Chapter 110

Xiao Hua entered labor very suddenly. She was awoken in the middle of the night by the pain.

The western pavilion’s lamps were immediately all lit, and everyone was running back and forth in preparation.

Eunuch Fu arrived right away, and stood there directing everything. Nana He, Matron Xu, Ding Xiang and the others started preparing for the delivery.

Xiao Hua was first given a wet towel bath, and then a meal. This time Nana He didn’t limit how much she could eat.

After eating, she was supported by Ding Xiang and the others over to the eastern wing.

Once they got to the delivery room, Matron Xu first felt the position of the fetus before smiling and saying: ‘Very proper. Have two people support madam and walk around for a while.”

“She still has to walk?” Chun Cao exclaimed.

“Yes yes yes, walk, walk.”

Xiao Hua didn’t say anything and had Ding Xiang and Chun Cao support her while she walked in circles around the room.

After fifteen minutes, she sat down to take a rest before continuing to walk. Xiao Hua was already sweating all over from pain. Ding Xiang couldn’t help but say to Matron Xu: “She doesn’t have to exercise at this point, right? Madam is in a lot of pain.”

“Walk some more, it’ll be good for the birth.” Matron Xu said.

Ding Xiang looked towards Nana He.

“Listen to her.” Nana He said.

Hearing Nana He say this, Matron Xu couldn’t help but give a satisfied smile. But thinking of this old woman’s status, she hurriedly retracted it.

“Madam, you have to bear with it. Suffering more now means suffering less later.”

Xiao Hua’s face was pale as she nodded. She continued to walk with Ding Xiang’s support.

The Jing Prince had been sitting outside ever since Xiao Hua entered the delivery room. Men were not permitted to enter, otherwise he would have long since gone inside to check on the situation. Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi accompanied him, and their faces were grave. Even Doctor Hu was standing by.

Ding Lan came out to report: “Nana He told this servant to come give an update and reassure highness. Madam’s fetus is in a very proper position, but she still needs to wait a bit before giving birth.”

The Jing Prince nodded his head and Ding Lan went back inside.

Auntie Qi said softly, “Highness shouldn’t worry. It’s not that fast for a woman to give birth.”

The Jing Prince didn’t speak but the tea saucer in his hand shattered.

Seeing this, Eunuch Fu hurriedly called someone over to switch it out.

Doctor Hu also comforted on the side: “Highness shouldn’t worry. Based on madam’s condition, there shouldn’t be any issues.”

Within the delivery room, Matron Xu asked Xiao Hua how frequent the pain was coming, and then felt the fetus position again.

“Good, good. It’s still in the proper spot. The baby’s head is also downwards. Walk a little longer, and it’ll be easier to give birth.”

After walking another fifteen minutes, Xiao Hua was unable to stand steady. She was completely leaning against Ding Lan and the others for support. Only then did Matron Xu allow them to support her over to the bed.

Xiao Hua lay in bed, her body covered in sweat.

Matron Xu instructed Ding Xiang: “Go prepare hot water for madam to clean her body, and help her change into clean clothes.”

After wiping her body down, they helped her put on an undershirt and innerwear, leaving her bottom completely bare. After all that, Xiao Hua felt much more comfortable, and the pain was no longer bad enough to affect her breathing.

“Does madam want to eat anything? Eat a little more, otherwise you won’t get a chance later.” Nana He spoke by Xiao Hua’s ear.

Therefore, Xiao Hua was fed a bowl of swallow’s nest porridge by Ding Xiang.

***

The delivery process this time not only broadened Xiao Hua’s experience, but also Nana He’s as well.

She had only seen babies get delivered while lying down, and had never seen someone doing it while sitting, standing or squatting.

Although the methods were a little strange and seemed quite rough on the person, the effects were also clear. She had estimated that since it was Xiao Hua’s first pregnancy, and also since they were twins, it would take at least a day. Unexpectedly, Xiao Hua only took around two hours.

She finally understood why this bed needed to be constructed in such a weird way. Matron Xu’s proud expression was also not without any foundation.

“This old women really has some tricks up her sleeves!” Nana He said while wiping off her sweat.

