Less than a week after welcoming his baby daughter with Joanne Peh, Qi Yuwu resumed filming for Ch8 blockbuster drama The Dream Makers 2 this morning (Aug 12). Speaking to Toggle for the first time since he became a father, the 38-year-old admitted that he lacks sleep but is holding up well.
During the interview, Yuwu revealed that his daughter was born around noon last Friday and that she weighed 3.2kg at birth. Although the couple has already came up with names for ‘baby Qi’, they are not ready to disclose them just yet. However, the actor added that he was the one who thought of her English name while Joanne decided on the Chinese one.
Unlike most celebrity couples, Yuwu and Joanne chose to share the good news via handwritten notes on Saturday night. “Before the baby was born, we were told to prepare press releases. But we both thought that the birth of our child is something very personal and press releases are usually very formal,” Yuwu explained.
“We shouldn’t just be sharing figures– that would feel like a mission and it would be quite meaningless. We wanted to express more of our feelings. Most people don’t write anymore, but both of us enjoy [doing it].”
Joanne is currently taking care of their newborn daughter at home, with the assistance of a confinement nanny. Besides their female friend who helped record Joanne’s delivery process, only a few of the couple’s close pals have met the baby girl so far.
Read on for more of Yuwu’s experience as a first-time father.
Toggle: Tell us how you felt watching the entire delivery process.
Yuwu: As a husband and a father, it was an unforgettable experience. You don’t get many opportunities in life to go through that. I was very touched and I felt sorry for Joanne as there wasn’t much that I could do to relieve her pain besides giving moral support, so I felt quite helpless.
It was unbelievable – how she grew from a pea-sized fetus to a fully grown baby. Joanne was the first to hold our daughter, I carried her much later. Cradling her in my arms, there is a sense of familiarity as I have been talking to her for the past 10 months. But at the same time, everything felt very new. It’s an amazing feeling. I don’t know how to describe it.
Why didn’t Joanne accept epidural?
She read up on it before giving birth. Actually, she is very open to the idea of epidural. She had planned to decide according to the situation. [After delivering the baby] she told me that she had wanted to accept epidural at one point because it was too painful, but she thought that since she had held on for long, it’d be a waste if she gave up so she hung on to the very end. When Joanne saw the baby looking so energetic, she felt very proud and contented, and that all the pain was worth it. I’m happy too. I’d support her, no matter what she chose to do.
So the umbilical cord was personally cut by you? Were you nervous about it?
No. It was a very moving moment. It’s like I completed the final step to welcome her into this world.
When did you know about the baby’s gender? How did you prepare to welcome the birth of your daughter?
We knew about it quite long ago. There’s a way to find out the baby’s gender via blood test. I don’t have a preference for the baby’s gender, since it’s my child anyway. And I’m not under pressure to have a boy, so I was very happy to know that it’s going to be a girl.
Joanne doesn’t like overly girly stuff, but she did buy some dresses. We were quite secretive when we went to shop for the baby’s clothes (laughs).
Joanne went through 10 months of pregnancy and 16 hours of labour pain. Are you planning to give her a push present?
I’d still treat her like I normally do. We are not the type to do such ceremonial stuff.
How has being a first-time dad been like?
I didn’t think too much about it before this, because I believe that many things will be unexpected. And that is exactly what’s happening. There are stuff that you have to experience before knowing how things are like, such as the baby’s habits and what she wants [when she behaves in a certain way].
You have returned to work less than a week after your baby is born. Don’t you want to spend more time with her?
I did think of applying for leave. But they booked this chapel for quite a sum of money beforehand, so I didn’t want to affect the whole production team. When I finish this [wedding] scene, I would apply for a few days of leave. During filming breaks, I do miss my baby and think about how she is doing. After all, she is a newborn and we are all still trying to adapt.
(You will be heading to Australia for filming in September and there are work plans in Beijing later this year. What are you doing to do about this separation anxiety?)
I don’t know (laughs). See how it goes.
Any plans to bring the baby to your hometown in Guangzhou?
We will probably go back during Chinese New Year.
Has Joanne talked about resuming work?
She would need some time to readjust. From what I know, she will return to work soon as she is hosting a programme about maternity. As for dramas, she is looking for one that she truly wants to participate in. To be honest, she has acted in so many dramas in the past, even those that didn’t really appeal to her. Now she will be more selective in choosing her jobs. We will also try to arrange our work schedules so that at least one of us would be at home to look after the baby.
The Dream Makers 2 debuts December 4, Channel 8 at 9pm. You can also catch up on the first season of The Dream Makers here.
It’s a girl! Joanne Peh & Qi Yuwu welcome ‘baby Qi’
The Dream Makers 2: Of weddings & babies
Coming Soon: Rui En’s debut dance performance in a drama
The Dream Makers 2 gets real with the Star Awards
Sticky situations 101 with The Dream Makers 2 cast
Disfigured but not defeated: Rui En’s new challenge in The Dream Makers 2
First look at The Dream Makers 2