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Bronxville Dad Welcomes Twins on Leap Day

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The White Plains Hospital helped newborns get a head start on celebrating their quad-annual birthday Wednesday with a party attended by twins from Bronxville, a Yonkers girl named after Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin and dozens of doting family members.

First-time parents Justin and Marissa Reda said they anticipated their twins greeting the world on leap day after doctors told the Bronxville couple her pregnancy shouldn't be allowed to extend past the 38th week on Feb. 29.

"I initially liked the idea of having leap day babies. My wife took a little bit to come around. I sold her by saying we can celebrate the older one's birthday on the 28th and the younger's on the first. So they each have a special day," said Justin Reda, 28, a lawyer. "Then they can have a big celebration every four years."

The Redas welcomed Jon Damien Justin Reda at 8:31 a.m. and Alexis Isabel at 8:32 a.m. The daughter's middle name connotes the 2003 Hurricane Isabel that wiped out power in a University of Virginia building, leading to the couple's introduction among apartment dwellers that weathered the storm together.

"We've known the names for a while, but we didn't let anyone know until now. Partially, because we didn't want everyone giving their two cents," said Justin Reda. "I'm excited spiked with nervous. I'm just glad I could take paternity leave and focus on this."

Down the hall, Abi Mathew celebrated his first child's birth at 4:51 a.m. while simultaneously paying tribute to the New York point guard who he says "is going to be the best."

"I've been pushing for Lynn for about four weeks now. Since we're of Indian origin, we kind of wanted to give her something to tie her to the home country and then Lynn of course," said Abi Mathew, 29, who works at a commodities firm. "I'm a huge Knicks fan and I've always loved the name. So I kind of willed Lin to come to the Knicks."

Priyanka Lynn Mathew surprised her parents by emerging several days before her March 15 due date.

"I didn't expect it. She can choose between celebrating on the 28th and the first and then we'll have an extra special one on the 29th," said Jency Mathew, 27, an accountant.

The William and Sylia Silberstein Neonatal and Maternity Center helped babies celebrate with cake, a giant card, spa gift baskets, teddy bears, gift certificates to Straight A's, blankets, hooded towels and more. Debra Sperling, the assistant manager of labor and delivery, said the three boys, two girls, and two mothers in labor Wednesday made this leap day busier than normal.

"Usually we have about two babies. On a typical day it's five or six. This is not a day people usually schedule births for, similar to April Fool's Day or Friday the 13th," Sperling said.

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