by Caitlyn Stace
As with most things, there are positive and negative sides to any issue. Feelings surrounding the benefits and disadvantages run pretty strong. So strong in fact, that parents due around February 29th (Leap Day) have been known to schedule inductions or C-sections to either have a Leap Year baby or make sure that they don't!
Future issues like driver's licenses, birth certificates, computers recognizing one's birthday become real nuisances.
According to Microsoft, Microsoft's Excel, doesn't recognize that 1900 was not a leap year and as a result other companies' programs, in order to be compatible, have had to put the error in their code. Microsoft has no plans to correct the mistake because, "fixing it now would cause greater impact to customers," a company spokeswoman said.
Then there's the problem of getting teased at school. You can imagine an 8 year old being teased that she's only a 2 year old. Bullying these days is bad enough without adding Leap Year fodder. What about celebrating your "Sweet 16" at age 64?
Of course, the positives include having a unique birthday! You can have a big show-stopping birthday party every four years. As for birth certificates, you have the option of choosing February 28th or March 1st, negating the problem of driver's licenses and birth certificates. Although, there are undoubtedly those who don't want to give up their February 29th birthday identity.
However, it's not always easy for parents to get doctors to comply with early induction requests. Virtually all obstetricians will not induce labor for elective reasons before the baby is full term, usually at 39 weeks.
That means no more early births to avoid delivering on Friday the 13th, September 11th or on grandma's birthday. No more rushing to deliver before the December 2nd cutoff date for getting into a kindergarten class in some states.
Huffington Post's executive lifestyle editor Lori Leibovich's son, Carlos Kanter, is a leapling who, according to his robot-themed party invitations, is celebrating his "8th/2nd Birthday" on Wednesday. Leibovich said that when her doctor gave her the due date Feb. 29, 2004, it didn't seem like a big deal.
"The doctor told me, 'Don't worry, no one has their baby on their due date.' Then, as it got closer I started worrying a little bit, like what kid wants to have a birthday every four years?"
"Leap years occur every four years, except those ending in double zeros, such as 1900 and 2100," says Geoff Chester, a spokesman for the United States Naval Observatory. Because there is no leap year in 2100, anyone born this February 29 who lives a long life will have no birthday from 2096 to 2104.
These dilemmas and more can be discussed with other parents in the same predicament on our February Leaping Lovebugs Birth Club Forum.
Are you or will you be giving birth to a leapling?
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