Michigan mom delivers second Leap Day baby

Henry Ford hospitals welcome Feb. 29 babies

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | C&G Newspapers | Published March 10, 2016

 Aundreia Staples holds her Leap Day baby, Damon Lester III. Damon was born six weeks early and weighed 4 pounds 14 ounces.

Aundreia Staples holds her Leap Day baby, Damon Lester III. Damon was born six weeks early and weighed 4 pounds 14 ounces.

Photo provided by Henry Ford Health System


WEST BLOOMFIELD/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A Columbus Township family is leaping for joy after welcoming their second child to be born on a Leap Day. 

Evelyn Croff, daughter of Chad and Melissa Croff, was born at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township at 3:06 a.m. Feb 29. She was 6 pounds 9 ounces. Evelyn shares a birthday with her big sister, Eliana, who was born at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital at 3:33 a.m. Feb. 29, 2012. The family lived in Commerce Township at the time of Eliana’s birth.

Both deliveries were natural, and Evelyn was born 10 days past her Feb. 19 due date. 

“I thought for sure (Evelyn) was going to come during the snowstorm a few days before, but nope — she waited,” Melissa said. 

Evelyn was delivered by Maureen Heinz, a nurse midwife at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, who said in a press release that she had never delivered a baby on the same date as an older sibling. 

“It’s quite the miracle,” Heinz said in the press release. “It’s not something they tried or planned to do, and she wasn’t induced. It was all by chance.” 

Evelyn is their miracle baby. The Croffs conceived a baby before Evelyn, but Melissa had a miscarriage. Evelyn, she said, wasn’t planned, and between the miscarriage and trying to conceive, it took them almost a year to have her. 

“I know people are really excited they’re born on the same day. … We’re just really excited to have a second girl,” Melissa said.

Melissa was scheduled to be induced March 3, but Evelyn had other plans. 

Melissa said that her delivery team wasn’t aware that Eliana had also been born on a Leap Day until Melissa was in labor. She said she asked Heinz what time it was, but Heinz told her not to focus on the time. It was then that Chad told Heinz that Eliana had been born at 3:33 a.m. four years ago. 

“That’s when it got a little louder in the room, and they said you don’t have to wait until 3:33 a.m. to push this one out,” Melissa said, thanking Heinz for keeping her from watching the clock. 

Eliana loves being a big sister, and before Evelyn was born, Melissa and Chad would tell Eliana that as soon as her birthday comes, she would have a little sister. But they never imagined the two would share the same special Leap Day birthday, Melissa said. 

“When I was carrying Evelyn, (Eliana) would say, ‘This is my baby. Mommy’s just carrying the baby,’” Melissa said. 

For the past three years, the Croffs have picked the Saturday closest to Eliana’s birthday to celebrate, and Melissa said they’ll pick a day each year for Evelyn. But every four years, they plan on throwing a large party for the girls on Leap Day, she said.

Henry Ford Health System also welcomed a Leap Day baby at the West Bloomfield hospital this year. 

Doctors delivered Damon Christopher Lester III at 3:40 a.m. Feb. 29. Damon was six weeks early and weighed 4 pounds 14 ounces. Being premature, he spent time in the special nursery at the hospital, and when he was ready to go home, Sally Ann Brown, senior public relations specialist for the hospital, said he would be joining his 4-year-old brother and 2-year-old sister at their home in Redford.