(MENAFN - Arab News) When Faiqa, Zahra and Mustafa were born at Mumbai's famous Jaslok Hospital, they were not only the city's first triplets in the millennium, but were the Leap Year day babies too. They were born on Feb. 29, 2000 into the happiness of Hanif Mansoor and Nargis Fathima, the proud parents who live in Jeddah now.
Today, the triplets turn 12 but they had only three birthdays so far! It is a very special moment for Hanif and Nargis who had presented them new dress and chocolates to celebrate the rare occasion. The trio of love has to wait exactly four years to have their birthday fun again.
"We celebrate our birthdays normally on Feb. 28, but the real happiness comes in when it falls on Feb. 29," said the eldest girl Faiqa Hanif, a 7th grade student at International Indian School, Jeddah, like the other two.
Getting triplets is a rare thing, that too on a leap day. It's a double gain, said Hanif Mansoor, the father who is working in Al Nozha Medical Company.
Weighing 2.400 kg, Faiqa was the first baby to be delivered. Two minutes later, Zahra was born weighing 2.140 kg followed by Mustafa at 2.04 kg. They were not identical.
The nurses in the operating theater were looking to see whether it was a boy or girl for each child, Hanif remembered the tensed, but excited moments of the day. The first two were girls and the third a boy came into the world amidst the clapping of the medical staff.
Dr. Manzu Khani and Dr. Khup Chandani, who took care of the surgical process and delivery had a busy time as they were treating the delivered one at one side and expecting the next the other side. There was a team of doctors and paramedical staff to assist them.
The leap year that falls once in every four years limits the chance of getting their birthday every year for children like Faiqa, Zahra and Mustafa. The chance of being born on a Leap Year day is one out of 1461 - about 684 out of a million people are born on Leap Year day - or about 5 million people on the planet, some studies showed.
The oldest set of living triplets born on leap year day are Jane, Jean, and Joan Riker of Pennsylvania who were born on Feb. 29, 1932. Technically, they will be turning 20 in 2012, according to Wikipedia. But seven-year old Zaki, the couple's fourth son might be little envious on the attention given to the triplets on their leap day birthday. Nargis, mother of the triplets and former employee of Maghrabi Eye Hospital in Jeddah had a tough time during her pregnancy, but showed courage and will power, said Mansoor. She was admitted to the hospital one month prior to the delivery, considering the heavy traffic situation in Mumbai city to avoid any last minute intricacy.
"We were actually excited when the first scanning report showed the triplets, but it turned to stress and anxiety when some people said about premature birth, miscarriage and other health hazards. But, everything went well as she completed the 37th week and walked into the surgical theater." The hospital authorities were also thrilled to see the millennium triplets on the leap day.
They disseminated the news of the rare birth only after discharging the babies and mother to avoid difficulties. Once it was reported by some national dailies, people poured in to see the babies, said an overwhelmed Mansoor, who praised the Almighty for what had been given to him, Mansoor said.