Due on Feb. 20, Evelyn "Evie" Jane Szirtes, decided to wait an extra nine days to hop into this world and become first Leap Day baby for 2012.
"The grandparents are going to be so excited to celebrate her birthday every four years," said Sarah Szirtes of Birmingham, who is completely healthy after giving birth to her first child at 4:20 a.m. "It's the first grandchild on both sides of her family, so the grandparents today were going off the wall."
Father Joel Szirtes said that once the baby was past due, he began to tell his wife how excited he was that Evie could be born on Leap Day.
"Sarah told me there was no way it could happen, because the odds are so great," the new father said. "It's great. The baby is healthy and content — she's been sleeping all day."
Evie weighed 8 ounces, 2 pounds at birth. Sarah said that the couple chose not to learn the gender of their baby until birth and that they are "thrilled" to have a baby girl.
On Evie's 16th birthday she can expect to get a driver's license on Feb. 29, but to celebrate her 21st birthday with a drink will depend how local laws count time. Joel Szirtes said that he was especially excited to celebrate his daughter's birthday every four years.
"That's why Joel said he was excited for having a Leap Day baby when I first became past due," Sarah Szirtes said.
"It's just one more opportunity for her to see how special she is," Joel Szirtes said.
Fun Leap Year facts
- Every four years, we add an extra day to the calendar to keep it in sync with the earth’s revolutions around the sun. It takes 365.242199 days for the earth to complete a full rotation around the sun. Our calendar, however, marks out a mere 365 days a year.
- Julius Caesar introduced Leap Years around 45 BCE.
- Feb. 29 is traditionally a day where women are “permitted” to romantically pursue men. The tradition dates back to 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget lamented to St. Patrick about the "fair sex having to wait for men to propose." As a result, Patrick relented and declared that Feb. 29 is the day that would be set aside when women can ask men for their hand in marriage.
- On Feb. 29 in the year 1860, Herman Hollerith invented the first electric tabulating machine, the forerunner to the calculator.
- On Feb. 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first black person to win an Oscar. McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind.
- The chances of being born on a Leap Year are 1 in 1,461.
Famous Leap Year births
- 1792: Italian opera composer Gioacchino Rossini
- 1916: Singer Dinah Shore
- 1920: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Howard Nemerov
- 1924: Cleveland Indians third baseman Al Rosen
- 1976: Rapper Ja Rule
For more fun trivia on Leap Years, click here.