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A birthdate to remember

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

It doesn't take Gracie McDonald long to tell visitors her baby brother's name.

"Brantley James," 4-year-old Gracie said matter-of-factly Wednesday evening as the newborn lay in his mother's arms, barely 12 hours old.

As she grows older, that number 12 will be something Gracie surely remembers, too.

Brantley was the first baby born Wednesday at Hays Medical Center. Coming into the world two days before his due date gave Brantley the distinction of having a 12-12-12 birthdate.

Jeff and Erin Pfeifer said they hadn't really thought of the significance of the date because they weren't due until Friday.

But when Erin's water broke at approximately 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, she said she looked at her husband and said, "What day is it? Oh, my gosh, it's 12-12."

It's the last time for nearly 100 years a same-number sequence will be possible -- Jan. 1, 2101, will be the next.

The Pfeifers said they were hearing all kinds of stories Wednesday about people getting married on that date and expectant mothers even being induced so their baby could have 12-12-12 as his or her birthdate.

That date wasn't that big of a deal to the Pfeifers. Until Wednesday.

None of Brantley's vital statistics add up to 12. He was born at 5:38 a.m., weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19.75 inches long. No matter -- 12 now is the family's new favorite number.

"I think you should go buy a Powerball ticket, Jeff," said Erin's dad, Glenn Dinkel from Victoria, who was visiting his new grandson along with his wife, Paula. "And be sure to pick number 12."

Gracie was oblivious to what all the fuss was about. She's just ready to get her new brother home and into his own bed, where he will share a bedroom with big sis.

All Gracie has wanted for Christmas, she said, was a baby brother -- and, oh yeah, an iPad.

"He's cute, huh? Definitely is cute," asked his proud sister, adding, "Don't wake him because he'll cry, and he can cry."

Before Wednesday, the Pfeifers weren't partial to any particular number except for maybe 74. That was Grandpa Dinkel's jersey number when Victoria won its first state football title in 1981. But don't expect Brantley to wear it.

"Oh, no," Glenn said, nodding at his grandson. "His number has got to be 12."