First sponsored chapter of the week. Thank you KiraoGirl17 for sponsoring an entire chapter and for your greetings!
Seeing the Jing Prince look at her, Matron Xu’s voice grew quieter and quieter, “This commoner woman has a method, it’s just…..”
Towards the Jing Prince, Matron Xu had always had some fear. It wasn’t just his status, but rather that she had never seen him smile before. He always had that cold expression. Therefore, in Matron Xu’s mind, the Jing Prince was the type of vassal prince who liked to chop people up.
Matron Xu did her best to breath, and told herself that if this was successful, it would be a major merit. Her future glory was right in front of her, and she would move unhindered throughout the entire Jing Province. She slowly spoke.
“This commoner woman has a lot of experience delivering babies. In the past I’ve also delivered for many poorer families before. These poor families had a hard time eating their fill, and also couldn’t afford any wet nurses. Therefore, this commoner woman has seen many instances of babies whose bodies were weak due to lack of nourishment during pregnancy…..”
Because her words were a little far from the point, and because they were spoken for the ears of these noble people, Matron Xu spoke more and more hesitantly, and in the end her voice trailed off.
How could Matron Xu’s thoughts not be understood by others? She was definitely afraid of angering the Jing Prince with her words, or perhaps her following words was going to be widely unaccepted.
“Continue.” The Jing Prince said: “This humble prince will absolve you of guilt.”
Matron Xu knelt and gave a kowtow before continuing: “There were small babies and large babies, fat and thin. This commoner woman had seen one that was the size of a palm, much smaller than the little master and mistress. In rich households, these sort of babies are hard to raise. However, in rural villages, these sort of weak babies were mostly able to grow up. Only after thinking for a long time did this commoner woman figure it out. These babies were all raised on breastmilk.”
“Newborn babies are all raised on breastmilk. There’s no need for you to tell us this. The wet nurses this one prepared all have excellent quality breastmilk.” Eunuch Fu said.
“A wet nurse’s milk isn’t quite the same as breastmilk. Breastmilk comes from the mother…..”
Matron Xu didn’t finish her sentence, but everyone understood her meaning. She wanted to have madam do the feeding.
“Complete nonsense. Even a small wealthy household’s mistress would have her newborn fed by a wet nurse, let alone our prince’s estate. Where would you find a madam who breastfeeds her own child?” Eunuch Fu said angrily.
Matron Xu fell to her knees in fear.
Auntie Qi spoke on the side: “Don’t reprimand her. What she said isn’t without reason.”
“What reason?” Eunuch Fu frowned and asked.
“How could we afford a wet nurse when we were younger? We were both raised by our own mothers. And those babies within the village were all raised by their mothers as well.”
“How can we be compared to the madam!?”
Why couldn’t they be? They were all human.
It was just that they were poor back then, and weren’t able to live like the rich households. First of all they didn’t have the thought, and secondly they didn’t have the means. Therefore, poor households raised their kids themselves. The babies were breastfed by their mothers, and so they felt this was right and proper.
But what exactly was proper? It merely differed depending on the person.
“This servant feels like it could work. Back when madam was pregnant, we had her exercise regularly because we were afraid her stamina wasn’t sufficient. People from poor households wouldn’t need to do this because they are all used to doing manual labor, and it couldn’t be avoided even when they were pregnant. Furthermore, it’s true that we rarely hear about poor households being unable to raise their babies to maturity. Those who die prematurely mostly die from illness.” Nana He said.
Xiao Hua was also born in a poor household. Although she didn’t understand these things when she was young and struggling, it didn’t prevent her from feeling that this made a lot of sense.
“No need to discuss it anymore. We’ll do it this way. I will feed them.”
The Jing Prince’s brows had been furrowed the entire time and he remained silent. Only after hearing Xiao Hua’s words did he say: “Drawbacks?”
Everyone froze. Nana He was the first to react, “Er, madam might have to work a little hard, because babies don’t have a set feeding schedule. They eat when they get hungry, so it’ll be hard to get a good rest. Furthermore, madam’s body will inevitably suffer a little wear and tear, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Another thing is….” After a pause, she continued hesitantly: “Her figure might change.”
Everything prior wasn’t an issue. The problem was the last thing. After all, which woman didn’t care about her figure? This was especially true within the royal family, and with Madam Hua’s status.
How could a concubine without an alluring physique be able to maintain the master’s favor?
“It’s fine.” This was Xiao Hua’s voice.
The Jing Prince turned and looked at her. Xiao Hua fluttered her eyelashes and said quietly while blushing: “As long as highness doesn’t hate me afterwards….”
