A South Carolina family is celebrating their first baby girl in 137 years.
You read that right. The Settle family hasn’t welcomed a daughter for more than a century.
Will Settle of Bluffton, South Carolina, is the girl’s father. He told ABC that his family is stunned—and delighted.
“My mother just went nuts,” Will said. “My mom always wanted a daughter. She was absolutely ecstatic.”
For three generations, the Settle family has only produced boys. Will, 38, has a son from a previous marriage. “I just assumed I was going to have another boy,” he said.
But at their gender reveal party, Will and his wife, Kelen, opened up a box to see pink and purple balloons shoot out.
“Everybody was a little bit stunned at first,” Kelen told People. “We really thought it would be a boy. Everybody started freaking out, especially Will’s parents.”
That’s when they started to realize that their newest addition was breaking a family tradition.
“My father actually did some homework when we found out it was a girl,” Will said.
“He started to think back, ‘You know my father didn’t have any sisters, my grandfather may of had some sisters,’ and started to kind of move further back and found out there hasn’t been one in that long.”
Kelen noted that her new daughter will have something interesting to tell her friends when she’s older. “I think it’s going to be cool for her. It’s a little fun fact.”
The proud parents welcomed Carter Louise Settle on June 25.
Shortly afterward, they received another surprise: Will’s coworkers decided to help him celebrate by announcing the birth via billboard.
“Will works for an outdoor advertising company, so when she was born they snagged one of the photos off Facebook and made this billboard,” Kelen said. “It is absolutely ridiculous. It was a fun surprise.”
Unfortunately, the surprise was spoiled a little when Will received several calls about the billboard before he saw it for himself.
“A guy I work with said you need to drive to Savannah turn around and come back,” Will told NBC.
“And I know that we have a good number of billboards in that area of 1-70/3-15, so I did. I went down and turned around and couldn’t believe… I couldn’t believe how bright pink the billboard was.”
So, how unlikely is a female baby after 137 years of boys?
The short answer: probably about 50 percent. In humans, sperm determines a child’s gender; the egg plays no role. This is because women have two X chromosomes, whereas men usually have one X and one Y chromosome (but not always).
However, various physiological factors can determine whether the fertilized egg successfully implants in the uterus. Some studies have shown that diet, blood pressure, and stress can affect rates of implantation, potentially skewing a couple’s chances of having a baby boy or girl.
Still, in most cases, a baby’s sex comes down to the flip of a coin. That’s what makes the Settles so unusual.
Will says that he’ll do his best to prepare his daughter. They chose the name Carter because it’s a “really strong name… She’s going to have to be strong with all the men she’ll deal with in the Settle family,” Will joked.