Actress Kate Pang hosts Star Awards just days after miscarriage

She lost her baby just two weeks ago.

But Taiwan-born MediaCorp actress-host Kate Pang has picked herself up and moved on.

The 32-year-old - who has an 11-month-old son Aden with local actor Andie Chen, 30 - was thrilled to find out she was pregnant in late March.

However, her happiness was short-lived.

She suffered a miscarriage in between her hosting gigs - at Star Awards Show 1 on April 19 and Show 2 on April 26 - when she was four weeks pregnant.

Pang told The New Paper over the phone in Mandarin yesterday: "I was very, very sad when I found out from the doctor at the clinic. I started crying to myself. I am sure every mum would feel sad upon hearing such news."

When she broke the sad news to her husband over the phone, Chen, who was filming a TV drama at that time, burst into tears.

Chen told TNP in a separate interview: "I was very sad because Kate and I were very excited and planning to welcome another member into the family.

"I walked off the (film) set to pick up Kate's call and I just cried after that."

Hoped for 'miracle'

The celeb couple revealed that the doctor had told them in late March that things weren't "looking good" as he could not see the baby clearly from the scans, but they remained optimistic.

Pang recalled: "The doctor said it wasn't dangerous, so we were hoping for a miracle. We thought we would wait for a few more weeks and observe to see if the baby would grow."

However, Pang started bleeding a few days after Star Awards Show 1.

She went to the doctor and was told that she had to undergo an operation to remove the foetus as it was no longer developing and the umbilical cord had shrunk.

Chen took time off filming to send his wife to the hospital for surgery before rushing back to continue with the shoot.

"I feel a strong sense of guilt towards Kate. I feel responsible and I feel the need to take care of her as she is going through this emotional stress," Chen said.

"I wish I could share this physical pain with her."

Ever the professional, Pang bounced back from the ordeal and went on to host Star Awards Show 2, putting on her best smile.

She said she wasn't affected while carrying out her duties, adding: "When I am doing my work, I forget about my personal problems. However, I was very physically tired on that day as I just had the surgery a few days earlier."

Hesitant to share

Chen and Pang dealt with their loss by talking about it with each other openly.

Initially, Chen was hesitant to share the news with the media as he felt that it was a very "private and personal matter".

Pang, however, saw no harm in discussing the issue as she was told by the doctor that miscarriages are not uncommon.

She said matter-of-factly: "I know there are many mothers out there who are sad about losing their babies. I want to use my experience as an optimistic way of encouraging these mums and letting them know that it's nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.

"Andie and I also talked about it between ourselves in a relaxed manner, and life goes on.

"I think the hardest part is breaking the news to family members as they might be disappointed."

The couple's biggest takeaway from the experience - this pregnancy was unplanned - was that it has made Chen even more determined to be a father again.

Chen, who initially wasn't keen on having a second child, said: "It made me very sure that I want to have one more baby to make the family complete. I may complain that it's very tough and that I'm very tired, but I know that when it happens, we will feel very happy."

"For now, we will focus on nursing Kate's health, and then think about our next child."

Doctor: Husbands must be supportive

Women who suffer from miscarriages should never blame themselves, said consultant psychiatrist Dr Adrian Wang.

He told The New Paper yesterday that miscarriage causes a reaction of grief in the expectant mother, and the severity will depend on how far along the pregnancy is and the woman's personality and ability to cope with grief.

"Things could get worse if the mother blames herself for not taking good care of the baby. In severe cases, the grief can develop into full-blown depression," Dr Wang said.

"The husband has an important role in helping his wife to cope. He needs to be more patient and be there for her. He needs to reassure her that it was nobody's fault that the miscarriage happened."

'Talk to people'

Dr Wang added: "She has to give herself time and talk to people, talk to doctors or counsellors.

"She shouldn't be in a hurry to get pregnant again and should make sure that she is physically, mentally and emotionally ready before preparing herself for another child."

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Anthony Siow said some patients might be attached to the pregnancy because they had been trying to have a baby for a long time.

He said: "Most of the time, they are sad because it is the loss of a potential life."

Dr Siow said that one in six women have miscarriages and the risk of miscarriage increases with age.

"However, women who have had miscarriages still have a very good chance of having a baby."

This article was first published on May 5, 2015.
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