“You said it!”

The first was a baby boy. After the first one came out, the second one came out not fifteen minutes later. It was a baby girl.

They held the babies by their feet, and with a light pat they heard the sound of crying. Matron Xu swiftly soaked them in warm water for a quick cleaning before wrapping them up in a bundle.

“Congratulations madam, it’s the birth of a dragon and phoenix.” Chun Cao’s face was filled with smiles.

Xiao Hua only let out a breath in relief after hearing the babies cry. She finally revealed a weary smile.

Nana He and Matron Xu each carried one and opened the door to report the good news.

“Congratulations highness. Both mother and children are safe and sound. It’s a dragon and phoenix pair.”

The Jing Prince had already crushed several tea saucers, and seeing the door open he had rushed over.

The pink bundle contained two little faces. They were red and tender, their skin soft as though the slightest pinch would break it. The little faces were wrinkled and their eye bags were swollen. Their small mouths moved subconsciously.

The Jing Prince only took a glance before entering the room.

Nana He said urgently on the side: “Highness, men aren’t allowed in the delivery room.”

It wasn’t clear if the Jing Prince had heard her or not, but his footsteps didn’t stop.

“Alright, alright. His highness desperately wants to see the madam.” Eunuch Fu stood watching impatiently on the side, “Hurry and let me hold them.”

“Scram, the babies are still young and can’t be exposed to the elements. Didn’t you see that we haven’t stepped outside?”

Eunuch Fu impatiently fidgeted before Nana He turned back and said: “Come inside if you want to hold them.”

Only then did Eunuch Fu’s face wrinkle into a smile before following them inside.

Hearing people come in, Xiao Hua opened her eyes.

“Why is highness in here? You aren’t supposed to enter the delivery room.”

The Jing Prince stopped her from sitting up, “This humble prince is here to see you.”

“I’m very well.”

Seeing the Jing Prince like this, the pain from before seemed no longer important. Xiao Hua’s pale face let out a sweet smile.

“You sleep for a bit.”

Xiao Hua nodded her head, and then said: “I haven’t seen the babies yet.”

Auntie Qi held one in her arms and the other was held by Nana He. Eunuch Fu was originally holding one, but his holding posture was extremely awful. Auntie Qi scolded him and stole the baby into her arms. Despite this, Eunuch Fu wasn’t angry. He followed closely behind, smiling flatteringly.

Xiao Hua received the babies and took a look, before saying: “Why are they so ugly?”

The Jing Prince examined them from the side, and also nodded his head in agreement.

Auntie Qi looked at the two of them who were examining the babies, and hearing these words and seeing the movement, she immediately burst out laughing.

“Madam definitely can’t say that. The little master and mistress are the most beautiful out of all the babies this woman has delivered. Look at these eyes and these brows, and the nose-bridge and little mouth. In the future the boy will be handsome and the girl will be beautiful.”

Hearing Matron Xu’s words, Xiao Hua seemed to feel that these wrinkly little faces whose eyes were partially concealed looked a little better.

She couldn’t look at them enough, and her heart was melted by them.

“Which one is the older one?”

“The little master is the older brother. The little mistress is the younger sister.”

Nana He opened her mouth and said, “Alright, madam has just finished giving birth and cannot waste her energy like this. She needs to rest properly.”

“Madam, eat something before sleeping.” Ding Xiang and Ding Lan brought over some easily digestible food.

Xiao Hua looked at the little things in her arms, and then looked at the Jing Prince. Her eyes were filled with reluctance. However, her feeble body was telling her that she needed to rest.

“Has the wet nurse been brought into the estate? Ding Xiang, pay some attention to this.”

“Madam you don’t have to worry. Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi have arranged it.”

Hearing this, Xiao Hua felt relieved. After eating a little, she lay down.

Seeing her fall asleep, the Jing Prince left.

He didn’t go far, and instead entered the residence on the side.

Seeing the Jing Prince come in, the four wet nurses knelt.

Eunuch Fu was already in the room. He was standing on the side, watching the swaddled babies. He only watched, and didn’t dare touch them with his hand. His body was half bent, and even the Jing Prince felt he looked uncomfortable.

