‘Eww, why does he look like that?’ Zoe Tay thought her baby appeared ‘weird’ at birth


The bond between mother and child is said to be the most unbreakable in the world. But for some, instead of love at first sight, you get bewilderment after giving birth.

In the finale of actress Rebecca Lim’s meWATCH show With Love, Becks, actress Zoe Tay confessed she didn’t know how to be a mother at first.

“When the nurse handed me my baby after the birth, I was shocked,” the 54-year-old said. “My first thought was, ‘Eww, why does he look like that?’ Honestly, he looked weird.”

She continued: “The media was there at the time, so my baby was passed around. They returned him to me because he pooped and I rejected them in a panic, ‘Ah, hold him!’”

With Love, Becks sees Rebecca, 36, inviting six married female personalities — Fann Wong, Xiang Yun, Zoe Tay, Jesseca Liu, Annette Lee and Minister of State Sun Xueling — to discuss marriage, relationships and life, following her own engagement.

In her episode, Zoe recalled her birth experience with her first son Brayden, now 17.

“My husband flew home on the night of the birth,” she said. “I’d already given birth, so he wasn’t there.”

Her husband, Republic of Singapore Air Force pilot Philip Chionh, was often away for work, so Zoe’s companions in the delivery room were her friends, fellow actresses Pan Lingling and Hong Huifang.

“I had the intravenous (IV) drip in one hand, and Huifang had the other one, telling me, ‘Jiayou (press on), push!’”

Zoe was screaming in pain, not due to the birthing process, but because Huifang was pressing down on a nerve in her hand, as she humorously recalled.

Even after having her baby home for two weeks, Zoe said she wasn’t “used to him”.

“He felt really foreign, like, ‘Who is that?’”

Rebecca doesn’t want to be the ‘bad cop’

Despite her initial hiccups with motherhood, Zoe — who has three sons — has a lot of parenting advice to give to Rebecca.

Rebecca had noticed the trend of mums being seen as the “bad cops” and dads as the “good cops” among her friends.

“Every time we head out for dinner, it’s very clear the children stick to their dad. They don’t want to be with their mothers,” she said. “I don’t want that to happen to me.”

Zoe advised Rebecca to tell her future child when they’re older: “Your dad and I make every decision for your own benefit. 

“You might not think it’s the best decision, but this is my first time being a mother and you’re my first child, this is your first time with a mother.

“Both of us are learning. If things aren’t going well, and you have ideas on what might work, then tell me and I’ll adjust things.”

Zoe reckoned that, through these open conversations, Rebecca’s future child would see sense in her parenting choices.

ALSO READ: Zoe Tay reveals mum has dementia, shares how she and her children care for her


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