SINGAPORE – The fact that four siblings were born on Sept 6 – in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2023 – has sparked astonishment among Singaporeans. The children, three girls and a boy – were all delivered naturally by the same gynaecologist.
Their father, Mr Salihin Ahmad Perbah, a 49-year-old aircraft technician, spoke of his surprise and joy, saying: “We definitely did not plan for this.”
He and his wife, Madam Khairunnisa Abdul Karim, a 39-year-old housewife, consider it a blessing to celebrate all their children’s birthdays on the same day, he said. “It makes us feel together, as one.”
Madam Khairunnisa said that their fourth child was unexpected, as they had planned to stop having children after the birth of their third child in 2015. They had to buy new items for the newborn girl as those used for their first three children had either been given away or discarded.
They had no problems making preparations for the newest edition to the family, said Mr Salihin. “In the past, we might have been missed out on some things, but because we already have the experience, we were prepared for the newborn.”
He pointed out the advantages of their shared birthday – it is easy to remember and money-saving as there is no need to hold birthday celebrations on different days at various places.
Every Sept 6, there are multiple birthday cakes and multiple guest lists as each child gets to plan his own birthday celebration and make a gift request.
The couple said they are grateful to Dr Jazlan Joosoph, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Raffles Hospital, who managed the births of all their children. They praised his “excellent service”, patience and words of encouragement.
Dr Jazlan said it is uncommon for more than two siblings in a family to share the same birthday, especially when all are born by natural birth.
While a caesarean birth can be planned to a certain extent, within safe limits, a natural birth depends on the onset of spontaneous labour, which can be variable and unpredictable.
Couples can try to plan the timing of conception, which will then determine the expected time of birth at full term, he said. However, human reproduction is complex and unpredictable, with the chance of spontaneous conception in one reproductive cycle being about 30 per cent, he added.
“I believe not many gynaecologists in their whole career can proudly declare that they have delivered more than two babies in a family sharing the same birthday. I am very happy and blessed to have been given this very rare opportunity,” he said.
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