Minor spoiler in author’s notes below regarding gender.
Xiao Hua’s days were extremely idle. Every day she would eat and walk around while chatting with Nana He or Ding Xiang and the rest.
Although her stomach wasn’t showing any signs yet, it was still wrapped up by others as though she were a bodhisattva.
Xiao Hua kept feeling that she wasn’t that delicate, but Nana He had said: “The first three months require special attention. After three months, even if you didn’t say anything, Nana would also arrange some physical activities for you.”
Nana He was very experienced. It was said she had served many imperial concubines in the past. The previous emperor had many imperial concubines who gave birth. Thus Xiao Hua was even more at ease.
This day, Ding Xiang, Ding Lan and Chun Cao were taken aside by Eunuch Fu for a talk.
Xiao Hua was accompanied by Nana He and didn’t notice anything strange. After Ding Xiang returned with a normal expression, Xiao Hua wasn’t able to notice any clues.
Ding Lan and Chun Cao didn’t understand why Eunuch Fu would say such things. It was as if madam was too shameful for others to know about. Ding Xiang understood more than them despite the astonishment in her heart. She was also given the heavy responsibility of not only instructing the other two, but also paying attention to the madam’s situation.
Ding Xiang stewed over it for two days before figuring out her thoughts and suppressing her shock. She explained to Ding Lan and Chun Cao that the current situation was different and naturally required more caution. For example, the Jing Consort and Senior Concubine Qiao’s side.
Ding Lan and Chun Cao were certainly clear what those two wanted. Just based on what the Jing Consort was like, they didn’t want madam to get swallowed up. Even if Eunuch Fu could provide some protection, safety wouldn’t be guaranteed. It was still better to keep things secret.
Ding Lan and Chun Cao both had faith in Ding Xiang, and naturally trusted her without any doubts. As for madam’s side, Ding Xiang didn’t worry too much about it. She understood madam the most, and knew that she never went out unless she had to.
It could be said that she was calm, or it could also be said she was cautious. Because she rarely went out, there weren’t many unexpected things that cropped up.
Ding Xiang didn’t know that Xiao Hua had experienced too many struggles in her past life. Since she wanted to change her way of doing things in this life, she naturally knew what was most beneficial for her.
All this wasn’t expressed on the surface, and Xiao Hua finally overcame the first three months.
Within this short period of time, it wasn’t like people prevented her from doing things. But every time she moved, everyone would appear extremely nervous. There were also some private matters that made Xiao Hua a little restless.
The latter needed to be explained from the beginning.
A pregnant woman and her man were supposed to sleep in separate rooms. But the Jing Prince didn’t understand and Xiao Hua also wasn’t willing. After the two remained in the same bed for several days, those around stopped mentioning it. But they were inevitably separated and told to be mindful of certain things. Apart from not putting pressure on the stomach while sleeping, they also couldn’t do the deed during the first three months.
The Jing Prince was never a lustful person, and he had gone for several years without touching a woman. But being together daily and rubbing against each other nightly, his fuse was inevitably lit and he had to endure in misery.
The Jing Prince also thought about returning to sleep in the Hall of Splendor, but he was held fast and stared at with eyes full of tears. Being stared at like this, his heart softened and he never had the thought again.
Xiao Hua admitted that she was being a little domineering, but she didn’t want to let him sleep by himself. Not only would he be lonely, the nights were also long. He was apathetic in the past, but what if he had gotten a taste for things? If he ended up finding someone else to relieve his desires, wouldn’t she be losing out massively?
She still took care of her own body. Although she wasn’t able to do the deed, she still could help him in certain ways.
During this period, the two naturally did many embarrassing things in secret. Xiao Hua’s guilty conscience didn’t need to be mentioned. Even if she could hide it from Eunuch Fu and Nana He, she couldn’t hide it from Ding Lan and her other personal servants.
The few people who paid close attention to things were at first a little worried, but seeing no harm come of it they allowed it. The two of them weren’t immature, and knew what was good and what was bad for them.
While she was able to help him, it wasn’t the proper experience after all. Therefore, not only was Xiao Hua happy once the three months were over, the Jing Prince could also hardly conceal his excitement.
It just wasn’t apparent on the surface. Xiao Hua was the one who wasn’t able to keep her calm, and the last few days before the three months were up she would secretly glance at the Jing Prince with watery eyes.
The Jing Prince wildly erupted from her glances and she ended up suffering quite a bit.
Such things definitely couldn’t be said out loud. After Doctor Hu took her pulse and declared her stable, Xiao Hua had Ding Xiang prepare a bath that night. Ding Xiang knew what was up, but it wasn’t convenient to say anything directly. Only after she dried madam’s hair and was about to take her leave did she mumble ‘madam should be careful with your body.”
