Esther Kwan on Raising Daughter; Reveals Tragic Miscarriage Experience

During their ten years of marriage, Nick Cheung (張家輝) and Esther Kwan (關詠荷) experienced great changes. Nick, who left TVB for a career in film, has made his way to become a seven-time Best Actor winner since 2008’s Beast Stalker <證人>. Esther, placing all efforts in raising their daughter Brittany Cheung (張童), has maintained a semi-retired lifestyle since marriage, but occasionally returns to the TV screens to star in various TVB dramas.

With Esther’s current television drama Always and Ever <情逆三世緣> raking in decent viewership ratings, Esther’s family life is back on the tabloids’ radar. The award-winning actress is coming face-to-face with rumors regarding Nick’s alleged depression relapse and how their marriage is suffering. Despite the negativity of the rumors, Nick and Esther confronted the allegations in a mellow manner, insisting that all is well.

Reveals Tragic Miscarriage Experience

Aside from promoting her new drama, Esther spends most of her time with her family and her 7-year-old daughter, Brittany. Nick and Esther dotes on Brittany; the overworked Nick once expressed that he was not a workaholic, but just a caring father who wants to earn more money so his daughter can live comfortably.

As for Esther, she described Brittany as a rare gift from the heavens, and also her only gift.

Esther has been through two miscarriages, one in 2004 and another in 2005. After her first miscarriage, she did not tell anyone except for Nick, who was shooting a film in Shanghai at the time. After her second miscarriage, Nick did not dare to express any emotions in front of Esther, but Esther remembered seeing him secretly crying behind a stairwell.

“We’ve tried for many years. We really wanted to have another child, really wanted Brittany to have another younger brother or sister,” expressed Esther. “But now, the sentence ends with a period! We’re done trying!”

On Brittany and Being Parents

Esther is determined to give the best for her daughter. She enrolled Brittany in an international school and took her to take countless enrichment classes. Esther never left her daughter’s side – whether it was taking her to school, to dance classes, or even to amusement parks. To some mothers, Esther oozed qualities of a “Tiger mom”, but Esther did not consider herself as one. She insisted that basic ideological education is very important for a young child.

“Young children need to be guided and taught at an appropriate time. If a sudden incident occurs, that incident can be used as an opportunity to teach the child positive ways of behaving. If I am not with her all the time, I will never know when and how to teach and explain to her the positive messages. No one wants to raise a delinquent child!”

When it came to watching Nick’s films, Esther made sure to use discretion on whether it was appropriate for Brittany to watch. At the mention of Nick’s upcoming directorial debut Yu Lan Magic <盂蘭神功>, Esther expressed that she would definitely support the film. “But it’s a horror film. I’m afraid that it will scare my daughter, so I will not take her to watch it.”

Will Esther take Brittany to watch Unbeatable <激戰> and watch Nick’s six-pack body in action? Esther laughed, “This is an inspirational film, and it is good for kids to watch, but there is a lot of fighting and violence. I’d need to counsel my daughter first!”

How about Esther’s own television drama, Always and Ever? “Before school started, she watched a bit of it with me. She didn’t like nor understood why I had to die three times, so I had to do a lot of explaining. She was a bit afraid.”

As Brittany doesn’t have any brothers or sisters, Esther decided to raise a pet dog as Brittany’s sibling. “[Brittany] has no siblings. There are no fights, no competition, so we’ve decided to raise a pet dog for Brittany to take care of. At first, she didn’t know what to do and only knew how to grab at the dogs’ tail, but I’ve taught her how to take care of the dog, so she’ll learn how to take care of other things the same way.”

With Esther’s strong acting career in mind, one can always imagine Esther to be a tough career-minded woman. “But there is a gentle side of me,” said Esther with a smile. “If we only cared about our careers, then why have kids? [Nick and I] really love kids, but if we left our daughter to someone else’s care, it will be hard to build a relationship with her. I really don’t want to lose the opportunity to watch my daughter grow. People say that they can never see their kids grow taller, but I can. I will always say to her, ‘Wow! You’re grown!’ I can catch the smallest details.”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. That’s so sad how she had to deal with her miscarriages alone. Despite the fact that NIck was by her side, she’s a woman. Nobody knows the painful feeling of losing a child like the one carrying it. I guess it was meant to be that they weren’t supposed to have another kid.

    1. Honestly, they can always adopt if they really want another child. But sadly many do not want to and usually end up treating their biological child way better than the adopted one. I guess if you can’t treat them equally then it is better to not adopt.

