Local baby 'leaps' into life

by: Marcus Hathcock, Melanie White holds her day-old son, Donovan.

Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center welcomed five babies into the world on Leap Day, Friday, Feb. 29, and one of the new arrivals will call the Sandy area home.

Donovan Alexander White was born at 1:40 p.m. on Leap Day, weighing a healthy 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and measuring 21 inches in length.

Donovan's mother, Melanie White of Alder Creek, says the experience of having her firstborn son has been surreal.

'She was just in awe,' said her grandmother, Irene, surrounded by family members in Melanie's hospital room the day after Donovan's birth. 'She wasn't able to say anything; she just looked up in awe.'

Having Donovan on Leap Day was no surprise to his family; Melanie's due date was always projected to be Feb. 29. It also helped that she was induced into labor that day.

'We do the New Year baby every year, and that's special,' Legacy Mount Hood spokeswoman Amber Shoebridge said. 'Every birth is special to the nurses and staff here, but it's nice to sometimes do something a little special, a little more rare - an every four years sort of thing.'

So since Feb. 29 only appears on the calendar once every four years, will little Donovan's birthdays look like?

'We're going to celebrate his birthday on March 1,' his mother said. Despite the novelty of such a unique birthday, Melanie admits there are positives and negatives to it.

'He's going to see everyone else have their birthdays every year,' she said, noting that it could be strange for Donovan to celebrate his birthday on a day other than the date of his birth.

'But if we stay on the every-four-years thing, it wouldn't be a very good thing for him,' Grandma Irene interjected. Perhaps the party could be bigger every four years, Donovan's family wondered.

Thus far, Donovan has been a happy, healthy baby, and Mom's doing well, too.

'He's really good,' Melanie said of Donovan. 'He hardly ever cries. He's so calm; just a lazy baby.'