Upon returning, it was the end of the year, and Chinese New Year was approaching.
The month-long journey was indeed beautiful, but the fatigue from traveling took a toll. Ye An spent several days in bed to recover her energy and adjust her state.
However, Xie Shuo was not as free as her. After resting for two days only, he immersed himself in the pile of accumulated work.
Worried about him getting too tired and not wanting to watch over him constantly, Ye An could only entrust Zhong Fu with reminding him to take breaks.
On Chinese New Year’s Eve, the two went over to Grandfather Xie’s place for a family reunion dinner.
At the dinner table, Ye An saw the little girl, Sui Sui, who had come to play with her when she got married to Xie Shuo.
The little girl had grown two years older, and her height had increased significantly. She was dressed in a pink princess dress, and her big eyes were dark and bright.
During dinner, the little girl would occasionally look up at Ye An. After dinner, when Xie Shuo was called away by Xie Baiyan, and Ye An went to rest on the side, the little girl followed her.
With nothing to do, Ye An started initiating the voices of characters from cartoons, just like she did last time. She would switch between different characters, and the little girl blinked her eyes, thoroughly entertained.
Soon, other children from relatives’ families were also attracted and gathered around.
This scene happened to be seen by Grandfather Xie and one of Xie Shuo’s aunts. The aunt teased, “An An, if you like kids so much, when are you planning to have one?”
A new round of pressure to have children began again.
Ye An responded perfunctorily, and in the corner of her eye, she saw Xie Shuo coming over. Quickly getting up, she slipped to his side and hooked her arm through his.
With Xie Shuo as her shield, the noise beside her ears quieted down. That night, the couple didn’t stay overnight at the ancestral residence and drove back to their own home.
The TV was playing the Spring Festival Gala, and the two cuddled on the sofa, playing games and snatching red envelopes on their phones. Occasionally, they whispered and laughed.
Thinking about what happened earlier, Ye An suddenly asked Xie Shuo, “Do you want kids?”
The pressure to have kids had never stopped, but Xie Shuo hadn’t shown a clear stance on it.
Xie Shuo didn’t answer but asked back, “Do you want to?”
Ye An shook her head. “Not really.”
She hugged his arm, locking her hand with his. “With how busy you are, where would you find the time to take care of a child?”
Although with the conditions of the Xie family, there would be no shortage of people to care for the child, it’s always better for parents to be present as they grow up.
Xie Shuo rubbed her delicate fingers, smiling. “Let’s wait a bit longer then.”
After discussing the topic of children, they chatted about other things.
At midnight, the alarm rang on time.
At the same time, outside the window, faint sounds of fireworks could be heard in the night sky.
Ye An handed her neatly wrapped red envelope to Xie Shuo with a smile.
“Happy New Year, may you have peace all year round.”
Xie Shuo smiled.
“May you have peace every year too.”
In the years to come, we will always be together.
After the Spring Festival, life gradually returned to normal. Although Xie Shuo remained busy, it was noticeably better than before, and he could now take time off even during holidays.
As for Ye An’s studio, its reputation was growing, attracting many new talents, and the business expanded into various aspects of the entertainment industry.
As for Ye An, she would take on a few projects every month, occasionally working on a couple of theme songs and dedicating some time to mentor the newcomers under her wing. It kept her busy enough.
In the early autumn of that year, the Xie Shuo family celebrated another joyous occasion as Xie Yuran and Xin Li, the quarrelsome but loving couple, finally held their wedding.
Xin Li designed her wedding gown herself, but there was a hiccup along the way, so it took almost half a year to get the final product.
Looking at the bride on stage with her trailing wedding gown, Ye An couldn’t help but recall her wedding.
She turned around, and when others weren’t looking, she sneakily gave Xie Shuo a kiss.
Xie Shuo held her hand and pulled her into his embrace before a smile appeared on his face,
In the second of Xie Yuran and Xin Li’s marriage, perhaps realizing that pressuring Xie Shuo was futile, Grandfather Xie shifted his hopes of holding great-grandchildren to them, initiating a new round of persuasion.
Being urged to have children just over a month after getting married — they were in for a tough time.
