Leap into life

LIHU‘E — Ajani and Kanya Beachem were forerunners of things to come on Kaua‘i on Leap Day, Wednesday.

Seven little bundles of joy greeted the island on Feb. 29, Leap Day, and people were talking about their parents having three years to save up for babys’ first lu‘au.

Ajani and Kanya Beachem, twins born to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Beachem of Kapa‘a, were the first to herald the special day. They were born at G.N. Wilcox Memorial Hospital’s Maternity Department, along with three other babies who arrived before the calendar turned into March.

A nursing supervisor at the Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital said the Westside birthing center marked the day with one birth and Claudia Brown, a certified nurse-midwife at Homebirth Kaua‘i, said a baby was born at its birthing center an hour before Kaua‘i greeted the new month.

Following the arrival of the Beachem twins, a boy and a girl weighing in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces and 4 pounds, 8 ounces, arrived just before 7 a.m. Daniel and Arlene Collins of Lihu‘e, and their daughter Rhainee, 6, welcomed Rhainee’s little brother, Daniel Jaxon “DJ” Keona Goodwin Collins shortly after 3 p.m., DJ tipping the scales at 6 pounds, 6.8 ounces.

“She was scheduled for later in the month, but we came in at six in the morning and based on her dilation, the doctor kept us,” Daniel said. “And now, we have DJ.”

Francisco and Maritta Rudolf welcomed Marson Annuk Frances Rudolf just minutes after 4 p.m., weighing in at 9 pounds, 5 ounces and measuring more than 21 inches long.

Casey Quel, the interim publisher at The Garden Island, and Brian Fitchett of the newspaper’s sales department, rounded out the Wilcox Hospital arrivals when Maverick Michael Pacifico Fitchett arrived just before 10:30 p.m., entering the world at 8 pounds, 5.6 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches with a full head of hair.

A nurse in the Wilcox Hospital Maternity Department, whose neighbor had a Leap Day baby, said most babies are born on Leap Day celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 28. But Tessie Mancia, another nurse in the department, argued the birthdays could be celebrated on either Feb. 28 or March 1.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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