Fields of Gold - Chapter 719
Madam Liu was stunned when she received the news. She hadn’t expected that her youngest daughter would give birth prematurely without any warning. In the countryside, there was a very low survival rate for premature babies. This was her daughter’s first child, so things must not go wrong ah!
When she saw her young maternal grandson, her heart completely relaxed. Her young grandson wasn’t small, and he was just slightly thinner than a full-term baby. The situation wasn’t too bad. It was much better than when her daughter was just born.
Her two daughters were twins. Her eldest daughter was alright. She was somewhat small, but she had a strong cry. Her younger daughter, on the other hand, was not much bigger than her father’s palm. She cried softly, like a little cat. Even the midwife said that she wouldn’t be able to survive to adulthood!
When her youngest daughter was a child, she was indeed brought up on medicine. Fortunately, her health gradually recovered. It was often said that ‘one who escaped from a great disaster was blessed with great fortune afterwards’. Wasn’t this true for her youngest daughter? Not only did she gain such a big family business with her own abilities, but she also married Imperial Prince Xu. Even her maiden family was blessed thanks to her.
To be reborn in her daughter’s belly, her young grandson must also be one who was blessed. However, what was wrong with this child? They had been taking turns to hold him for a long time. During that period, he had woken up and opened his eyes to look at them, but he didn’t cry at all. Earlier, she had deliberately poked his chin. Although the little fellow showed an annoyed expression, he still didn’t cry. This didn’t seem right ah…
Just as she was thinking about this, the little fellow wrinkled up his face and grunted twice. Seeing this, Princess Consort Jing hastily said, “Is he hungry? Where’s the wet nurse? Quickly come feed my dear little grandson.”
Yu Xiaocao and Zhu Junyang were stunned for a moment, and then they looked at each other. Princess Consort Jing saw this and asked, “It can’t be that you guys didn’t hire a wet nurse, right? Just look at these two kids. How can there not be elders around to look after you guys? Senior Servant Li, what did I send you over for? The young imperial prince and young princess consort are inexperienced, but how can you not know about these matters?”
“In reply to Your Highness, the young princess consort said that those who have been nursing for more than half a year have little nutrition in the breast milk. Therefore, we selected two wet nurses. One hasn’t given birth yet, while the other still has ten or so days until she’s done with her one-month post-natal confinement…” Senior Servant Li felt wronged.
The young princess consort was famous for her medical skills in the capital, so her words must be right. But, who would have thought that the young princess consort would give birth two months ahead of schedule? This proved that saying, ‘plans could never keep up with the changes’.
Seeing that her in-law was anxious, Madam Liu hastily comforted, “When a child is just born, he needs to discharge meconium first. I reckon that the child doesn’t seem to be hungry. Let’s first check if he has defecated.”
With that, she skillfully unwrapped the swaddled cloth and pulled out his diaper. Sure enough, it was stained with dark green feces. Madam Liu cleaned her young maternal grandson’s butt with warm water, and then put on a clean diaper. The little fellow felt comfortable now. He opened his gleaming black eyes and stared fixedly at his maternal grandmother. He kicked his legs and appeared very clever.
A group of granny-aged women were fawning over him. However, they encountered slight difficulty when they were rewrapping the swaddling cloth. The little fellow had experienced the taste of freedom, so he no longer wanted to be tied up and unable to move. He worked hard to kick his two little legs, which weren’t considered very strong. Madam Liu wrapped up her little grandson again with much difficulty.
When her eldest grandson was born, Princess Consort Jing was unable to take care of the child even for a day due to her health. She hadn’t touched an infant in over twenty years, so despite being worried, she couldn’t help with anything. Seeing that her little grandson’s face was wrinkled up with a displeased expression after being wrapped up again, Princess Consort Jing tapped his little forehead and lovingly said, “You, this naughty little fellow, made your maternal grandmother so tired. So disobedient!”
The little fellow stared at her without blinking, and then…blew a bubble at her. Princess Consort Jing liked it so much that she laughed for half a day.
Princess Consort Jing took the baby and under Madam Liu’s guidance, she gently patted him to sleep. She suddenly thought of her grandson’s source of food and instructed, “Oh right, Senior Servant Li, check the servants of the two estates to see if there are any with children born within the past two to three months. Find one who is neat and nimble and has an upright character. We can let my little grandson go hungry.”
Yu Xiaocao touched her swollen chest and said in a low voice, “Lady Mother, actually, I can feed the child myself. I heard that the first mouthful of milk is the most nutritious and good for the child’s health…”
Princess Consort Jing had always treated her youngest daughter-in-law like her own daughter. She looked at somewhat haggard Xiaocao and said hesitantly, “Isn’t it very tiring to take care of the child yourself? Wouldn’t that affect your recuperation during your post-natal confinement?”
“It won’t. Look, the little guy is so well behaved. He doesn’t cry and throw tantrums. Moreover, I’m just nursing him. Isn’t Meixiang and Senior Servant Li usually here to help me? How could it be tiring?” Yu Xiaocao strived for rights to take care of her own children. She felt uncomfortable with the thought of her child growing up being nursed by other people.
“It’s often said that a child would be closer to the person who nursed him. In-law, you should just let her try.” In the countryside, which family didn’t raise their children themselves? At that time, they had to care for their children, as well as do the housework. Didn’t all married women go through the same experience? When her eldest grandson was born, it was also her eldest daughter-in-law who took care of him while she helped on the side. They raised him into a fair and plump child, and he was very close to his maternal grandmother and mother!