Listening to the relentless urging, Ye An exchanged a glance with Xie Shuo, expressing a sense of sympathy.
Due to the pressure to have children, Xin Li and Ye An’s new in-law relationship leaped forward, and Xin Li occasionally sought her out for advice.
When the first snowfall of the year arrived, Ye An dragged Xie Shuo to the garden and built two snowmen.
“Mine is cuter than yours.”
After making the snowmen, she smiled brightly.
Xie Shuo looked at the chubby snowmen on the ground and held her freezing red hands, trying to warm them up.
Ye An deliberately slipped her hands inside his coat, her face rosy but full of smiles. “Feeling cold?”
“Let’s go back.”
Xie Shuo embraced her and walked toward the house.
Fine snow covered the greenery, bending their branches and leaves. When the wind blew, it scattered some snowflakes. The ground lamps cast a soft glow, creating a warm atmosphere.
After the two showered, the snow that had stopped for a few hours started snowing again. Leaning against the bedhead, Ye An looked at the snow outside before turning to Xie Shuo and asking, “After the new year, you’ll be turning 30, right?”
Xie Shuo had just gotten into bed, and upon hearing her question, looked at her, not understanding why she suddenly brought this up.
Was she implying I’m getting old?
Ye An leaned in and whispered into his ear, “Shall we have a baby?”
Lately, Xie Baiyan had been openly hinting for them to have a child, considering Xie Shuo’s age. After considering it seriously, Ye An thought it might be the right time.
Xie Shuo remained silent, just looking at her. Ye An embraced his neck and playfully tapped his lips with her index finger. “Why so quiet? Don’t want to?”
The next moment, her waist was embraced, and Xie Shuo flipped over, pressing her beneath him.
Ye An placed her hand on his chest and cautioned him, “You mustn’t drink for a while, and don’t stay up late anymore …”
Before she could finish her sentence, her lips were sealed, and amidst the blending of breaths, she heard a muffled, “En.”
Ye An and Xie Shuo’s first child arrived in the summer of the following year.
That day, Ye An was in the recording studio dubbing for a movie. When she reached an emotional scene, she suddenly retched.
The other staff in the recording studio were all stunned: Was there such a part in the script?
Two seconds later, someone realized what happened and hurriedly approached, asking, “Ye laoshi, are you okay?”
At first, Ye An thought she might have caught a cold due to a lack of sleep in the past few days. She waved her hand and adjusted her condition before signaling everyone to continue.
After enduring the discomfort and finishing the recording, she rushed to the restroom, retching for a long time. It finally dawned on her that something was amiss. A certain thought flashed through her mind, and in a hurry, she left the studio, instructing the chauffeur to take her home.
It had been more than half a year since she and Xie Shuo started preparing for pregnancy. In the first two months, Ye An was occasionally anxious, but as time passed without any signs, and considering the false alarm with her upset stomach, she gradually became more relaxed about the matter.
Although her intuition was strong this time, she was afraid it might be another false alarm. Upon returning home, she first used a pregnancy test kit.
Looking at the result displayed on the pregnancy test, she couldn’t help but smile. She took out her phone, intending to call Xie Shuo, but then remembered he had an important meeting today. Instead, she asked the chauffeur to take her to the hospital.
At the hospital, estimating that his meeting should be over by now, she called Xie Shuo.
When Xie Shuo got the news, he rushed to the hospital. Ye An was sitting in the waiting area, waiting for the results.
Seeing her, he walked quickly toward her. The usually composed and calm man unexpectedly showed a hint of nervousness.
Looking up, Ye An grabbed his hand and smiled. “I’m waiting for the results; it should be soon.”
Xie Shuo sat down beside her, holding her hand with a slightly firmer grip.
Seeing him like this, Ye An playfully scratched his palm and teased, “Why are you even more nervous than me?”
Just as she said that the doctor came out with the examination results, confirming that she was indeed six weeks pregnant and in good health.
The tension on Xie Shuo’s face finally faded, replaced by a smile.
Ye An took his hand, placing it on her stomach, and said with a smile, “Congrats, you’re going to be a dad.”
Xie Shuo looked down, his large palm caressing her lower stomach through the fabric, and at that moment, it felt as if he could truly sense the heartbeat of the new life within.
