OREM — Leap Day comes once every four years, and for those born on Feb. 29 celebrating birthdays is a special occasion. Especially for the Estes family.
Jade Estes was born Wednesday at 7:16 a.m., weighing 8 pounds 13 ounces. She shares her birthday with two other siblings and now may just be one of two families in the world with three children born on Feb. 29.
Mom Louise Estes said she is happy to have a girl after four rowdy boys. Everyone is excited, including the boys.
“Pretty much anything with a picture of a doll, pink, dresses, they come and show me (and say) ‘I want to buy this. She needs this,'” Louise said.
The Esteses say they didn't plan for their eldest child to be born on Leap Day in 2004. He was actually due March 1, but was born at 2 a.m. on Feb. 29.
Then in 2007 there was talk of having another child. “I joked would it be funny if we got pregnant now. We’d have another Leap Day baby, and it happened,” she said.
They admit they gave nature a little help with Jade this year. She was due Feb. 24.
“We did go over five days, which was not easy, but it’s all worth it,” Louise said.
The odds of being born on a Leap Day are just 1 in 1,461, but the Esteses' first, third and now fifth child were all born on Leap Day. They like to have fun with being a special family, especially when it comes to birthdays. On non-Leap Day years, they have smaller celebrations, but on Feb. 29 they try to go all out.
“We are going to try to get our oldest a car on his fourth birthday,” she joked.
The only other family known to have had three children on leap days lives in Norway —also two boys and a girl. There are about 200,000 “leaplings” “or “leapers” in the United States, according to The Honor Society for Leap Year Day Babies, an online club that tries to keep track.
One of them is Fay Live Plonske in St. George. She was born 108 years ago on Feb. 29, making her one of the oldest “leapers” alive.
“There’s nothing special about me,” she said with a laugh. “I’m just ordinary.”
She has seen a lot of changes throughout her life, “Horses to automobiles; the first car we had was a crank,” she said. “They had to light the lights with a match. Most of the changes have been for the best.”
Live has two children, four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Her secret to longevity? She said eat right, work hard, rest and always have something to do.
And Leap Day birthdays aren't the only celebrations that are special. Twelve couples took the plunge on Leap Day and got married in a somewhat unusual ceremony Wednesday. They celebrated their union by literally leaping into their new lives together at Hang Time Trampoline Park at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.
Contributing: Lydia Defranchi