The Jing Prince was in the bathroom as well. Xiao Hua’s face immediately turned red.
The two of them got in bed. The Jing Prince half embraced her waist as her back leaned against his chest. The two of them were curled up together on their sides. Ever since Xiao Hua became pregnant, this became their sleeping position.
Xiao Hua waited for a while but the Jing Prince didn’t move.
She was a little shy and a little disappointed. She couldn’t resist rubbing her body against him. She rubbed against him again. Before she was able to rub a third time, she was held fast.
At that moment, something extremely hard and warm pressed against her from behind.
But he still didn’t move.
Her embarrassment reached the limit and became anger. Xiao Hua grabbed his hand and was about to give it a bite, but ended up kissing it instead. The Jing Prince’s hand tightened. Xiao Hua rubbed against him again.
This hint was too obvious. The Jing Prince said hoarsely in her ear: “Is it possible?”
“Highness just needs to be a little gentler.”
The Jing Prince’s movements were indeed very gentle. Everything he did was with the utmost care. Only when he entered her did his movements turn slightly rougher.
Xiao Hua let out a sigh. Actually she had missed him quite a bit.
The two of them maintained this position, rubbing and grinding slowly. This also had its own unique flavor.
The Jing Prince’s heart trembled with excitement but had to control himself not to be too rough. He was completely tensed up. Xiao Hua was the same way, wanting to go a little harder but afraid of hurting her stomach…..
This lasted an extremely long time. After things were done, both their eyes had turned red from enduring. This sort of feeling truly made one suffer and was extremely torturous. But apart from this, it also had a wonderful flavor.
Ding Xiang had kept an ear out the entire time. She was deathly worried in her heart. She thought about what she should do if things started up in the room, but she also didn’t have the guts. Luckily there weren’t any movements inside, which made her feel relieved.
Only when they called for water and she saw the large stains on the bedding when she went to clean up did she realize what had happened. She was panicked to death but couldn’t say anything. When Xiao Hua had her take her leave, Ding Xiang’s eyes stared at her. After she left, she stood guard outside for half the night. Only after seeing nothing bad happen did she feel relieved.
The next day after the Jing Prince left, Ding Xiang implicitly spoke a few words to Xiao Hua. Xiao Hua’s face was red as she nodded repeatedly in agreement.
But the same thing continued to happen afterwards. Ding Xiang secretly asked Nana He about it, and only after hearing that it wasn’t harmful was she able to let out a breath.
The garden in the western pavilion was completed very quickly.
The Jing Province’s climate actually wasn’t suitable for the southern-styled gardens because it was too cold and the winters were too long. No matter how sturdy the flowers, trees and grass were, they couldn’t endure such a long cold period. Therefore the Jing Prince Estate’s trees were usually those that were resistant to cold. There were also flowers for viewing, but they were extremely few and only contained within the flower beds of each pavilion.
The Jing Prince Estate was initially constructed according to specification. After construction, everything else would be filled in according to personal interest. But the Jing Prince was someone without any interests and kept putting it off. Although the Hall of Splendor and the Changchun Pavilion looked majestic and grand, they were actually quite bare without any greenery.
Once Eunuch Fu took over the task of constructing a garden, he pondered over the climate issue and spent a lot of effort. He placed emphasis on rare rocks, constructed hills, small bridges and flowing water. A small and exquisite artificial lake was dug in the center of the garden. In the middle was a small covered viewing platform connected by a stone bridge. The lake was surrounded by plum trees.
Once the garden was completed, Xiao Hua came over for a look.
Turning the corner from the first western pavilion, the long, narrow pathway was paved in various designs with cyan and light yellow cobblestones. The sides were filled with green trees for shade as well as various rocks and fake mountains. The surroundings were filled with scattered flowers and grass for decoration. Stone benches occasionally lined the sides as places to rest.
After turning another corner, the view of the lake filled one’s eyes, along with the stone bridge that led to the viewing platform. There were also awnings and railings constructed on the edges of the lake. There was even a dock. The view was extremely spacious, making one’s spirit instantly rise.
“Madam, this climate isn’t optimal. The view is definitely more beautiful in April or May.”
That was indeed the case. October had just arrived and the Jing Province’s weather was turning cold. Xiao Hua could tell many flowers had been planted but it currently wasn’t visible.
“There’s also a plum tree forest over there. Viewing it in the snow would be the most satisfying.”
“I like it very much. Thank you General Manager Fu.” Xiao Hua looked at Eunuch Fu and said, her smile very sincere.
“This old servant’s just doing his duty.” Eunuch Fu said and lowered his head.
