Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
An Xiaoning followed his lead and continued to grab his hand tightly.
The doctor and nurses soon arrived. Realizing that An Xiaoning was not able to move at all, the doctor had no choice but to carry out the delivery right in her hospital ward.
“I’ve come across many expectant mothers, but I’ve never encountered anyone as eager to deliver as you are. Give it a push,” the doctor instructed.
An Xiaoning grabbed onto Gu Beicheng with one hand and held the doctor’s hand with the other.
She pushed with all her might and expended all her energy to give birth to her child.
Yet, images of Jin Qingyan kept flashing through her mind as she burst into tears uncontrollably due to the immense pain.
“Keep pushing, the baby is almost out.” The doctor let go of her hand and pressed both his hands onto her stomach.
An Xiaoning was incapacitated and could not speak due to the pain, which also caused her to break out in cold sweat. Panting heavily, she clenched her jaw and persisted on.
After another few minutes of torment, An Xiaoning felt like the fetus was about to slide out of her and all she needed to give was all her energy. Otherwise, the fetus might suffocate in her womb.
Feeling as if she was about to be pried open further, An Xiaoning tightened her grip on Gu Beicheng’s hand and exclaimed in agony, “Beicheng… I feel like I’m going to die soon. Ahh!!!”
Gu Beicheng was thrown into a state of frenzy along with An Xiaoning’s shrieks.
“The baby’s head is out. An Xiaoning, please give it one last push! Hurry!” the doctor exclaimed, egging her on.
Drenched in sweat, An Xiaoning was exhausted beyond her limits and felt as if she was crippled from head to toe.
However, she managed to gather every last bit of energy in her and gave a final push to deliver her child.
The next thing she knew, the room was filled with the sounds of her newborn crying.
“Quick, take a look at the time.”
The doctor swiftly grabbed the scissors and asked Gu Beicheng, “Would you like to cut the umbilical cord?”
Gu Beicheng took the scissors from the doctor’s hands and cut the cord according to the latter’s instruction. A smile formed on his face as he gazed at the newborn, who was still covered in the amniotic fluids.
The nurse hurriedly wrapped the infant in a towel and carried him to let An Xiaoning have a look before bringing him away for a wash-up. The doctor then proceeded to help An Xiaoning clean up.
Gu Beicheng carried An Xiaoning onto another bed while the nurses hurriedly replaced the bed sheets and blanket, after which Gu Beicheng then carried her again back onto the bed.
An Xiaoning closed her eyes, dog-tired and exhausted beyond limits.
The nurses helped An Xiaoning change her undergarments underneath the blanket and put on a sanitary pad for her, lest her bodily fluids stain the sheets.
“Why didn’t you ask about the gender of your child?” asked Gu Beicheng, who was accompanying her by her side.
“It’s still my child regardless of the gender.”
“You still ought to know anyway. It’s a boy,” said Gu Beicheng, grinning from ear to ear and beaming with joy, as if she had just given birth to his child.
“Call Father and Mother to inform them about it,” An Xiaoning instructed.
“Oh, right. Yes, yes, I totally forgot about that.” Gu Beicheng hurriedly proceeded to give Mrs. Gu a call and break the good news to them.
Minutes later, the nurse returned to the ward with the child in her arms, bringing along a baby’s cot.
Gu Beicheng carried the child into his arms carefully before taking a seat beside An Xiaoning’s bed to let her have a look. “Look, it’s your son.”
An Xiaoning took a glance at her child, who only had one eye open, and blurted, “He’s hideous.”
“Hey! What do you mean hideous? He’s a newborn, of course his features aren’t going to be developed yet. Who says that about their own child?” Gu Beicheng chided.
Gazing at her child, An Xiaoning felt her heart fill with love and warmth, though her abdomen was still twitching with a dull ache since her womb was still in recovery.
“Beicheng, who do you think the child looks like?”
Pinching the newborn’s tiny hand, Gu Beicheng answered smilingly, “I think he looks like me.”