After the doctor provided what to take note of for pregnancy and the schedule for prenatal check-ups, the two left the hospital.
On the way home, Ye An kept touching her abdomen, her eyes sparkling with excitement.
Xie Shuo held her hand, and a rare smile lingered on his usually reserved face.
However, Ye An excitement didn’t last long. Once they arrived home, she was hit by another wave of nausea.
Xie Shuo poured a glass of water, helping her drink it before placing the cup down on the coffee table.
Leaning against him in his arms, Ye An caressed her stomach helplessly. “There are still ten months to go… so long.”
Xie Shuo held her delicate hand, gently massaging it, saying reassuringly, “Not ten months. Starting now, it’s less than nine months.”
Ye An: “…….”
Even at this time, your logic remained.
Clearly, this reassurance didn’t have much effect; nine months still seemed very long.
Ye An could only lower her head and speak to her belly, attempting to communicate with the little one inside: “Be a good baby; don’t be naughty, okay?”
Watching her, Xie Shuo smiled lovingly.
Xie Baiyan had been staying at the ancestral residence lately. Soon, he received the news and hurried over with Grandfather Xie. Xie Yuran and Xin Li also came over.
In an instant, the entire house became lively.
Grandfather Xie smiled and inquired about the situation before advising Xie Shuo to come home early and spend more time with Ye An.
Sitting next to Ye An, Xin Li curiously touched her belly after obtaining permission.
“Do you feel anything?”
Ye An shook her head. At this stage, other than discomfort, there were no other sensations.
After Grandfather Xie finished instructing Xie Shuo, he noticed Xin Li’s action and turned to Xie Yuran, saying, “Xiao Ran, you should also hurry up.”
Innocently caught in the crossfire, Xie Yuran: “…….”
That night, lying in bed, Ye An belatedly felt a hint of surrealness.
Xie Shuo lifted the blanket and got into bed. Seeing her staring blankly, he reached out, placing his hand on her lower abdomen, and asked gently, “Still uncomfortable?”
Ye An shook her head and asked him, “Do you want a son or a daughter?”
Xie Shuo smiled. “Either is fine.”
Ye An snuggled into his arms and whispered, “Given how it’s causing a ruckus now, I feel like it’s a son.”
Xie Shuo held her and remembered something, saying, “Don’t go to the studio for now.”
Ye An kissed his chin and said coquettishly, “Then, don’t attend social gatherings until so late; come home early.”
Xie Shuo: “En.”
Being pregnant, Ye An didn’t dare to be careless. After finishing her current projects, she had Xiang Quan handle the remaining projects and focused on her pregnancy at home.
In addition to the auntie taking care of chores at home, Xie Shuo also hired a professional doula to take care of her, ensuring that her meals were nutritionally balanced.
Ye An felt like she had become someone incapable of managing her own life, relying on others for everything.
As for Xie Shuo, he changed his previous habits. He made a point to return home early every day to accompany her. Occasionally, if there were unavoidable social engagements, he would abstain from alcohol.
In the initial months, due to pregnancy-related symptoms, Ye An’s emotions were somewhat unstable. Her mother, Mrs. Xia Jin, occasionally conveyed concerns about “men being most likely to cheat during pregnancy,” making her more anxious.
Fortunately, Xie Shuo always accommodated her, avoiding anything that might upset her. He didn’t engage in any troublesome matters or give rise to any rumors of impropriety. Gradually, Ye An found peace of mind.
In fact, during Ye An’s pregnancy, some women did try to get close to Xie Shuo, but as soon as any signs emerged, he promptly extinguished them without any mercy.
Four to five months later, Ye An finally returned to normal, and her face regained its smile.
Her belly had also grown, requiring her to be cautious and supportive of her waist when walking.
On a winter day, with the warm sunshine scattered around, she finished her walk in the garden and rested alone on a chaise on the balcony, closing her eyes. A half-read book was placed by her side.
Returning home earlier than usual, Xie Shuo opened the door and entered their bedroom. At a glance, he saw her figure lying peacefully in front of the sunset.
The soft light cast onto her face, creating a gentle and radiant glow.
