You may know George Young from Mediacorp Channel 5’s game show “Million Dollar Money Drop” back in 2011, but the British-Chinese actor-host will soon be cradling something far more exciting.
The 37-year-old FLY Entertainment artiste, is expecting his first child in October with his bubbly Taiwanese-American TV personality wife, Janet Hsieh, 37. The couple tied the knot in an exotic wedding destination Antarctica in January 2015.
Young has been busy with auditions and meetings in Los Angeles, as well as shooting a movie in New York with Hsieh, but he adds, “Project Baby has been steadily growing and becoming more of the focus with each passing week.”
The glowing mum-to-be hasn’t taken a back seat either ― Hsieh has been busy working and filming movies, doing a bunch of commercials, as well as launching a web show and a small business. Nor does she intend to take too long a break after baby comes as she’s keen to “continue traveling and working”.
One thing they both agree on is that they want to spend as much time together as possible before baby comes. Hsieh adds that she’s trying to get through the pregnancy in one healthy piece and not focus too much on the future. “Either that’s a genius thing to do, or we’re going to be so overwhelmed with parenthood that we’re both going to go crazy,” she laughs.
Between their jet-setting lifestyle and busy schedules, the celeb pair fills SmartParents in on their baby prep details!
Hi George and Janet, thanks for talking to SmartParents! How do you feel at this point in the pregnancy?
Janet: I’ve been so, so lucky (knock on wood!) with the lack of vomiting during the first and second trimesters. I’d say the biggest thing that has been happening and which is currently keeping me awake at night are horrible calf cramps ― my whole leg will spasm for anywhere from a few seconds to minutes! It’s quite painful and I’ve cried because of it. Oh, and I sometimes accidentally pee when I sneeze now.
And you, George ― are you prepared for fatherhood?
George: There’s basically an analog dial display in my head. On one end there’s the word “Excitement” and the other there’s “Panic”, and the measuring hand swings wildly back and forth between the two.
When is baby expected to arrive, and do you know the baby’s gender?
George: Our baby’s due in the first week of October, and yes we’re keeping the baby’s sex a secret from everybody...including ourselves! We decided in the first trimester that we would like to keep it a surprise as there’re not that many surprises as wonderful as hearing “it’s a girl!” or “it’s a boy!” when a child enters this world. So, we’ve told the doctor no spoilers please, thank you.
There’re not that many surprises as wonderful as hearing “it’s a girl!” or “it’s a boy!” when a child enters this world.
Aren’t you curious at all?
George: Well, we love hearing everyone’s guesses, and we love trying to figure it out ourselves through various and completely unscientific means. Janet and I both have a feeling it’s a boy... I’m sure it’ll be our kid’s first of many times proving us wrong.
Janet: I’m secretly hoping for a baby girl but shhhh…don’t tell the baby that!
George: When we’ve said that we’re not going to find out the sex of the baby, some people have replied, “How are you going to know what colour to paint the nursery? Or what colour clothes to give it? Blue or Pink?” Um… colours are not gender-specific! I love the colour pink, and Janet loves blue!
Have you thought about names yet?
Janet: ACKKKK!!! Names are soooo hard to choose and we have to choose not just one, but actually four names. Boy and girl names, in both English and Chinese!
George: As our child will be a quarter Greek, we thought maybe we’d give him or her a name that has some connection to his Greek roots. Not Hercules or anything (Hercules! Hercules!), but we’re currently making lists that incorporate Greek origins.
So, what do you call bubba when you talk about him or her now?
Janet: Our current nickname for the baby is “Zipper”. My 9-year-old nephew confidently waltzed in one day while the family was discussing potential baby names, and basically said “Uh… Duh! Its name is Zipper.” and then he waltzed away like a boss.
That’s hilarious! Tell us about your initial reactions when you discovered you were pregnant.
Janet: George and I just stared at each other for a few minutes in a mixture of excitement and shock. I think we may have gotten nervous giggles at one point.
George: I think each of us were thinking “wow, sh*t just got real”. For me, so many things were running through my head: We need to sort out insurance and make sure maternity’s covered, we travel so much that we need to figure out which part of the planet we’re having the baby, amongst a roster of other panic, sweat-inducing thoughts.
Janet: The sudden realisation of the incredible pressure of parenthood, combined with our lack of preparation hit us pretty hard. I had a feeling I was pregnant because my period was already late, but still, seeing those two blue lines was really impactful.
I think each of us were thinking “wow, sh*t just got real”.
Are you “baby people” then?
Janet: I am so not a baby person! I do not go goo-goo-ga-ga over babies. Puppies, yes. Babies, no. I am looking forward to seeing what a George-Janet creation will look like and what kind of personality he or she will have, but the day-to-day diaper changing, feeding, crying, not sleeping, worrying about everything bit… I am not particularly looking forward to all that.
George: Every time someone hands me a baby, I’m absolutely terrified that the responsibility of protecting it from any harm is bestowed upon me, however temporary that may be. I also think in my head “oh great, I’m the one who’s going to make it cry, please don’t cry, mini-human”.
Uh oh, what now then?