      I think Nick is just working hard to earn money for the family is Esther does not work. Luckily they are more economically stable so that Esther is able to spend time with her daughter. However, if Nick was still struggling career wise like before then Esther would have to work a lot more to help bring home the bread. It is great that they at least have one daughter and that is already a blessing.

      1. I don’t know if it’s just me but in general Asians especially Chinese consider foster/adoption to be unacceptable. Like you said, it’s quite sad. Imagine how outrageous it would be if a Chinese adopted a black orphan. The stares the parent and child will receive

      2. Who said that you had to adopt a black child?? I know what you mean. I have 2 aunts that have adopted kids. One of them have 2 since she does not have her own kids and they treat her very very well. But the good thing is that she told them straight out that they are adopted and they are fine with it and are grateful to her for raising and loving them since they were orphans.

        The other aunt is really selfish. She was a widow and married my uncle and they did not have their own kids. But she already had one kid from her previous marriage. They adopted a girl and now she lives with her and her family after my uncle passed away. She spoils her son who does nothing but party while the adopted daughter works hard to raise her and her own family. She clearly treats her biological son better even though he is a loser. But the saddest part is her still trying to hide the fact her daughter is adopted even when everyone knows including her daughter… Adopted parents can be really selfish.

      3. I’m just giving an example of the extreme. True, but even when you treat your adopted kid well, sometimes the other children , their siblings may not see it that way. My grandma refuse to even speak to her half brother even though he was “adopted” into her family. He was the son of her father’s mistress. Even though my great-grandmother did not mind, in my grandma’s eyes, he was not “family”. Sad but the reality is just that.

      4. She had a cousin who was adopted too, and they just excluded him ever since he was little. Back then it was common to “pick up” a kid off the streets since everyone was starving. My grandmother by no means is a mean lady but it’s just the mentality.

      5. I know what you mean and thanks for sharing your stories. At times, just because you are “blood” it does not guarantee anything. If you did not live with or grew up your siblings/children or whoever, the distance will grow… It is sad that grandma did that, but I can understand that. However, her half brother was innocent and she should not have done that, but I can understand why.

      6. UNI,

        “He was the son of her father’s mistress.”

        Based on the quote above, maybe your grandmother hates him, not because him being adopted, but because he is the son of her father’s mistress? Who knows?

  2. Esther, you had your miscarriage at 40 and 41, that’s not heaven work, but nature’s way of saying, you are too late to get pregnant.

    Your daughter was born when you are 42. of course, it’s hard to have more kids.

    1. You can have a miscarriage at any age and at any time so it does not always have to do with age. I don’t think you should always says that is because of age. My mom had my youngest brother at 42 but he was her last child. My own mom suffered from 4-5 miscarriages and knows that pain firsthand and still can not forget her unborn children. It is such a painful feeling that others cannot understand.

      1. Yes miscarriage can happen any time, any where, but there is definitely a correlation between miscarriage and the increase of age. And not only miscarriages, a lot of medical complications for the mother and child the older the carrier is. It is part of the limitations of females.

      2. True, but they said that the egg is the age of the mother so the older the mother, the more risks the fetus will be exposed to.

      3. True, but it varies from person to person too. I have seen many that gave birth in their 40s and even 50s in some cases, but the children are fine.

      4. That is why it is just a precaution for older women. Of course there will be people who sucessfully give birth at an older age. Really at the point of 40s and on, it is like taking a risk to have a child.

      5. “it does not always have to do with age.”

        I assume your sex-ed teacher didn’t teach you the fertility rate when a woman is older than 35. Every woman’s body is different. Your mom’s health may be very well nourished at her age. Esther could be different. However, there are many risk factors when a woman is older than 35 years old who are trying to conceive a baby. One of them includes miscarriage. It may not be an causation, but there are definitely correlation associated with it.

  3. I don’t like reading these kind of stories. It’s really sad and unfortunate. I’m glad they at least have a daughter now. They’re most definitely a loving family.

    Does anyone know how long they are together for?

    1. They were married in 2004 but I don’t remember when they started dating.

      1. I don’t even know, but it probably is a very very long time.

    2. Crystal,
      Sometimes things are meant to be. It may be better for the miscarriage to have happened rather than for the babies to born with certain life-long complications. Despite the miscarriages, Esther sounds very happy now, as she obviously loves her daughter Brittany very much.

      Being an older mom also allowed Esther to be more patient in her parenting methods, thoughtfully watching over her daughter and giving her the best care possible.

      1. Jayne,
        I know what you mean, what matters is what she has now. But just reading these stories or hearing about miscarriages, I cant help but to feel a bit sad on the inside.

      2. Crystal,
        Miscarriage is quite common among women, except they don’t always share their experiences. That’s why many women don’t wish to announce until they are well into their pregnancies.

