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Babies surprise parents with early arrivals

Tabitha and Jeremy Davis had other plans for New Year's Day.

Tabitha Davis, 8{ months pregnant, was to be at her baby shower. Jeremy Davis, a Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy, was bound for Orlando with co-workers.

But their baby had different plans. Scheduled to arrive Jan. 15, he arrived early and became the Tampa Bay area's first baby of 2005.

Logan Davis, weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces, arrived at 12:02 a.m. at Brandon Regional Hospital. He measured 20\ inches.

"Hey, buddy," Jeremy Davis said as he tried to get Logan to smile for a camera.

Every year brings a new installment of the annual competition among area hospitals for bragging rights as host of the first baby. Last year's race was a photo finish, with Tampa General Hospital beating out Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater by a mere 14 seconds. This competition wasn't even close, area hospitals reported.

Pinellas' first waited until 12:10 a.m. to arrive at Bayfront Medical Center.

The Davises, who live in Brandon and met as Sheriff's Office dispatchers, now have two children. Red-haired Madison Davis, 1, patted Logan at one point but seemed more interested in the children's movie playing on a laptop.

Tabitha Davis, 27, took the attention good-naturedly, despite a lack of sleep. It was a natural birth. She and her husband said the phone hadn't stopped ringing.

"My buddies were calling all night," Jeremy Davis, 25, said.

Tabitha Davis is a dispatch trainer with the Sheriff's Office. She had just returned to work when her day took a 180-degree turn.

"I came back to my desk and my water broke," she said. My supervisor "just went into a state of panic. I told him to calm down."

Eschewing a major's offer of a special escort, she let a co-worker drive her to the hospital. Jeremy Davis, who was asleep at the couple's house three minutes away, met them at the hospital. Tabitha Davis said the actual "pushing" lasted only about half an hour.

They talked Saturday about buying a bigger car. But as for having more kids, both said that's it. "We have our own girl and boy," Jeremy Davis said. "Now we're done."

In St. Petersburg, Michelle and Doug Williams weren't far behind the Davises.

Their daughter, Raeghan Williams, was the first child born in Pinellas County.

The due date was Jan. 20.

Doug Williams, a teacher at Pinellas Park Middle School, said when his wife's contractions began, they were sure it was false labor.

Because it was three weeks before the due date, the Williamses had plans to ring in the new year with friends. They had never imagined they would be celebrating with their new daughter. "I didn't realize what was going on at first . . . the next thing you know, we had to rush to the hospital," Doug Williams said.

After 10 hours of labor, Raeghan arrived at 5 pounds, 13 ounces and measuring 16~ inches. Raeghan is the couple's first child.

An insurance adjuster, Michelle Williams said she's looking forward to taking her baby home. "I'm just so happy and relieved it's over," she said. "She's beautiful _ I'm just so happy to have her."

Staff writer Lauren Bayne Anderson contributed to this report.