SINGAPORE - Actress Joanne Peh, who is in her sixth month of her pregnancy, is determined to keep the gender of her first child a secret from the public.
She and her husband, actor Qi Yuwu, want to "keep it private, and intimate" among certain people in a time where information is no longer personal.
The 32-year-old MediaCorp artiste had said at the Star Awards last Sunday that she would not be revealing whether she was expecting a boy or a girl and she reiterates her stand during a media conference on Tuesday to promote her new Channel 8 drama, Mind Game, which premieres on May 7.
When someone at the press event asks if she has been buying pink or blue paraphernallia for the baby, she cheekily replies "purple".
Her pregnancy has been smooth-sailing so far. Aside from short periods of feeling emotional, she has not experienced any particular bouts of mood swings, cravings, or morning sickness.
Says Peh: "Compared to how rushed and tired I felt last year, this year has been much more relaxing for me so far. I feel happy that I have time to do things I want."
Of the foods that she has to abstain from because of her pregnancy, she misses having sashimi once in a while.
"Sometimes, I even forget I'm pregnant; there are a lot of things I'm stopped from doing by friends and family because they're worried about me," she says.
The two most protective people in her life are her husband and her father.
"My husband won't let me climb up, make strenuous movements, or even wash the dishes," says Peh. "But since he's away from home a lot, I find that I have to do most of these things myself anyway."
Meanwhile, Peh's father often calls to check on her and tends to panic when he does not get a response.
Seeing him get flustered, she explains, in turn upsets her. So she has made sure to keep her phone with her at all times.
At the moment, she has not decided if she would like to take a longer break than the mandated four months of maternity leave.
She does, however, plan to be more selective about the shows she will accept in the future. For one thing, she does not intend to film any more intense back-to-back drama serials. She could be referring to a thriller such as Mind Games, in which she plays a cop and which was filmed last year before she got pregnant.
"It's not just what I myself want," she says. "I need to discuss it with my husband and make the decision when the time comes."