        My friend didn’t share that she was pregnant until she was 5+ months, when it was really obvious to the eye….

      3. Jayne,
        Wow! That sounds like my sister-in-law’s case. She would not announce her pregnancy till 3-4 months because she was afraid complication might occur before that time and people would be disappointed.

        I don’t know how people dont share such happiness. When I found out about my first child, I was up the walls and over. Lol.

      4. Jayne,
        That is just a myth or old wise tale. My sister in law told us right away when she first discovered that she was pregnant and all my nephews are fine. I think it is better to not be so superstitious.

    3. According to Wikipedia, they started dating in 1992. They broke up in 1995, got back together 1996. Married in 2003. Basically together for 21 years, despite all the hardship (she’s older than him, she was more successful than him, etc.).

      Really admire this couple.

      1. I thought they got married in 2004 because I remember that they got married at around the same time that Frankie and Kenix did.

      2. That sounds about right, as I remember Esther and Nick were already together when both were working for ATV in the early 90s. They were already a couple when they joined TVB in the mid 90s, but kept it low profile for the most part until later on in the decade.

  4. Wow I cried when I read this news. Poor Esther been through so much and still stay so strong!

    1. There are people who have gone through so much more and are still able to remain strong, but it is great that Esther is able to as well.

  5. I wonder why they didn’t try when they were younger. I believe she was 39, 40 when she married Nick.

    1. Artists will always put their career first. That’s why you see many moms giving birth at 40. I can’t imagine giving birth at 40. I’ll be exhausted trying to keep up with my child.

      1. In order to start and have a family, you need to have career first or else how would you raise the family?? I do not think it is good to just rely on the guy to be the provider all the time.

      2. Strongly agree with HeTieShou. People shouldn’t have kids when they don’t have the finances and commitment to take care of them. Too many people do that and it just leads to a bunch of stupid, ignorant, ill-mannered people who grow up to soil our society (I’m not saying this applies to every person; just most)

  6. Especially touching for me us how she mentioned seeing Nick crying by the stairwell after the second miscarriage.

    Both of them have been through a lot.No wonder they are so good as actors. I guess they could really channel the sadness and struggles in their life into the characters they are playing.

    Here’s wishing they have a smooth sailing family life ahead of them.

    1. @sc, I was sad when I read the part about Nick crying by the stairwell too. Husband hiding his grief in order not to make his wife more depressed than she already is and the wife knowing the husband is also deeply grieving but yet have to put up a brave front and console her :(.
      I remember Nick playing those small-time roles while Esther seems to be more popular before Nick started to find success filming movies. This couple managed to stay together through thick and thin, so I wish them happiness and who knows, fate may bestow them another child like they wish for. They have their reasons for marrying late (reading about the measly pay TVB pays, I’m sure we can understand why they put off marriage until their careers are more established and income more stable).
      I’ve friends who have gotten married in their 20’s, tried for children without success. After they’ve given up and just accept it as fate, the wife got pregnant (after 12 years of trying).
      Sometimes it’s not all about age. The health and well-being (physically and mentally) of parents count too.
      Most do not go the adoption route because it’s not so easy to get an infant to adopt – unless they’re ready to accept older children (who may bear their own personal/emotional scars and be difficult to reach out to). Those who think of adopting usually go through the ‘illegal’ way, hence the reason why doctors-selling-baby syndicate still thrives.
      I personally think I’d rather sponsor a child from a poor family so that he/she can remain with his/her family member and arrange to spend time with them rather then separate them from their family just to satisfy my need for a child to be called my own. This child will grow up knowing he/she is lucky to be loved by two set of parents rather than think he/she is unwanted by her own family.

  7. They have been through a lot throughout these years. Miscarriage is a very common thing, it’s just that a lot of women are not that open to share about it.

    It’s not just Nick & Esther that have been through the same, even Ada Choi & Max; Daniel Wu & Lisa S.; Tony & Carina. They all tried for babies almost immediately after their weddings and of course their respective first attempts have resulted in miscarriage. Even Lisa S considered Assisted Reproduction prior to conceiving Raven. Tony & Carina on the other hand, I know age was not on their side at all, but neither are their lifestyles that allow them to conceive naturally.

    Age is not necessarily the sole determination factor here, but it all comes down to the woman’s hormones and a whole host of other factors; especially those who attempt to conceive after 35.

  8. ” a seven-time Best Actor winner since 2008’s Beast Stalker”

    How is that mathematically possible?

    1. Funn,
      Nick Cheung won multiple Best Actor awards across Asia in a given year for his performances.

    2. different awards…small ones..big ones…not so popular ones…

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