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An extra day on the calendar and an extra family member

For 22 of our families expecting babies, Leap Day was extra special
Caylon Toni Cates
Birthdays are a major occasion in the Cates household. The way Claunesha Cates sees it, “It’s a big deal being blessed to see another year in life.” That’s why she’s taught all her kids at a young age how to recognize their birthday on the calendar.

It won’t be easy for her baby girl Caylon, who was one of 22 Leap Day babies born at M Health Fairview hospitals this year.

Claunesha checked in at M Health Fairview Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury at about 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 28, not even remembering that it was a Leap Year with an extra day. “They told me about it an hour later, and I said, ‘I don’t want her to be born on the 29th. Let’s try to get her out now!’ ” 

But Caylon Toni Cates decided otherwise, making her grand entrance just before 7 a.m. on Feb. 29.

Her little 8 lb., 20-inch self is the fifth girl in Claunesha’s blended family with husband Anthony, but the only one who’ll have to wait four years to see her birthday on the calendar.

For now, mom and baby are contentedly napping together and enjoying watching the other girls get to know her.

“I think due to her being born on Leap Day and the joy and the pain for all those hours, there’s just something special about her,” Claunesha said. “She’ll bring a lot of love into this house.”