“It’s a pity about the cold. Otherwise sitting by the lake would definitely be very nice.”
Before coming, Nana He had already made it clear. The weather was cold and the air around the lake would be chilly. Xiao Hua shouldn’t stay long, and should only take a look around this time.
“Once the weather warms up, it wouldn’t be too late for madam to come take a look.”
“That’s also true. It’s just a little unfortunate.”
Xiao Hua was quite depressed that she couldn’t enjoy the newly constructed garden due to the weather and her body’s condition. However, she also knew clearly what the Jing Province’s climate was like. Once she gave birth, the garden could be used properly. But that was something for next year.
“Madam can’t come to the lake, but the earlier parts can still be visited as long as it isn’t snowing.” Ding Xiang spoke on the side.
Xiao Hua nodded her head, and didn’t dare to linger. She had Ding Xiang support her as she headed back.
After four months of pregnancy, Xiao Hua’s stomach swelled up like a balloon.
At three months, there was a slight bump, but soon after it had grown not just by a little. At first Nana He was a little worried about the lack of swelling in Xiao Hua’s stomach, and only now did she feel relieved.
But after a brief period of relief, she started worrying again. This was because Xiao Hua’s stomach grew too fast. It was almost changing on a daily basis. She had planned on properly nourishing her during this period, but now Nana He no longer dared to take any rash actions.
After five months, Xiao Hua’s stomach already appeared as though she were seven or eight months pregnant. Nana He was a little restless.
She didn’t dare delay and asked Eunuch Fu to invite Doctor Hu over.
Doctor Hu examined the situation and took her pulse, “Madam’s physical condition is extremely good. But her stomach does seem a little big…..”
Eunuch Fu looked at Doctor Hu’s hesitant appearance and couldn’t help but say impatiently: “Say whatever you have to say. Stop hemming and hawing.”
Doctor Hu saw Eunuch Fu’s expression and couldn’t help but laugh. He stroked his beard and said: “It might not be a bad thing. It looks a little like twins to this old man, but it’s not clear yet from the pulse. Wait awhile. I’ll check again after a few days. No need to be too worried.”
“Twins?” Eunuch Fu sounded astonished.
“It’s just a guess. After all, madam’s stomach truly doesn’t look normal, but these things cannot be seen with the naked eye. Some women just have larger stomachs during pregnancy. We can only be sure after taking her pulse.”
“Alright then. I will invite you over after ten days.”
Once Doctor Hu left, Xiao Hua stroked her own stomach and was dazed for a long while.
She was caught up with the possibility of it being twins, and couldn’t quite snap out of it.
“Madam shouldn’t worry too much. Doctor Hu also said it wasn’t clear yet, and needed some time to tell.”
After a brief moment of silence, Xiao Hua suddenly felt her stomach with a frown and said: “Ding Xiang, my stomach is itchy and sore. Help me apply some lotion.”
Ding Xiang grabbed some lotion and put it on for her.
Ever since her stomach grew big, it started itching and swelling. There were even little red spots and thin tears.
Nana He saw this and said it was normal. Pregnant women would all experience this. Especially since Xiao Hua’s stomach grew extremely fast. This situation was unavoidable. She instructed Ding Xiang to apply some lotion every now and then. Moisturizing the skin this way would relieve the pain.
“Madam, Nana said she ordered people to concoct some tea oil. Once we apply it things would feel better.”
Looking at her own stomach which was no longer as fair and flat, and was instead extremely swollen with faint marks, Xiao Hua’s face was dejected.
“It’s so ugly. Who knows if it will turn back to normal?”
“It’s fine. Nana He said that after giving birth, it will be back to normal after some treatment.”
“Hopefully that’s the case.” Xiao Hua hadn’t given birth before, and had never seen anyone give birth. She could only believe Nana He’s words. Hopefully it can really turn back to normal.
“Does madam feel a little better now?”
Xiao Hua let out a sigh, “It feels a lot better after the lotion.”
It seems the idea of mixed gendered twins was most popular, so we can only do it this way. One baby Jing and one baby Hua.
Xiao Hua’s situation is something encountered in all pregnancies. The skin tears up since the cells can’t divide fast enough due to the swelling. I’ve heard friends say it hurts and itches but can’t be scratched at. Putting on some Vaseline makes it better. But according to the experts, it’s best to apply some tea oil or various plant oils for the best results.
Writing about this is this author’s malicious intention. Don’t those female leads who have given birth several times get these little stretch marks? The first time already makes one cry due to ugliness, after several it would be too ugly to show the male lead. But they never bring it up.
It’s really concerning. Must let Xiao Hua find some secret remedy that makes it not apparent, even if she wore those low-waisted pants.