An Xiaoning snorted with laughter. “You really enjoy being thick-skinned, don’t you?”
“That’s not being thick-skinned. I’m just stating facts. But, one of his features does resemble yours.”
“Which?” An Xiaoning asked as she began scrutinizing her child’s face.
“His nose. It’s very nice and well shaped. Well, as for the rest, he resembles his father.” As much as he hated to admit it, he found that the child’s features were simply too strikingly similar to Jin Qingyan’s.
An Xiaoning took a closer look to realize that it was indeed so and could not stop smiling.
Dog-tired, An Xiaoning laid down slowly and said to Gu Beicheng, “Beicheng, I’m going to get some sleep. Help me look after the child for a while.”
“Go ahead, I’m here.”
She nodded and closed her eyes before falling asleep peacefully.
Gu Beicheng sat by the side and stared at the infant, who opened both his eyes. Staring wide-eyed at the world around him curiously, the infant looked extremely innocent and adorable. Meanwhile, his mother, An Xiaoning had already drifted off to dreamland.
A sudden fantasy popped up in Gu Beicheng’s head, and he thought to himself, If only she was my wife and this was my son. How great would that be?
Even if he had nothing to his name, he would still be glad as long as he had his wife and child with him.
Unfortunately, it was all just a figment of his imagination.
Not long after, Mr. and Mrs. Gu arrived together with Gu Dongcheng.
“Hush,” Gu Beicheng shushed them to stop them from making too much noise.
Mrs. Gu nodded and made her way in quietly, making sure to keep her footsteps as light as possible. She took a glimpse of the infant in Gu Beicheng’s arms and exclaimed in delight, “How adorable! Let me carry him.”
“Be careful,” Gu Beicheng cautioned as he handed the infant to her.
“I know, I know. How could I possibly drop the baby? I was the one who brought you up. I’m very experienced in carrying infants,” Mrs. Gu retorted.
“Are you done yet? It’s my turn,” urged Mr. Gu, who also wanted to have a go at carrying the infant.
“I barely started. You may just have a look.”
“I want to carry him.”
It was not only Gu Beicheng who knew it was An Xiaoning’s birthday, Jin Qingyan was aware of it as well.
He brought some fresh flowers with him to the graveyard and laid them all around her grave.
“Did anyone come to visit the grave today?” he asked the grave-keeper.
A frown creased Jin Qingyan’s forehead as he asked again, “Mr. Gu didn’t come either?”
“How about the Gu family?”
Jin Qingyan did not say anything else. On the journey back, a sudden thought ran through his mind continuously: You damned Gu Beicheng, you adored Xiaoning to bits while she was still alive. Now that she’s dead, you’ve forgotten all about her.
What a hypocrite!
If Jin Qingyan knew that Gu Beicheng was accompanying An Xiaoning and holding his child at this very moment, he would definitely implode with anger and pass out for three days straight.
Upon arriving home, he sat alone in the living room and began drowning his sorrows in alcohol. He was overwhelmed with a misery that he could not explain.
In fact, he did not know to whom he could tell his troubles.
All he could do was suffer in silence and bottle up his feelings.
“Qingyan…” Gu Xiaoning made her way downstairs and walked towards him slowly before sitting down beside him. “Why are you drinking again? It’s not like you don’t know that I dislike the smell of alcohol.”
Jin Qingyan shot her a glance and said, “Go to bed first. I won’t be accompanying you tonight.”
“Are you beginning to dislike me?” Gu Xiaoning asked, feeling as if his words were a million daggers stabbing through her heart.
“Then why did you make tonight an exception when you’ve been spending every night with me? You must be starting to dislike me.”
Not sure how he should explain himself, Jin Qingyan had no choice but to stand up and concede, “Alright, let’s go upstairs.”
She instantly burst into joy and held onto his arm while they made their way upstairs together.
He could finally be at peace after telling her a bedtime story and tucking her into bed.
This was a daily affair for him. She would only go to bed in peace after he tells her a bedtime story.