Special birthday for area babies

Leap Year Day baby_20160229231840

Update: 10:12 pm, 2/29/16, Monday 

URBANA — The date only shows up on calendars once every four years. Leap Year Day gives us one more chance to savor February, but it poses a unique situation for babies born on the day.

One mother already has a special connection to her son. Most moms look forward to celebrating their children’s birthdays every year, but one mother says she’d rather have it every four years.

“I scheduled it this way. To be honest, I actually did schedule it.”

Christina Esteban-Rafael says she’s glad her son Dominic was born February 29, or Leap Year Day.

“I won’t feel so alone.”

She hopes her son won’t feel that way now that they can celebrate their birthdays together.

“She seemed pretty excited to share the day. Like she said, she scheduled it that way and now she doesn’t have to celebrate it alone.”

Esteban-Rafael was a Leap Year Day baby too. She says she remembers finding out her birthday wasn’t always a guarantee.

“When I was old enough to understand, my parents always said, ‘You don’t have a birthday this year because there’s not 29 days.'”

Like a lot of people born on Leap Year Day, she says there was some dispute when her parents about when to celebrate on off-years.

“They wanted it to be March 1 to make me wait that extra day. But, we always celebrated it on the 29th.”

Now, her son will get to join in on that tradition. He and his mom will always share the day that only comes around every four years.

“A special gift to me to give myself. It made my birthday special.”

Dominic is one of at least four babies born in Urbana Monday. One nurse at Presence says Leap Year Day is kind of like a holiday in the labor and delivery wing. 

Original: 4:30 pm, 2/29/16, Monday

URBANA — Some babies born Monday, will have to wait a few years to celebrate their first birthday. So far, at least four Leap Year Day babies have been born locally; three at Presence and one at Carle.

One baby was due three-and-a-half weeks from now, but his mom says he decided today was the day. She says he probably won’t like missing his birthday, but she couldn’t be happier.

She hasn’t named him yet, but she’s looking forward to enjoying her son’s special day.

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