Legions of Leaplings

Slant News is going out of business.  I am therefore reposting my Slant articles on my personal blog, lest they be lost to posterity.

This article was originally published as “Leap Day Siblings Aren’t Just Uncommon, They’re Miracles?” on March 5, 2016.

Q:  What do you call someone born on February 29th?

A:  A leapling.

Q:  What’s better than one leapling in the family?

A:  Leapling siblings.

The odds of a baby being born on Leap Day are one in 1,461. This week, three American families who already had leapling children were blessed with a second leapling child.

Brandi Ellison of Bismarck, ND, gave birth to her second child, Abigail, on February 29, 2016. She and her husband Christopher were pleased and delighted, especially since their firstborn daughter, Annabelle, was born February 29, 2012.

I think we should play the lottery. It’s pretty crazy, we had no idea. When we first found out we were expecting with Abigail it was. We started figuring dates and it was like, ‘No way it’ll happen,’ and here we are,” said Brandi Ellison.

Jennifer Ginn of Lakewood, CO, gave birth to her son Antonio on Leap Day, 2016. Twelve years earlier, she and her husband Anthony had a son Giovanni. Antonio was born on his brother’s third birthday. The Ginns’ other four children have their birthdays scattered around the calendar.

Melissa Croff of Columbus, MI, gave birth to her second daughter, Evelyn, four years and a few minutes after her firstborn, Eliana. Evelyn was born February 29, 2016 at 3:06 a.m. Eliana was born February 29, 2012, at 3:33 a.m. Melissa said she and her husband Chad were “really excited and happy.”
This is the first Leap Day since she was married that Louise Estes of Payson, UT, that she isn’t spending the day in the hospital. Louise and David Estes have five children, three of whom are leaplings. Xavier Estes was born February 29, 2004. Remington Estes was born February 29, 2008. Jade Estes was born February 29, 2012. The Estes are one of only two families in the world known to have three leapling children. The Henriksen family of Norway had Leap Day babies in 1960, 1964, and 1968.

Leaplings can be parents and children, as well as siblings. For parents and children to share a Leap Day birthday, the odds are two million to one.

Michelle Birnbaum and her daughter Rose are both leaplings. Michelle Birnbaum of Saddle River, NJ, is 36 years old; she just celebrated her ninth birthday. Her daughter Rose is eight years old and just celebrated her second birthday.

Fred and Eric Shekoufeh, of La Mesa, California,  were both born on February 29. The father is 60 years old and the son is 20 years old. Fred is celebrating his 15th birthday and Eric his fifth birthday.

The odds of a baby being born on February 29 are one in 1,461. That makes leaplings above average.


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