If Hong Hui Fang could have it her way, she’d be a mother to three kids now. The Mediacorp actress opened up about her bumpy motherhood journey and how she had once suffered a painful miscarriage at an imaging session for upcoming Channel 8 drama series Babies on Board.
As someone who adores babies (as seen in how she cared for Yvonne Lim and her babies in Taipei), Hui Fang expressed her longing to become a grandmother and have a baby by her side. The mother of two grown up children - 21-year-old Tay Ying and 17-year-old Calvert – would even jokingly tell her relatives to “give me their child” if they felt they were not ready to be parents.
Hui Fang’s love for babies and kids stemmed from her pregnancy struggles, we learned. Her childbirth journey, when she was expecting her eldest child, was not a smooth one, and she was plagued with serious morning sickness which saw her vomiting almost every day for the first three months.
However, she added that that was nothing compared to her second pregnancy with Calvert, which was not easy from the get go.
Doing action scenes while in her second trimester of pregnancy
The actress discovered she was pregnant with Calvert a month into filming Channel 8 period drama, The Legendary Swordsman, in 2000, which she starred alongside her husband and fellow actor Zheng Ge Ping.
To make matters complicated, she was involved in a lot of action scenes and filming was expected to last for six months. Hui Fang, who was still in her first trimester, was caught in a dilemma and had to decide if she should stay on or withdraw from the show for the sake of her unborn child, as she could not disclose news of her pregnancy due to Chinese superstitions.
“In one particular scene, I was required to fight with the villains and get kicked in the stomach. I was even supposed to continue fighting after rolling down a hill,” the 57-year-old said.
The professional actress eventually decided on finishing the drama as she did not want to give up halfway. Her decision came after a compromise was made with the director, who agreed that her stomach area was “off limits” to kicks and punches, and he eventually decided to remove that scene altogether.
However, she still had to do small stunts and minor combat action and recalled prepping her baby for it by silently telling him to “hold on tight, mummy is about to jump now.”
Having to film action scenes while pregnant with Calvert was just the tip of the iceberg, said Hui Fang, as she further revealed how one slip up when she was in labour left her in a great deal of pain.
“After Calvert’s delivery via C-section, I was very dizzy and in a lot of pain so I kept shouting to them. It turned out that the doctors forgot to give me anesthesia so the nurses had no choice but to temporarily use a cloth to cover the wound first while waiting for the doctor to return,” she recalled.
“The pain I experienced was excruciating and I will never forget it.”
(Continued on next page: Hui Fang shares about her miscarriage and her attempts to adopt a third child)
Suffering a miscarriage during her “high-risk” pregnancy
The actress then revealed that she was initially supposed to have a third child at the age of 45-years old, but suffered an unfortunate miscarriage three months into the pregnancy.
“My womb was very weak and I already knew there was a high risk of miscarriage so I had to get injections to strengthen my body almost every day. However, when I went to the doctor’s for a follow-up after three months, they found that my baby had no heartbeat, and I had to go for surgery immediately,” Hui Fang shared.
Till this day, the memory of that incident lingers with her as she could not hold back her emotions, saying that “if he were still here, he would be 12 years old today.”
Despite these setbacks, the determined mother did not give up hope and still tried to fulfil her wish of having more children.
It was only after years of unsuccessful attempts did she consider finding a surrogate, but this was ruled impossible as she did not freeze her eggs when she was younger.
She exhausted all methods and even contacted an adoption agency two years ago but was unable to follow through with the process as the rules stated that individuals above 50 years old were unable to adopt a child.
It seems that Hui Fang’s wish to be surrounded by babies is going to be fulfilled as she will play a single mother who falls in love with a store owner and ultimately gets pregnant in the upcoming Babies on Board.
Babies on Board also stars Jesseca Liu, Tay Ping Hui, Ya Hui and Mei Xin, to name a few.
Babies on Board premieres May 9, 9pm on Channel 8.