Abu Dhabi: This February, Abu Dhabi saw its own miracle when a mother with a Leap Day birthday gave birth to her daughter on Leap Day 2020.
Alison Armstrong, a teacher from Scotland, went in for a routine check on February 28 and her doctor could tell that the baby she was carrying would come soon.
In the early hours of February 29 – Leap Day 2020, as her mother turned 32, little Isla Armstrong made her arrival, weighing a healthy 2.67 kilograms.
“She is our first child, and she is healthy and happy. We cannot stop taking pictures of our daughter. She is absolutely beautiful,” gushed Colin, Isla’s father and an Abu Dhabi-based journalist.
Isla was born at the NMC Royal Women’s Hospital, and Colin said she wasn’t actually due until March 12.
“When we got pregnant, we didn’t really think there was a chance that our child would be [a Leap Day baby] like her mom! But Isla came as both the birthday present and the party,” Colin said.
Alison was herself born on Leap Day 1988, and has been celebrating her birthday on March 1 in non-Leap Years. She and Colin met in Glasgow 15 years ago, when they were both attending the same high school.
“We’re what you would call high-school sweethearts. We got married four years ago,” Colin said.
The couple were looking to start a family, and were delighted to get pregnant last year. It turned out to be a smooth and straightforward pregnancy, resulting in a natural birth last Saturday (February 29).
“Alison has taken to her new role wonderfully, and I have a newfound respect for my wide. We came home from the hospital today,” the father said.
The family plans to stay on in Abu Dhabi, where the couple has been for the last five years.
“We’re very happy here and we plan to stay on and do all the things families enjoy,” Colin said.
Asked when Isla will celebrate her birthday in non-Leap Years, the father said the decision would be up to her.
“Until then, we might decide to celebrate both February 28 and March 1 for baby and mom, or just have one big party on March 1,” Colin said.
Leap Day facts
Leap Days – February 29 – come about once every four years when an extra day is added to February to account for the solar revolution. This is because the sun actually takes 356.2422 days for a full revolution. So every four years, this 0.2422 days makes a full day.
The odds of being born on Leap Day are 1 in 1,461. These people are called Leap Day babies, or leaplings. Leaplings share their birthday with about 5 million other people, while everyone else shares birthdays with almost 21 million people. The odds of a parent born on a Leap Day having a child are one in 2.1 million.
This year, international media reports also noted a leapling father in California, Ivan Penaloza, greeting his newborn leapling daughter, Camila.