CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. – A record five Leap Year babies were born at Hudson Valley Hospital Center Wednesday afternoon. As the healthy almost-half dozen slept in their mother’s arms, parents took pride in their infants’ very special birthday.
“I don’t remember this ever happening,” said Director of Maternal Child Health Sabrina Nitkowski-Keever. “This is such a myth, but we always think about, we always have a full house or no patients,” she said.
The esoteric birthday can cause confusion in some arenas of life. For example, must all Leap Year babies wait until March 1 to receive their driver’s license? When should one celebrate a birthday? What’s the most efficient way to explain to your friends that you've only officially had four birthdays, even though you in 10th grade? For guidance and empathy in these areas, the newborns could join the 10,000 member Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies if they’d like.
These questions seem abstract to the new parents, overjoyed that their new babies are healthy. Theresa Samuels, mother of Havier Samuels, says she will celebrate her son’s birthday with her large family, which celebrates all of the birthdays with about one party per month. Samuels was born at 11:15 a.m., Wednesday, and weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces.
“I was just reading an article saying the whole Leap Year keeps the calendar in order,” said Matt Chasse, noting it might be a lucky birthday. Matt Chasse is the proud first-time dad of Bryce Anthony Chasse, 6 pounds 7 ounces, born at 12:11 p.m. Wednesday.
Leap Days happen because it takes a little more than 365 days for the Earth to complete its rotation around the Sun, about one-quarter of a day. To compensate for these lost quarter-days a 366th day of the year is added every four years. Leap Year comes every 1,460 days.
Kara Chasse, Bryce's mom, says she knew he would be born early, knew it would be on Leap Year, knew it would snow, showing her snowflake-painted toenails to prove it, and said only, “When he goes to kindergarten we’ll have something to explain.”
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