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'A special day' to be born; Leap year babies have rare birthday

Their babies were less than a day old, and already the parents were making plans for their first birthdays. But would that be next year or in four years?

"We're still trying to figure out the whole birthday thing," said Matthew Francis of Perry. "He'll probably get twice as many."

Francis' son, Cooper Matthew Francis, was born at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday -- Feb. 29 -- at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, and he was the first of the Leap Year babies born in Buffalo.

Hannah Kantor, who gave birth at 7:39 a.m. to a 6-pound, 10-ounce baby girl at Sisters Hospital, had the birthday thing figured out by dinnertime, but she and her husband, Mendi Katan, were still nailing down their daughter's name late Wednesday.

"I didn't give it a second thought," Kantor said about the Feb. 29 birth date. "Then my father brought it up to me and said, 'She's not going to have a birthday,' but it really didn't make that much of a difference to me."

The family will celebrate the day before or after on non-Leap Years, she said.

The baby is Kantor's second in as many years of marriage. She and Katan moved to Buffalo four months ago. She's from California, and he's from Tel Aviv, Israel. Kantor was getting some hospital rest late Wednesday and couldn't be happier. Her child was born healthy.

"Thank God," Kantor said. "She's just beyond perfect. It doesn't matter what day it is."

Cooper's mom, Jill Hann, got some naps here and there as she talked with well-wishers about her son, who was 8 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 1/4 inches long. Though the couple live in Perry, she decided to deliver at Suburban because her aunt is a delivery nurse there.

Wednesday was her due date, but she didn't expect her first baby to be born on his due date.

"He's very relaxed, very quiet, which is a good thing," Francis said. "Honestly, I'm just excited everyone is healthy."

It was a busy day at Mercy Hospital, where Ashley Cintron gave birth to the hospital's first Leap Year baby at 7:02 a.m. Wednesday. Taylor Marie Cintron Pettygrove weighed in 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and 19 3/4 inches long.

"She's really beautiful. She looks like her daddy," Cintron said.

Dad Tyler Pettygrove works at an oil change service station. The couple live in West Seneca.

Cintron said she never thought about giving birth Feb. 29 because her due date was last Friday, and she went into the hospital Tuesday to be induced.

Cintron said her obstetrician, Dr. Lynn Aronica, wanted to deliver Taylor because her birthday is Feb. 29, but Aronica's husband took her on a trip for her birthday.

"It's kind of a special day," Cintron said.

Francis, sitting in Millard Suburban, agreed.

"It's pretty special he's born in a Leap Year," he said. "We were just super excited because we've been waiting so long for him."

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