Tay Kewei may be in her third trimester, but this busy mum-to-be isn’t going to let her baby bump slow her down one second. Not only is the Cross Ratio Entertainment artiste designing her new apartment, she is documenting it on her YouTube channel.
Kewei, 34, who got her Mando pop break singing backing vocals for mega-artistes like David Tao and A-Mei, is married to fellow local singer, Alfred Sim, 36, Mediacorp Channel U’s Project Superstar 2014 winner. The couple got hitched in 2015, after a nine-year courtship, which culminated in an elaborate proposal that involved 40 friends and family members, plus a live band. By the way, all this has been captured for posterity.
Flash forward to today, the couple will be delivering their first bundle of joy in late September, just a couple of weeks after moving into their new home. Unlike many homeowners, renovating their dream home — a private apartment in central Singapore — has been more gratifying than challenging. Kewei notes. “I’m absolutely enjoying the process, having to make so many decisions in such a short time, and hoping everything will turn out well!”
The vivacious artiste is pretty pantang (superstitious in Malay), too. “We're well aware of the superstitions about pregnant women not being at construction sites, nor be exposed to knocking or painting of walls. So I’ve steered clear of the place, only visiting on weekends when there is no construction going on.”
“Most people who see me comment that I look radiant with the pregnancy glow and it makes me really, really happy to hear that!”
Kewei notes that her pregnancy has been a rewarding learning journey for herself and her husband, especially since motherhood was never on the cards. “I don't think I am a naturally maternal sort of person but…the idea has slowly sunk in and we are now definitely planning for the baby!”
Needless to say, the singer is thrilled whenever she anticipates what life will be like with her little one. “I feel like this is one of the biggest adventures we will go through as a couple.”
However, she prefers to stay mum (pun intended) for now on the future mini-Sim’s gender though she knows what it is. “I can’t imagine not knowing, not being able to imagine or picture your child without knowing the gender…we’ll reveal it soon,” she laughs.
SmartParents cosies up to glowing singer to get the lowdown on her pregnancy cravings, confinement plans, and if we’ll ever see her cherub on social media…
Congrats on your pregnancy! How’s it going?
I've been very lucky! My baby's been good to me, and up till six months, I put on about 9kg, but it didn’t really show on my face or limbs! Most people who see me comment that I look radiant with my pregnancy glow and it makes me really, really happy to hear that!
Received any advice on life after your baby?
My parents and in-laws are pretty chill about giving advice ― I think they just look forward to taking on their new roles as grandparents! I love discussing their experiences with my mummy pals and learning from their stories ― there’s an endless stream of them! From breastfeeding and sleep-training tips, which baby products are useful, which are unnecessary ― this is all good advice.
Have you and Alfred settled on a name for your little one?
We have a nickname for the baby that's meant as a joke… We call it 什么 (Shen Mo) for now — in Mandarin it means “what?” Otherwise we haven’t thought of a name.
How has Alfred been throughout the pregnancy?
He's been very supportive and sweet as usual, sometimes indulging me when I need a teh tarik fix, sometimes stopping me from eating the wrong food ― to my annoyance. He's also been working harder than ever to make more money for our kid!
How about yourself? Seen any changes?
I don't think [my pregnancy has] brought out any major changes in me, as my lifestyle has remained the same. But, I've been researching a lot about financial management, in preparation for the major changes in our life, so I’m definitely learning and maturing as a responsible adult every day. [Laughs]
Other than attending prenatal classes, how are you preparing for the birth of your child?
We took time out for a babymoon even though we could hardly find time, and I'm really glad we did! It was a fuss-free getaway at Club Med Bintan, where the all-day free flow of food and drinks made a pregnant woman like me so happy! [Laughs]
“He's been very supportive and sweet as usual, sometimes indulging me when I need a teh tarik fix.”
Any pregnancy cravings?
I don't have any specific cravings at ungodly hours, but I've definitely developed a sweet tooth and love ice cream and chocolates!
As a celeb, being fit and looking fashionable is part of the job. How do you deal with the pressures of looking good?
Now that you are pregnant, what do you do to keep in shape?
I've been going for weekly prenatal yoga classes, which I love and look forward to every week! My body is changing fast. I've gained almost 12 kg in the past eight months and even though I'm going through similar routines each week, I have to adapt and learn how to adjust my changing body to the routines. It also helps to know that I’m keeping active and strengthening myself, and that will help in a smoother labour and faster recovery process. After all, labour is a really physically intensive process!
I've also been swimming — once or twice a week if I can find the time — as it really helps to relieve swollen feet! The languid swims and weightless stretches makes me feel great.
How have you been preparing for delivery and labour?
I've been reading a little about labour and hearing stories about hypnotherapy, breathing exercises, but recently I find all these information a little too overwhelming, so I’ve stopped reading. It's always good to have more information though.
Any fears or concerns about life with your newborn?
Are you all prepared for confinement?
I've engaged a confinement nanny, booked my massage lady, and I will also have a helper in my new home, so I’m quite prepared to take things easy ― I really want to recover properly. Everyone says I need to get as much rest as possible.
Have you been reading up on anything in particular about parenting or are you going with the flow?
I'm currently just reading up on how to get through the first three months. Topics like how to breastfeed properly, develop a sleep schedule and making sure we survive these few months together. Parenting and discipline tips are definitely shelved for the future ― for now.
“Alfred didn’t come from a musical background. So, I always wonder, maybe our kid might turn out entirely different from us?”
What kind of mother would you say you’ll make — a fun or a strict one?
A bit of both, I guess!
Do you wish for baby shen mo to become a musician like daddy and mummy?
Yes, it will be nice! But then again, Alfred didn’t come from a musical background. So, I always wonder, maybe our kid might turn out entirely different from us?
How about becoming an athlete like daddy?
Sure! Our kid should be active and fit just like him!
What will be the first instrument baby shen mo will learn to play?
The ukulele, piano or drum, I'm open!
Will fans still be able to hear new tunes from you anytime soon after you deliver?
We have actually just released a duet 以为的以为 “Yi Wei De Yi Wei” for Mediacorp Channel 8’s blockbuster drama When Duty Calls. Also, I have already been booked for a gig on 3 November, so I would need to sing then, no matter what!
As artistes, social media is a very big part of you and Alfred’s lives. Ever afraid you’re sharing too much about yourselves online?
There’s a grey line for sure, but at the moment I think we are managing all right.
When baby shen mo comes along, will you be posting your baby’s photos?
I guess we are comfortable with showing the baby’s face! I’m still thinking if I should open an Instagram account for the kid. [Guffaws]
Are you still set on having two kids?
Two will be great! We’ll decide if we want more after that! [Laughs]
Photos: Tay Kewei
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