He stroked her hair and said softly: “Won’t.”
Things were thus decided.
Nana He and Matron Xu had a discussion and decided that Xiao Hua would feed during the day and the wet nurses could feed and take care of them during the night.
Once everything was set, Nana He threw out the lactation prevention medicine given by Doctor Hu. Once Xiao Hua started lactating, they had her feed the babies herself during the day.
Luckily, due to Nana He’s accurate control, Xiao Hua hadn’t been undernourished during her pregnancy. Once she started lactating, they realized the milk quality wasn’t bad. Although the amount wasn’t much, the babies were also still young and it was sufficient for them.
As for the future, it would be fine after some adjustment. This was Nana He’s forte.
They didn’t make a big deal out of the babies’ third wash ceremony1. As a new mother, Xiao Hua was still quite worried about her children so they merely held it in the reception outside the delivery room. Matron Xu officiated the ceremony and the Jing Prince stood witness on the side. Eunuch Fu, Auntie Qi, Nana He, Ding Xiang and the rest were there as well.
In theory, Matron Xu who was the midwife could leave the Jing Prince Estate after the third wash ceremony.
Matron Xu was in suspense for a few days, and after seeing no movement she carefully asked Nana He about it. Nana He didn’t respond.
The next day she was called over by Eunuch Fu. It wasn’t clear what was said, but from then on Matron Xu didn’t mention leaving again, and instead focused her attention on the western pavilion.
Auntie Qi added some highly trained palace maids to the western pavilion. Five were added by Xiao Hua’s side. The little master and mistress had eight palace maids by their side in addition to the four wet nurses. Four of them accompanied the wet nurses while the other four did various chores on the side.
Luckily the western pavilion was currently large enough, otherwise there really wouldn’t be enough space for everyone to stay.
Xiao Hua’s puerperium2 was spent both recovering and breastfeeding the two children. Actually it wasn’t as hard as Nana He made it out to be. After all, there were quite a lot of servants by her side.
The only thing that was hard for her to endure was that she had to eat a lot of nourishing and oily foods that were also quite tasteless. Xiao Hua felt it a little unbearable after a few days, but for the sake of her body and her breastmilk, she could only pinch her nose and force it down.
As for the Jing Prince, since the taboo of men entering the delivery had been broken that day, no one stopped him from coming back. It’s just that he couldn’t spend the night there. Xiao Hua temporarily remained in the eastern wing while the Jing Prince stayed in the main residence. However, the Jing Prince would come see her whenever he was free, and spend time with her and the children.
This day, the Jing Prince came just as Xiao Hua was breastfeeding the babies.
It had only been around ten days but the two babies had changed quite a bit. They were still tiny, but their skin was no longer as red, and was gradually turning fair. Their eyes had grown a bit, and they looked much better compared to when they were first born. Their crying had also gotten rather loud.
Xiao Hua deeply felt that Matron Xu’s suggestion was good, and bestowed many things to her.
Seeing the Jing Prince come in, Xiao Hua turned her body away.
“Aiya, highness, why did you come in all of a sudden?”
The Jing Prince didn’t understand and walked inside.
“Highness, why don’t you sit outside for a bit before coming in? I’m feeding our daughter.”
Only when she turned her body away shyly did the Jing Prince understand. She was shy?
“It’s fine.” He thought she was afraid he would find it disturbing, but he didn’t think so at all.
Since the Jing Prince had spoken, Xiao Hua could only sit properly. However, she still half covered things with her hand.
“Why block?” The Jing Prince saw that Xiao Hua used a piece of cloth to cover their daughter’s face, “Don’t block it.” He moved the cloth away as he spoke.
She could only helplessly allow the entire scene to be revealed to the Jing Prince.
The white and large mound was half supported by her hand because it was too large. Their daughter’s white little face contained her delicate eyes, and a small mouth that was sucking vigorously.
“Became so big.” The Jing Prince half frowned as he muttered, his face quite unperturbed.
Xiao Hua’s face turned completely red, as though about to drip blood. She was afraid her breast was too big and would suffocate their daughter, so she had to support it with her free hand. Her entire body turned rigid.
The Jing Prince was a little unaware as he leaned in close for a look, “Daughter is pale, just like you.”
Xiao Hua rigidly lowered her eyes for a glance. It was truly the case.
Only after another while did the little girl spit a couple of times, spitting out the nipple. Her little mouth was covered in milk.
Ding Xiang stood on the side, her face red as well. She deeply felt that his highness’s words were too unrestrained. Seeing this, she hurriedly used a clean handkerchief to wipe the little mistress’s mouth, and handed her over for Ding Lan to hold.
