For most of us it’s just another ordinary day.
But for the four million ‘leaplings’ around the world, February 29 a one-in-four year chance to celebrate their actual birthday.
Westmead Hospital obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Andrew Pesce is one of the unique individuals celebrating his birthday this leap day.
“People always ask me when I celebrate my birthday when it’s not a leap year,” Dr Pesce said.
“I believe that by March 1st my birthday has been and gone, so I celebrate on February 28th.
“This year I get to celebrate on the 29th and it will be my 15th birthday.”
Being an obstetrician, Dr Pesce see thousands of expectant mothers every year. When the leap year is looming he says many are worried their babies will be born on February 29.
“They think it must be a terrible thing, but I see it as something special, and I don’t think mothers will be unhappy,” Dr Pesce said.
Having been working in obstetrics for more than 30 years, Dr Pesce says he is surprised he hasn’t had to deliver many babies on his birthday.
“I deliver five to six babies every week, so nearly one a day.
“You would think that every four years I would deliver a leap year baby, but it turns out it’s a lot less than that.
“I have only delivered three leap year babies in my career.”
This year, to celebrate the joyous occasion, Andrew and his wife will enjoy a weekend away with friends.
“Every four years people feel obliged to get me a really good birthday present, or go out of their way for my birthday,” he said.
“As a kid it felt more like I was missing out, because it felt like I didn’t really have a proper birthday like everyone else. But my mum always made a special effort and in the end I realised it was a special day to be born.
“There is a lot of food for jokes and witty comments being born on a leap year. I always tell people, ‘I’m forever young’.”
“I always look forward to a leap year day because not only is it my birthday – it’s my real birthday.”