‘We definitely did not plan it!’: Couple celebrates four children born on the same day
The fact that four siblings were born on Sept 6, in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2023, has sparked astonishment among Singaporeans. The children, who are not quadruplets, were all delivered naturally by the same gynaecologist.
Their father, Mr Salihin Ahmad Perbah, a 49-year-old aircraft technician, expressed his surprise and joy to The Straits Times.
“We definitely did not plan for this!” he said, adding that 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.
“It makes us feel together, as one.”
Madam Khairunnisa disclosed to ST that the birth of their fourth child was unexpected as they had planned to stop having children after the birth of their third child in 2015. The couple had to purchase new items for the newborn as those used for their first three children had either been given away or discarded.
Preparations to welcome the newest edition to the family this year was unproblematic said the father of four: “In the past, there were things that might have been missed out… But because we already have experience, we were prepared for the newborn,” he said.
Come Sept 6, there are multiple birthday cakes and multiple guest lists as each child get to plan their own birthday celebration and make a gift request.
Mr Salihin pointed out the advantages of their shared birthday as being easy to remember and money-saving as there is no need to organise birthday celebrations on different days and in separate locations.
The couple extended their gratitude to Dr Jazlan Joosoph, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Raffles Hospital, who had managed all their children’s births. They praised his “excellent service”, patience and words of encouragement.
Dr Jazlan, in response to queries from The Straits Times, stated that it is very uncommon for more than two siblings in a family to share the same birthday, especially when all were 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.
He explained that couples can try to plan the timing of conception, which will then determine the expected time of birth at full-term. However, human reproduction is complex and unpredictable, with a chance of spontaneous conception in one reproductive cycle being about 30 per cent, Dr Jazlan pointed out.
“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,” Dr Jazlan added.