Xiao Hua currently had her three personal palace maids by her side. Each one was quite familiar with holding the babies since Xiao Hua wasn’t willing to have anyone else around while she was breastfeeding. Only these three personal palace maids could approach.
The baby girl was very well behaved, going back to sleep after feeding without crying. The two babies were both very well behaved, and rarely cried. Perhaps because they were too young.
After feeding the baby girl, it was the baby boy’s turn. This time Xiao Hua was able to do it without any misgivings. It wasn’t like he hadn’t seen it before. Furthermore, such situations would only be more frequent in the future. She couldn’t be shy about it every time.
The Jing Prince’s thoughts had been pure at first, but as he looked and looked and looked, he started to get a little jealous of his son.
“He’s eating so much.” After a pause, as though explaining, “Daughter only ate a little.”
Seeing him constantly examining their son breastfeeding, Xiao Hua was extremely speechless. She quietly explained: “Our daughter had already eaten some before you came in.”
The Jing Prince let out an “oh” and didn’t say anything else.
After it was finally done, Xiao Hua hurriedly handed her son over to Ding Xiang, and wasn’t as reluctant about it as she normally was. She straightened up her collar, and felt the cloth on her head and her face.
“Nana He isn’t letting me bath. I feel icky all over.”
“Listen to Nana He.”
Seeing him act normal without revealing any disgust, Xiao Hua could only nod along.
“Take a look.”
The Jing Prince pulled a slip of paper out from his sleeves and handed it to Xiao Hua.
“Didn’t you say it was inconvenient without names? Zhuo, meaning bright, chosen for the rising sun. Yi, meaning beautiful and wonderful.”
Hearing this, Xiao Hua knew that these were the names for their son and daughter.
She looked and sounded them out several times in her mind, and felt they were very good. The names he picked were all good. She smiled and nodded.
She suddenly realized that she didn’t even know the Jing Prince’s name, and asked: “What’s highness’s name?”
The Jing Prince pulled her hand over and wrote two words on her palm, “Jing, Luo Jing.”
Xiao Hua squeezed her palm and smiled. She pulled the Jing Prince’s hand over and carefully wrote on his palm.
“Tao, Tao Xiao Hua.” After speaking, Xiao Hua felt like covering her face. Compared to the Jing Prince, her name was really tacky.
“It’s a little unsophisticated.” She said blushing with shame.
“Not unsophisticated.” He stroked her face. “Xiao Hua’er. Little peach blossom.”3
Xiao Hua’s cheeks turned red, her heart feeling shy and sweet.
Who said the Jing Prince was clumsy? Who said his highness wasn’t good with words? Why was he able to often say things that made her feel incessantly joyful?
These counted as words of endearment, right?
Especially since he would also speak these words with a rigid face, making one feel like smiling. But it also made one feel he was speaking sincerely.
This man expressed things differently from others. But she really liked it, what should she do?
Hehe, our female lead’s name is tacky, but our male lead likes it. Not good at choosing names. Someone said “Yi” was good, so “Yi” it is. As for “Zhuo”, this author came up with it herself, chosen for the gradually rising sun, which represents the Jing Prince’s ambition.
Speaking of some serious matters. My readers have probably noticed that this author hasn’t been gifting extra word count in the chapters recently. Yesterday the manager and this author had a discussion, and they said that this author’s VIP chapters’ formatting is incorrect. This would affect many things, and people might report that the later chapters have gotten shorter. They would also report that it’s bad for the competition (this last part is the main point).
Actually this author really wanted to say that I’m willingly gifting the extra word count, what does that have to do with anyone else? If they wanted to, they can also do the same. But everyone knows this author is under a lot of scrutiny recently, and can’t be reported to the admins. The manager is also doing this for my own good. Therefore, apologies to everyone….bows…..
In the future this author will try to release chapters more frequently to repay everyone (these words make me feel a little lacking in confidence, and also doesn’t seem appropriate).
Author’s notes explains quite a bit. The chapters had been around 3000-3500 words translated, and the most recent few have ranged from 2000-3000. I guess there’s a standard word count per chapter and they felt that her longer chapters were not compliant with the standard. I thought I was lucky and had a stretch of shorter chapters.
- Ancient Chinese ceremony where the newborn gets a bath on the third day of being born, and family and friends gather. Kind of like a baptism I guess.
- New word for me, but apparently means the recovery period after pregnancy where the body returns to normal.
- Play on words here. Little peach blossom is pronounced Xiao Tao Hua in Chinese. Although the Tao in her surname is written differently from the Tao in peach blossom, they are pronounced the same way.