First Leap Day Baby at Mercy Springfield

February 29, 2020

When Kyli Fultz came to Mercy Hospital Springfield to be induced Thursday afternoon, she figured she’d have a baby pretty soon.

But after laboring until early Saturday morning, the doctor advised Kyli it was time for a C-section. She barely knew what day it was, let alone that her baby was about to have a unique birthday.

Westonn Waylon Woods was born at 2:59 a.m. on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2020. He weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces.

Westonn-Leapling-web Westonn Waylon Woods, Mercy Springfield's first Leap Day baby of 2020.

“We didn’t even think about the fact that it was the 29th,” said Westonn’s dad, Julius Woods. “Now we’re wondering when to celebrate his birthday. Do you do it on the 28th or March 1st?”

Fultz-Woods-Family-web Kyli Fultz and Julius Woods with their newborn son, Westonn. He's a rare "Leap Day" baby.

For the answer to that, here’s some advice from Mercy Springfield OB-GYN Dr. Charles Albritton. A fellow “leaping,” he may be 32 years old, but he’s only had 8 actual birthdays.

“I fall into the camp that would always celebrate on Feb. 28; it never felt right celebrating outside the month of February,” Dr. Albritton said.

charles-albritton-leap-day-2020 Dr. Charles Albritton, Mercy OB-GYN and Leap Day baby himself, celebrates his "8th" birthday in 2020 with co-workers.

He encourages Fultz and Woods to embrace the uniqueness of their son’s birthday. “It’s a great ice-breaker and you can have a lot of fun with it,” he said. “It’s a great excuse to throw an extra big party every four years.”

Albritton-Patient-web Dr. Charles Albritton checks the pregnancy progress of a Mercy patient.

Fultz and Woods agree. “I think maybe we’ll have two parties every year,” Fultz said. “He’s just such a blessing, and his unusual birthday makes him even more special.”

For an idea of just how rare it is to have a Leap Day birthday, of more than 45,000 Mercy employees, Dr. Albritton and 33 others are Mercy’s only co-workers who have that claim to fame.