital found themselves with added decision-making.

Instead of one baby, there are twins.

They arrived six weeks before the due date.

When to celebrate their birthdays?

One twin, Sylvie, was born 11:58 p.m. on Feb. 29 - Leap Day - and Soleil arrived the following day at 12:02 a.m. on March 1. Sylvie weighed 4 pounds, 8 ounces and her identical twin sister Soleil weighed 3 pounds, 15 ounces. Team members in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana cared for the newborns.

“It keeps getting more and more surprising,” mother, Ariel Davenport said, “I feel blessed and the girls are doing well.”

Sylvie is one of 13 babies born Feb. 29 in the Carle Health system and one of eight born on that day at Carle Foundation Hospital. The odds of being born on Leap Day is 1 in 1,461, according to the Social Security Administration. Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal had one baby born on Feb. 29 and four babies arrived at Carle Health Methodist Hospital in Peoria.

The extra day of Feb. 29 is added to the calendar every four years to synchronize it with the seasonal calendar over time. The next Feb. 29 will not occur until 2028.

"It's always an honor to be a part of the process to welcome new little people into the world but our team was particularly excited to support families on Leap Day. As these little ones go through life, they will always be part of a rather exclusive group of individuals who share Feb. 29 as a birthday," Sarah Harbourn, BSN-RN, neonatal nurse manager at Carle Health Methodist Hospital said.

In addition to having six other babies born on Feb. 29, Carle Foundation Hospital Labor and Delivery nurses took notice of the twins and their birthdays.

Jordan Arford, BSN, RN, said, “I was super excited to see twins born on two separate days with one being Leap Day because it is so unusual. We do not get to see this every year.”

The twin’s mother, Ariel Davenport, and her partner, Donald Lovelace, plan to mark the twins’ birthday on March 1 each year and recognize Sylvie’s birthday on Feb. 29 every fourth year.

The oldest of eight, Davenport is no stranger to caring for children. She works with children in her job as a student support advocate for Champaign Community Unit School District 4 and she has 16-month-old Israel who will welcome his new sisters home in Champaign.

Davenport said this is the first set of twins in her family. “They are very excited,” she said. Her partner’s father is a twin.

Find more information about the care and support Carle Labor and Delivery teams provide patients at

Categories: Community

Tags: Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, labor and delivery, NICU, Peoria