Kayla Bakker, a medical-surgical nurse at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers, is one of the few Mercy co-workers with the rare birthdate of Feb. 29, also known as Leap Day. Kayla answered a few questions about what's it's like to be a Leap Day baby. Don't look for her on the floor, as she is taking her birthday off. Happy birthday, Kayla!
How old were you and what was it like when you started to understand your birthday is different?
When I was around 7 or 8 years old, I really started to understand that Feb. 29 only occurred every 4 years. I always celebrated my birthday on Feb. 28 when it wasn't a Leap Year so I never felt left out as a kid.
What is it like having a Leap Day birthday?
Well, If you have three older brothers like I do, the constant jokes get a little old after a while. In all seriousness, I love it! It's an instant conversation starter, and it makes me unique. Also, when it is a Leap Year, I go all out and celebrate because I only get the opportunity every four years.
What would you say to a family having a baby on Leap Day?
I would say congratulations! Having a baby is a wonderful experience, especially having one on Leap Day. Being a Leap Day baby is unique, so get ready for all the questions that will follow from your curious friends and acquaintances.
Any funny stories about things you weren’t able to do or places you weren’t able to get in because of your age or people not understanding Leap Day birthdays?
One instance I can recall vividly was the night of my high school graduation. We went out to a fancy restaurant and my family as well as some of my friends were there. When it was my turn to order, my older brothers broke out my birth certificate and ordered chicken nuggets off the "Kids Under 6" menu on my behalf. It was funny, but I was also mortified. They pulled several of those jokes throughout my childhood.
Surprisingly everyone that I have come across understands Leap Day birthdays. I've never encountered someone that was confused by it.
Read about more Mercy co-workers with Leap Day birthdays here.