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Turning four-ish: Leap Year babies celebrate their first actual birth day

Perhaps it’s not surprising that, after having such unlikely births, Finn and Adley share a few more coincidences.

Finn Hanson is a February baby. Adley Buchanan is a March baby. But this year they are celebrating being born on the same day.

Four years ago, they were born at the same hospital within hours of one another, yet on this year’s birthday, they will both be turning one. Or is it four? Or is it, as one mom says, four-ish?

Neither Finn’s nor Adley’s parents were expecting Leap Year babies when they arrived at the Richmond Hospital just after the world had gone into pandemic lockdown in 2020. But, as they were about to discover, they weren’t going to have much say in the matter.

Jacqueline Hanson was first admitted to the hospital on her Feb. 21 due date; four days later, Finn was still not showing any signs that he wanted to come out, so Jacqueline and her husband Dan went home to Tsawwassen. She was admitted back to the hospital on Feb. 27.

“I was induced four times and only the last type of induction on the evening of Feb. 28 seemed to be working,” Jacqueline told the Optimist. “On the 29th, things started happening, but it got to a point in the afternoon where the doctors were, like, ‘Okay. You can have a C-section, or we can try this one other thing.’ I was, ‘No. We’re done here.’”

Finn was born by caesarian section at 4:46 p.m. on Feb. 29, 2020.

Adley’s arrival earlier that afternoon was a totally different story.

Her first due date was March 2. When the doctor realized it was a leap year, that was changed to March 1, which suited her parents, Samantha and Ryan Buchanan, just fine. Their first daughter, Emerson, had arrived three weeks late, so it didn’t even cross their minds that they’d have to face the dilemma of choosing whether, three years out of four, they’d celebrate Adley’s birthday on Feb. 28 or March 1.

“I started labour on Feb. 29 around nine in the morning,” the Ladner mom says. “I was in denial. I thought ‘There’s no way I’m having this kid a day early on this day of all days. I didn’t even call my husband until I was far into labour. He was golfing at Tsawwassen Springs, so he had to drive home and take me to the hospital.

“I didn’t even make it to the delivery room. I was delivering her in a chair as we were rolling to a room. We arrived at the hospital at 1:42 and Adley was born at 1:47.”

Adley’s insistence at being a Leap Year baby was a sign of things to come, her parents were soon to discover.

“My daughter is very tenacious. If she wants to do something, she’s doing it; it doesn’t matter what you say. She was ‘I’m coming out right now and this is happening.’ It literally is her personality,” Samantha added.

Jacqueline gives credit to her friend Sheena for correctly predicting the special birth date back when Jacqueline was only five weeks pregnant.

Sheena told her right away that “You are having a Leap Year baby.”

“I said, ‘No. There’s no way.’ Sheena prides herself that she called it so early on.”

Each set of parents decided to stick with their original due date when it came to choosing when to hold the non-Leap Year birthdays.

Finn’s first birthday cake said “One-ish” and he’s getting a t-shirt that says he’s a one-year-old trapped in a four-year-old’s body when he celebrates his first actual birthday at the mall doing all his favourite things such as the bouncy castle and riding cars.

Adley’s getting her birthday wish to go to Mexico. Their plane is due to land back at YVR at 12:15 a.m. on Feb. 29; it’s hoped the pilot will give her a shout-out just after midnight.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that, after having such unlikely births, Finn and Adley share a few more coincidences. Just as their mothers played hockey and lacrosse together in their youth, every Sunday morning Finn and Adley attend the same Delta gymnastics class.

Maybe such serendipity can only happen when you’re born on a day that exists only every four years.