BURLINGTON, N.C. - Many around the world on Tuesday paid special attention to the palindrome date of Feb. 22, or 2/22/22. But perhaps no one did more than the Spear family of Burlington, North Carolina, who welcomed their "miracle" baby girl on a night they’ll never forget.
Baby Judah Grace was born to first-time parents Aberli and Hank Spear at 2:22 a.m. ET on Tuesday, 2/22/22 at Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center. Adding to rarity, she weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces, which equals 122 total ounces, and she was born in the hospital’s labor and delivery room No. 2.
Numerical coincidences aside, Judah — a Hebrew name meaning "praised" — was given her name for a different reason. Aberli was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014. After going through treatment, she received the all-clear from doctors in 2020. But the couple was also told that they possibly couldn't have children.
"We went to the egg-freezing clinic, but we decided not to because it was too expensive," Aberli recalled. Egg freezing can cost up to $15,000 to $20,000 per cycle, according to the education website FertilityIQ.
"So, we prayed that we would have kids," she added.
Judah Grace Spear is pictured in a provided image. (Credit: Family / Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center)
Aberli said the baby’s due date had actually been on Feb. 22, which they thought would be a "cool" birthday but weren’t expecting the newborn to come right on that date. She also had been scheduled for an induction on Feb. 20. The couple arrived at the hospital that night at 11:50 p.m. — and Aberli was in labor for 26 hours.
When she finally got into the labor and delivery room, the couple was initially put in room No. 3, but due to a technical issue with the monitors, they were moved to room No. 2. Hank said he turned to his mother-in-law around midnight on 2/22 and said, "you know, it would be kind of crazy if she waited another two hours."
And sure enough, Judah waited another two hours — which the new dad called "all God’s timing."
All of those in the delivery room cheered when baby Judah was finally born, aware of the special date and time.
"Everyone else, they knew what was going on," Aberli recalled. "Me, I was just trying my hardest to breathe properly."
Nurses and others in the delivery room hold up #2 in honor of Judah’s special birthday: 2/22/22 at 2:22 a.m. (Credit: Provided / Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center)
When she finally saw her newborn, Aberli said "it was like a miracle."
"A miracle baby. That's why we decided to choose the name Judah because it means praise — just praising God for giving us our heart's desires," she added.
Judah’s birthday is also special because it fell on the day of the week that sounds like the number — dubbed by many as "Twosday." The last time this rare 2/22/22 calendrical event occurred was in 1622, and the next time won’t be until 2422.
The first time parents are pictured with their newborn baby on Feb. 22, 2022, just after her 2:22 a.m. birth. (Credit: Provided / Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center)
The newborn joins a special club of babies born on unique dates and times. In 2019, a baby girl in Tennessee was born on 9/11 at 9:11 p.m. and weighed 9 pounds, 11 ounces. In 2021, a baby boy who was born at a Central Florida hospital came into the world at 3:21 p.m. on 3/21 in the 321 area code.
At the start of 2022, California twins entered the world just 15 minutes apart. But because of the unique timing, they were born on different days, months and years. Alfredo Antonio Trujillo, was delivered first at 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2021, at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California. His twin sister, Aylin Yolanda Trujillo, entered the world exactly at midnight on Jan. 1, making her the first baby born at the hospital in 2022.
Dressed in a hospital gown and holding the swaddled newborn just hours after the remarkable birth, Aberli said she wishes their story "will bring hope to people to keep fighting and keep praying for what they want."
"It will be totally worth it because God answers every prayer," she said.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.