"Everybody was a little bit stunned at first!" Kelen Settle tells PEOPLE
It’s a girl!
A couple in South Carolina is celebrating the birth of their baby girl — the first girl to be born into their family in 137 years.
“Everybody was a little bit stunned at first!” says Kelen Settle, who welcomed daughter Carter Louise Settle on June 25.
Kelen, 36, and her husband Will Settle, 38, had their baby gender reveal at a family Christmas party back home in Atlanta. And when pink and purple balloons popped out of the box, “everybody went crazy,” Kelen tells PEOPLE.
“We really thought it would be a boy,” she continues. “Everybody started freaking out, especially Will’s parents.”
The couple knew a girl hadn’t been born into the Settle family in years, but they didn’t know just how long it had been until Will’s father did a little digging into their family tree and realized it had been 137 years.
“It was an absolute wow moment,” Kelen says. “I think it’s going to be cool for her. It’s a little fun fact.”
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And Carter will have no shortage of male figures in her life. Between uncles and cousins, she also has a big brother — 7-year-old Rowland from Will’s previous marriage.
“He loves her,” Kelen says of Rowland. “He was very adamant that he wanted a brother and thought that a 6-year-old would pop out and he’d have an instant playmate. But the first time he met her he kept saying, ‘Aw, she’s so cute.’ He is smitten.”
The entire Settle family can’t get enough of the sweet new addition.
“There’s no question she’s getting spoiled rotten now!” the proud mom says.
Kelen says she and her husband didn’t purposefully choose a unisex name for their baby girl, they just “really liked” the name Carter.
“We didn’t have many girl names to go on from his family, obviously! We just decided to go with something we both liked,” says Kelen. “We wanted something strong that would be cute when she was 2 but would also work when she’s in the job force.”
The parents were in for another shock when Will’s coworkers surprised them with a billboard announcement of Carter’s birth.
“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 says. “It is absolutely ridiculous. It was a fun surprise.”