George: I don’t think any of us are prepared for having a child of our own until it happens to us. When this responsibility of protecting and nurturing a child falls onto me for a lifelong term, I’ll have to be a baby person. And although I’m not ready for it, like all new experiences, I’m willing to learn.
So, Janet, we hear one of your major cravings during pregnancy is watermelon…
Janet: Fruit of any kind really, but yeah, watermelon, hummus, avocados, tomatoes, pickles. And did I mention watermelon? George has made sure to keep a fridge stocked full of fruit and most importantly, he has learnt to understand the urgency of which I need to eat now. It’s no longer a joke when I say I need to eat NOW.
I suppose you’re at Janet’s beck and call then, George?
George: I know from friends and films that pregnant people tend to have cravings, but I didn’t realise that the baby inside you literally possesses you and controls the mother’s mouth and voice in the style of a possessed person. One time, Janet and I were on a couch talking about a script or TV series, when suddenly she looks at me ― her eyes wide and expression blank ― and out of her mouth comes this voice I’ve never heard before that quietly and slowly utters, “Waterrrmeeeeloon”. Turns out, she suddenly needed watermelon. I honestly think the baby has levers in there, and is controlling Janet from the inside out.
How else have you fallen into your role of dad-to-be?
George: Well, my job is to ensure those cravings are satisfied, and to help get everything in place. Also, things like dealing with the insurance people, helping to book the hospital and gynae appointments, house viewings and driving her around, to making sure I’m all read up on the symptoms, so I know whatever she’s experiencing is normal or otherwise, to remind her that I’m always here for her, and to make sure she follows the advice of the doctors nutrition- and exercise-wise. Oh, and she hates it whenever I remind her to take her prenatal vits!
“I honestly think the baby has levers in there, and is controlling Janet from the inside out.”
Let’s talk about seeing your baby on the ultrasound scan for the first time ― what was that like?
Janet: We didn’t think we would hear its heartbeat so early on, since we went to the doctor quite early to check. It was surreal and I could tell that it really affected George. I think reality really hit him when we heard that heartbeat.
George: At just around 10 weeks into the pregnancy, when the baby’s the size of a strawberry, to hear its tiny heart beating? It was incredible. We have a recording of that heartbeat somewhere. I wanted to use it as my ringtone, but we’ve decided to keep it as a more treasured memory.
Tell us about the first time you felt your baby move.
Janet: Man, that was weird! I thought I had gas. But then, I didn’t fart. And then I could feel these “bubbles” in my gut that kind of moved around from one location to the next. It was quite bizarre, but super fun! Now, Zipper is kicking away all the time.
George: I remember Janet saying “oooooh” when she first thought she felt the baby move. She said it felt like butterflies in her tummy. I didn’t feel the baby kicking and punching until a week or so later. I first I had my hand there on Janet’s bump, and then I had my head pressed against it, only to have my child hit me in the face. It was a light bump, but I’m still considering pressing charges.
Janet, tell us, what are the best things about being pregnant?
Janet: People are so, so, so nice to you! You are way more in touch with certain emotions and you have a greater appreciation for things and people around you. And of course, you don’t have to suck in your stomach after eating anymore [laughs].
Do you have a birth plan ― are you doing anything to prepare for labour?
Janet: I hope to have a natural birth, but the health of the baby comes first, and I’m going to listen to what the doctor says! I am doing Kegel exercises, pelvic-strengthening exercises, and soon, I will start to take birthing classes to learn how to breathe and whatnot. Also, naps, naps, naps, and naps.
Okay, so have you guys talked about splitting diaper duties? What about middle-of-the-night feeds?
Janet: If I’m going to be producing milk like a cow and feeding this baby, then George gets to clean up the baby poo. It’s only fair, right? I think we will both be waking up in the middle of the night though. Me, to feed. George, because he will want to check to make sure the baby is breathing every other second. I’m sure we will have many a sleepless night.
“We’ve never even had a pet cactus before, so honestly, I have no idea what we’re going to be like until we’re thrown into the situation.”
Who is going to be the parent who “spoils” the child, and who will be the disciplinarian?
George: I think Janet and I will be the Spoiler and Disciplinarian in different aspects of our child’s life. I think I’ll spoil the child in some ways ― like toys and video games ― and be the disciplinarian when it comes to video game hours versus homework hours. After all, I’m the one who’ll end up buying him or her the Nintendo Switch 3000, or whatever it’ll be called in a few years.
Janet: We’ve never even had a pet cactus before, so honestly, I have no idea what we’re going to be like until we’re thrown into the situation. I think I’ll be the more relaxed “let it go” kind of parent who doesn’t mind if our baby eats off the floor, but who knows. Once it pops out, I may turn into a Tiger Mum.
What parenting skills do you bring to the table, George?
George: I wouldn’t want to presume anything here, as I know being a parent is unknown territory until you get there. One thing I can try to give to him or her is the British accent, and to ensure that our child doesn’t have Madonna’s hybrid British-American accent. So... I could be our child’s dialect coach?
And Janet, what do you hope for baby to inherit from you?
Janet: I hope our baby inherits my sense of curiosity and adventure, my interest in people, music and languages. I hope our baby inherits George’s wit, sense of humour and, of course, good looks and British accent!
Photos:@instageorgey and @janetagram
You may like…