Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dear Abby: We do Love our Leap Year Baby

There’s nothing like having a child with a birthday on February 29th.  In some ways it’s wonderful – three out of four years, you get two days to celebrate (February 28th and March 1st).  It’s the consolation you earn for only having a “real birthday” as often as the world hosts the Olympics. 

Still, it’s not easy explaining to a little girl that she doesn’t get a birthday for three more years.  Such is the plight of the Leap Year Baby.

Of course, we didn’t plan on having our daughter on Leap Year.  My wife Tammy and I did everything we could to safeguard against it. 

Abby was due on March 7, safely past the phantom 29th by a full seven days.  But on February 28 we found ourselves at St. Vincent’s Hospital with contractions.  

The doctor was convinced these were false labor pains, and sent us home.  But my wife knew something wasn’t right.  She made the leap, and called to schedule a C-section for the very next day: the famed, feared and fleeting February 29. 

Thank God for a mom’s intuition. The umbilical cord was wrapped around Abby’s neck.  If it weren’t for the C-section – if my wife had proceeded with natural labor – the cord would have tightened around Abby’s neck.  And most likely we would not be celebrating her 12th birthday today.

We’re gonna celebrate big too.  A slumber party with 10 pre-teen girls is not for the weak or the weary.  Not that anybody will be getting any sleep at our house.  There’ll be pizza, though, a scavenger hunt, cake, ice cream and lots of giggling.  I might get in trouble for saying it, but I’m hoping we make it through the 16-hour event without too much “girl drama.” 

Secretly, however, I enjoy every minute of helping my daughter celebrate her 12th birthday, making all the arrangements, sending out her birthday party invitations.  Twelve years old is pretty big – it’s her last party before becoming a teenager.  It hasn’t been easy for her, being born on Leap Year.  When she was very young, she endured the teasing of other children, but now she is starting to embrace the idea of having a “special birthday.” (Well, some would say milking the birthday, ha ha.) 

With all this being said, I need to mention the Fox News story, especially since my family won’t let me live it down.  

Abby was the first baby born on Leap Year’s Day, 2000, in Birmingham. When they approached me about doing an interview, it really seemed like a good idea.  I didn’t make it on the newscast, but Abby and my wife – three hours out of surgery – did.  She has never completely forgiven me for how she looked on TV, when the cameras came into the hospital room with no warning.  It’s the Leap Year story we laugh about every year.  I’m so glad she has a sense of humor.

Most of all, on whatever day we celebrate Abby’s birthday, we’re incredibly thankful for God’s gift of a lovely daughter, and the intuition He gave my wife that preceded her safe delivery into the world.  He has made this special Leap Year birthday and all its fanfare possible for our beloved birthday girl.  Happy Birthday, Abby!

~ By Lee Moore


  1. My birthday is right around Christmas so I understand being shafted on your birthday. But Leap Year birthdays, nothing compares to that. In dealing with this type of birthday, you are either a "cup half empty" person and with a pout saying you only get to celebrate once ever 4 years or you are a "cup half full" person that thinks your birthday is the most special birthday of all.

    Happy Birthday Abby and to all those other Leap Year kiddos out there! It's truly a special day!!!

  2. Nice blog, Lee. Your daughter is beautiful and lucky to have such a sweet daddy.