“Highness, look. The little master and mistress are so cute.”

The Jing Prince stood on the side. He bent over and looked. He didn’t say anything, but there seemed to be some imperceptible waves within his eyes.

“A little ugly.”

Eunuch Fu urgently said with a pinched voice: “Not ugly, not ugly. Nana He said that they’ll be even better in a few days. Newborn babies all look this way.”

This Jing Prince twitched his lips.

“The left one is the little master, the right one is the little mistress.”

“Can’t tell them apart.”

“Actually this old servant isn’t able to tell them apart either. However, this old servant was observing when they were put in place. Is madam sleeping? She’s really worked hard.”

“En.”

“Really great. Really great.” Eunuch Fu wiped away his tears as he smiled.

The two of them watched for a long time, and also said many things. It was mostly Eunuch Fu doing the talking while the Jing Prince watched silently.

The wet nurses kept their heads lowered, and only dared to perk up their ears and listen.

***

It was already nighttime when Xiao Hua awoke.

Ding Xiang and Chun Cao brought her some easily digestible food. Xiao Hua looked around and asked: “Where are the babies?”

Ding Xiang answered: “In the side residence. The wet nurses are watching over them.”

“Let me see them.”

Ding Xiang and Ding Lan carried the babies over. The two crimson little bundles were around a foot long. Matron Xu and Nana He also followed them over.

Xiao Hua received and carefully held them. They still looked the same as before, their eyes closed in sleep, their little faces red and wrinkly.

“When do they get better looking? They’re so ugly.”

Matron Xu smiled and said: “Newborn babies all look like this. After ten days they’ll be fine.”

Nana He showed Xiao Hua how to hold the babies. Xiao Hua held the bundles in her arms and couldn’t get enough of them.

“Aiya, they’re a little too small. Why are they so small? They’re tiny.”

Xiao Hua didn’t mean anything by her words, but Nana He and Matron Xu exchanged a glance.

“All newborn babies are this way. They’ll be fine after a few days.” Matron Xu’s voice was clearly a little off. What was supposed to be an explanation clearly sounded a little weird.

Nana He frowned. This old woman didn’t even know how to lie properly.

Xiao Hua didn’t say anything, but after observing the situation she felt things were abnormal.

She had seen newborn babies before, and still felt that her own looked a little off. After repeatedly looking them over, Xiao Hua’s face turned more and more grave.

“Madam….”

“Ding Xiang, help me unravel these bundles.”

Seeing Xiao Hua’s appearance, Nana He sighed and came to personally unravel them.

“Madam, newborn babies cannot catch a chill. It’s fine if you just take a glance.”

Once the bundles were opened up, Xiao Hua carefully took a look. It wasn’t as clear when they were wrapped up, but now she could see the babies were extremely small. They were wrinkled all over and bright red. She estimated that they were only a foot long.

She looked at one, then at the other one. Xiao Hua’s face was pale and her lips trembled as she said: “Why are they so small? Even though newborn babies are small, they wouldn’t be this small.” They were so small that she didn’t dare touch them.

“Is there something wrong with them? How can it be this way?”

Her tears couldn’t help but start flowing, her voice a little mournful.

The two sleeping babies seemed to have been awakened, and started crying as well. Their cries were very delicate.

“What’s wrong?”

The Jing Prince came in. He saw Xiao Hua’s pale face and panicked look, and hurried over to pull her into his arms.

“Don’t cry. Why?”

Xiao Hua was focused on crying and didn’t say anything. The Jing Prince looked around at the others.

Everyone was kneeling on the floor. Nana He and the Jing Prince went over to stand with Eunuch Fu and Auntie Qi.

“Highness, madam is upset that the little master and mistress’s bodies are too small.”

“Small?”

At this point, Nana He didn’t dare hide anything. “Yes, a little small. Although normal babies are small, they wouldn’t be as small as the little master and mistress. But this couldn’t be helped since they were twins after all.”

“What about their health? Will there be problems?” Xiao Hua asked urgently.

“This servant and Matron Xu have examined them already. There shouldn’t be any problems. It’s just—” Nana He gritted her teeth as her eyes flashed, before forcing herself to say: “It’s just that their bodies will be weaker than other babies.”

