20 March 2011, by Mandy Loh
Who said Singapore’s fertility rate is at an all-time low?
Somehow, ever since I got pregnant, I’ve been hearing wonderful news of other friends who are also pregnant! Amongst our “social group”, consisting of 5-6 close couple friends who meet up almost every weekend to do random things like having high-tea or watching free SSO concerts along the Marina waterfront, we already have 3 pregnant ladies (including myself), and the 4th who is the proud mommy of the cutest 1-year old girl ever.
In my office of less than 30 people, I have a colleague who is about 2 months ahead of me in her pregnancy, and another (recently ex) colleague who became a dad in November last year. Amongst my wider circle of friends, 4 girlfriends are going to have almost the same due date as me, and 3 of these 4 are expecting their second child.
Over the weekend, I visited the Babycare Festival at the Expo, and lo and behold, an entire village of pregnant ladies were out in full force! Of course, one can say that it is only natural that you will see a concentration of pregnant people at such fairs, but at least there’s a crowd! One of our friends even announced today that he was an expectant father this way – by sending Tim an sms asking if we were going for the baby fair!
I’m not too sure which segment of the population was taken as a sample by the Singapore census, but I’m happy to report that the current situation around me seems to indicate a healthier fertility rate than 1.16! Or perhaps it just so happens that my age group and demographic is the “productive” age range of Singaporeans? Unfortunately, times have changed since a couple of decades ago, and most of us (including myself) are having our first child on the wrong side of 30, but hey, at least we’re getting down to it!
Anyway, the great thing about this concurrence of pregnancies amongst close friends is that we know for sure our kids are going to have lots of playmates! We are even joking about how Boubbles, being the “eldest” amongst the 3 babies in the social group, will be bossing the other 2 around!
Jokes aside, it is really awesome to have the support of a close network of friends undergoing the same journey, swopping tips about what we’ve heard about or read, lending each other books on pregnancy and parenting, and discussing the merits of various brands of baby products. When we’re on maternity leave, we’ll also have each other to hang out with (although this may be wishful thinking, in view of how most new mothers hardly have time to do anything other than breastfeed and sleep!)
Perhaps the very best thing about this situation is that the dynamics in the social group will naturally change to accommodate the lifestyle of 3 sets of new parents. Although I’m well aware that there are still 2 non-parent couples in the group that may not appreciate being surrounded by wailing newborns and dirty diapers all the time, but I’m sure we will gradually learn how to balance our social gatherings along the way.
So yeah, Singapore, we’re ok! Lots of babies are on the way!