Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Birthday That Comes Only Every Four Years

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Birthday That Comes Only Every Four Years

Article excerpt

LEAP DAY: Some born on calendar rarity by chance, but not this Feb. 29 babySARASOTAThe random likelihood of having a birthday on Feb. 29 is one in 1,461, but in an age when fewer momentous events are left to chance, this is one issue where the mother and her doctor sometimes get more say than the baby."You don't get to pick your birthday or your parents," said Sarasota attorney Betsy Young on Wednesday morning. An hour and a half after setting the inevitable in motion by having her labor induced at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, she sounded serene about the prospect of her Leap Day baby.Kara Lynn Young, who came into the world Wednesday evening, joined at least 10 other "leaplings" born in Southwest Florida on the day that only comes around in presidential election years. Her parents, who also have an 8-year-old daughter, were philosophical about how this unusual birthday might touch Kara's life."She may like it; she may hate it," said Jeff Young, also a lawyer. "At first the idea was just kind of weird, but now I'm pretty excited about it. She'll be special."With an official due date of March 7, the Youngs were aware of the possibility of a Leap Day baby. Their obstetrician, John Sullivan Jr., had let them know that an induction could occur once 39 weeks of pregnancy had passed.They did some online research about leaplings, and gradually got comfortable with the idea."It's kind of been the running joke since toward the end of last year," said Betsy Young. "We've been going to the doctor every week. Last Wednesday was the last checkup, and he said I was ready." So the delivery was booked for exactly one week from that office visit, putting it on Leap Day.An induction -- stimulating contractions to control the timing and circumstances of labor -- is often done for high-risk pregnancies. Young, 37, who called herself "an old, old woman to have babies," had complications in the birth of her older daughter, and has been "heavily monitored" during this pregnancy. …

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