It wasn’t easy to raise babies. This was known by everyone. If these babies were even weaker than normal, then it was even more of a concern.

Hearing this, the Jing Prince’s face changed on the spot. Eunuch Fu was the same. Xiao Hua also revealed an anxious expression.

Auntie Qi said to Ding Xiang in a panic: “Go invite Doctor Hu over.”

Ding Xiang left to find Doctor Hu.

Nana He continued to explain on this side: “Madam was pregnant with twins, and she herself was also young. Her hipbones were too narrow, so the fetus couldn’t be allowed to grow too big. If it grew too big, it would be hard to give birth and the survival of the babies would have still been in question. That’s why this servant could only restrict the food intake….”

Currently, the birthing issue was already over. However, the babies were inevitably smaller and their bodies would be weaker.

“Everyone rise.”

The Jing Prince wasn’t someone who would take his anger out on his servants. He also understood the reasoning behind this situation.

Doctor Hu walked in. Auntie Qi summarized the situation for him. The room was scarily quiet, and everyone’s expressions were not too good.

Nana He unraveled the bundles. Doctor Hu carefully examined the situation before saying: “It’s not that big of a problem. Their bodies are just a little weaker, and they need to be raised a little more carefully.”

“Highness, madam, no need to worry. This old servant will definitely keep a close eye on those wet nurses and have them carefully raise them. We definitely won’t let the little master and mistress come to harm.”

This was all they could do at the moment. Xiao Hua refused to believe that they weren’t able to properly raise these two pocket-sized babies in an environment like the Jing Prince Estate.

She wiped her tears away and forced a smile, “Ding Xiang, have someone watch them as well. We must have the wet nurses care for them properly.”

“Madam——”

Matron Xu who was standing on the side suddenly spoke.

Author’s words:

Definitely won’t bully the male and female leads. See, it wasn’t a difficult birth. We’ll have the two babies torment the Jing Prince a little before things turn around for the better. For the sake of not making Xiao Hua’s birth difficult, yet also making it realistic, this author spent a lot of effort.

Xiao Hua is young after all, and isn’t suited to give birth. Her birthing bones hadn’t grown yet. And it’s also twins. There wasn’t anything to rely on in ancient times, and deliveries are all done naturally. Therefore, it was necessary to exercise more and restrict the food intake to avoid the fetus from getting too big.

Actually, most babies were delivered using the “standing” delivery method in ancient times. This author only knew about it after researching. It’s not like in those dramas where the woman is lying flat and yelling her head off.

Didn’t dare to go into detail about Xiao Hua squatting there giving birth. Was afraid you guys would punch me.

Translator’s notes:

Working on releasing a sponsored chapter by the end of today. Decided that if someone sponsors an entire chapter, I’ll release it ASAP as opposed to on the weekend.

9 thoughts on “Chapter 110

  1. I looked up birth in ancient China. Of course that spans a huge amount of time, but the author is right about how they would have them squatting while giving birth. Typically they’d put hay and soft bedding underneath the Mom so the Babies had a soft landing (they were properly squatting so it wasn’t a big drop). Doctors back then spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get women to have quick births, as those were typically safer. But a long birth was alright as long as the mother had the energy for it.

    Also: HURRAH FOR BABIES!!!

  2. I am impressed by the more realistic portrayal of the birth – other than the short time and how clean it was, of course.
    Even today’s births are usually done kneeling or squatting so gravity helps and the hips are in a better position. And twins often have to be monitored as they are born less developed due to limited space in the womb.

    Thanks as always for the great translation!

  3. Aww finally we get to meet the babies.

    I’m really liking how realistic the story is, how the author includes these little details that one would just dismiss as plot devices, but BAM!! comes the author’s note and you realize how much thought and resesarch goes into each decision.

    Foreseeing some minor health-related scares for the babies based on the author’s note, although maybe it’ll be very brief.

    Thanks as always, for the great translation!

  4. In legend of concubine daughter Minglan, in the video series there is an episode where Minglan gives birth while standing and hanging onto straps from the ceiling.

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