Before Xiaocao began breastfeeding, she applied a hot towel for a while and carefully cleaned the tip. It was finally her, the mother’s, turn to hold the baby. When the little fellow stared earnestly at her with his damp, dark eyes, the corners of Xiaocao’s eyes turned red. A thing called ‘familial affection’ slowly flowed within her.
Infants were born with the innate ability to suck for milk. As soon as he was in his mother’s arms and smelled the special scent, the little fellow relaxed his brows and opened his mouth to firmly grasp onto his ‘source of food’. His small face was completely red as he worked hard to suck a few mouthfuls. The sweet milk flowed into his mouth.
Madam Liu guided her daughter on her posture of holding the baby. After nursing for a while, she told her to change to the other side. Newborns had a small appetite, so he stopped sucking after less than ten minutes. The little fellow, who was now full, looked at Xiaocao with his dark, gem-like eyes. The mother-son pair stared at each other until the little guy couldn’t stand it anymore——he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Zhu Junyang was afraid that his wife would be tired, so he hastily picked up his son and held him in a clumsy manner. His stiff posture looked more tiring than having him lift a stone dumbbell two hundred times.
Princess Consort Jing held back her laughter and reached out her hands to save her foolish son. Zhu Junyang finally felt relieved inwardly after he handed the little fellow into his lady mother’s hands. He was seriously afraid that he couldn’t control his strength and hurt the child.
Madam Liu, Lady Fang, and the others spoke briefly with Xiaocao. Seeing that she was tired, they got up and bid their farewells. Lady Fang said, “When Little Linlin heard that I was coming to see you, he pestered me for a long time, insisting to come along. I was afraid that he would cause a disturbance, so I persuaded him not to come.”
“Godmother, bring Linlin along next time. He has always been an obedient child. We should let the little uncle see his nephew.” Yu Xiaocao could imagine the disappointed expression of Fang Haolin, this little friend. Fang Haolin had grown up in front of her eyes, and thus the sister-brother pair naturally had a close relationship.
Lady Fang thought about it and nodded her head, “Okay! I’ll bring him along the next time I visit! That fellow has been clamoring to see his older sister for a long time!”
Madam Liu shared some child-rearing experiences with her daughter. Upon leaving, she said, “I’ll come to see you tomorrow. Remember that during the confinement period, you should not get chilled, take baths, and most importantly, exhaust yourself…”
“In-law, rest assured. I’ll stay to look after her.” Princess Consort Jing was reluctant to let go of her young grandson. Lanxiang and the other maidservants looked at each other. Her Highness didn’t mention this before coming out ah. They didn’t bring any change of clothes and necessities that the princess consort normally used…
The elders knew that Xiaocao liked to be clean. In the past, when they didn’t have good living conditions in Dongshan Village, she still insisted on bathing daily. After she came to the capital, she had specially built a bathroom with heated flooring. She must take a bath every day. As her elders, they were afraid that she wouldn’t listen to them and wash her hair and take baths during her post-natal confinement period.
Princess Consort Jing had suddenly proposed to stay for two reasons. On one hand, she was reluctant to leave her dear little grandson. On the other hand, she also wanted to watch her daughter-in-law. It was really worrying to not have an elder to watch over these two children.
The little guy grew very fast, and his facial features soon became apparent. He had charming phoenix eyes that indeed resembled his father. His nose was very delicate, and his mouth was slightly more plump than his father’s. Princess Consort Jing held her young grandson in her arms everyday and was unwilling to put him down.
There was something different about the little guy every day, and he was so endearingly well-behaved. He never caused trouble and would only grunt a few times when he was hungry or needed to change his diapers. He was always quiet when they took care of him. When they played with him, he would stare at them with his gleaming black eyes and from time to time, show a toothless grin. He also didn’t throw tantrums when he wanted to sleep. His eyelids would droop, and then he would try hard to open them. After a few times, he finally couldn’t resist the calling of the ‘God of Sleep’ and fell into a slumber.
Such a clever and lovely little grandson. The longer Princess Consort Jing took care of him, the more she liked him. Thus, she decided to stay long-term at Imperial Prince Xu’s Estate. Imperial Prince Jing couldn’t persuade her against the idea, so he could only let do what she wanted. Everyday, after attending court, he would also directly go to Prince Xu’s Estate.
To have an elder at home was the same as having a treasure. The young couple were naturally willing to let their lady mother care for the child. Furthermore, Princess Consort Jing treated Xiaocao even better than her own son. There was no discord between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. The three generations got along quite well.
The Heir of Imperial Prince Jing felt very helpless. His lord father and lady mother didn’t stay at Prince Jing’s Estate and insisted on living at his youngest brother’s residence. Fortunately, his lord father had yet to pass his title to him. Otherwise, what would outsiders say about him? The eldest son, who had inherited the title, drove his parents out to live at his youngest brother’s residence. How improper ah!
The heir personally visited the estate several times, but his lady mother rejected him with the reason that she was unable to leave the child because he was too young. ‘Lady Mother, can you find a more genuine excuse? As the dignified Imperial Prince Xu, would Youngest Brother not be able to hire a wet nurse? Take a look at the other powerful and influential families. Which one of them didn’t have several people, such as wet nurses and senior servants, taking care of their newborns? Would your help be needed?’
However, after he visited Prince Xu’s Estate several times, he realized that his lady mother really wasn’t just making up an excuse. Each time he saw his lady mother, she was holding his young nephew in her arms. He had also seen his lady mother skillfully change his young nephew’s diapers and clean his butt!