Xie Shuo tread softly, walking over to her side, his eyes filled with tenderness.
However, Ye An suddenly woke up and saw him, smiling with a twinkle in her eyes. “You’re back?”
Xie Shuo sat down beside her, gently pulling up the blanket covering her and holding her hand. “Why didn’t you go inside and sleep?”
“I got tired from reading and accidentally dozed off.”
Ye An handed him the book beside her. Since the early stages of pregnancy, she has been studying various prenatal education methods, making reading almost a daily routine.
“Before, I used to be the one reading. Now, you can read to me and the baby.”
She looked at Xie Shuo, expecting him to ignore her, but who knew that he would take the book and begin to read.
His voice was magnetic and had an inexplicable sense of charm.
Listening to his voice, Ye An’s gaze unconsciously landed on his face. The man’s features seemed unusually gentle, quite different from the cold demeanor he had on the night they first met.
In the blink of an eye, so much time had passed.
Xie Shuo looked up, and seeing her lost in thought looking at him, he asked gently, “What’s the matter?”
Ye An cradled his face, smiling. “Nothing much, just wanted to look at you more.”
Xie Shuo also smiled, his eyes reflecting her figure.
“Oh right, the baby moved today. Do you want to listen and talk to him?” Ye An suddenly said.
She put down her hands and leaned back, gesturing for Xie Shuo to lower himself. He bent down, pressing his ear against her belly. After a while, he heard a faint sound.
The lingering sunlight blurred the scene.
The next year, when the begonias bloomed, Ye An finally delivered the baby. Contrary to her initial guess, it was a girl.
The delivery process wasn’t very smooth. Xie Shuo waited outside the delivery room for several hours. His eyes deepened, and his complexion grew increasingly somber.
Finally, when the delivery room door opened, and the words, “Congratulations, mother and daughter are safe,” were heard, everyone outside breathed a sigh of relief.
Xie Shuo walked directly in, quickly reaching the bedside. Ye An lay there, strands of damp hair clinging to her forehead, her complexion pale, looking extremely weak.
Holding her hand, Xie Shuo kissed her forehead and said softly, “An An.”
Ye An turned her head and saw his frown. She smiled and said slightly hoarsely, “I’m fine. How’s our baby?”
“Here she is.”
Xie Baiyan took the pink and tender baby from the nurse and handed her to Xie Shuo.
Xie Shuo, not accustomed to holding such a small child, cradled her carefully and placed the baby by Ye An’s side.
The newborn’s face was wrinkled, and Ye An gently touched her cheek with her finger, smiling. “Baby, I’m your mommy.”
She then looked up at Xie Shuo and added, “This is daddy.”
The baby squinted her eyes, seeming to have fallen asleep.
The two of them exchanged a knowing smile.
After confirming that Ye An was in good health, Xie Shuo took her and the baby back home.
On the first night back home, the baby cried almost the entire night. Ye An had just given birth and was too weak to take care of the baby, but she wasn’t entirely at ease leaving it just to the nanny and the housekeeper, so the heavy task fell on Xie Shuo, the newly appointed dad.
After a sleepless night, Xie Shuo was at his wit’s end. Surprisingly, soothing a baby proved to be more exhausting than the sleepless nights he spent competing with business rivals when he first took over the company.
In the morning, Ye An woke up and saw him coming out of the nursery, glum—his shirt all wrinkled. She felt a mix of pity and amusement.
Sitting up in bed, she reached out and hugged him, suppressing a laugh. “You’ve worked hard. Here’s a hug.”
Xie Shuo, smelling the faint fragrance on her, softened a bit and stroked her hair. “Get up and have some breakfast. I’ll go take a shower.”
“I’ll get your clothes for you.”
Ye An released him and lifted the blanket, getting ready to get out of bed.
Xie Shuo held her hand. “No need.”
After having breakfast, Ye An went to the nursery to check up on their baby.
After a night of fussing, the baby had fallen asleep. Ye An sat beside the crib, watching the rosy face of the newborn, and her heart softened, subconsciously smiling.
Xie Shuo came to see the two of them before peacefully returning to their room to get some sleep.
Regarding the baby’s name, during pregnancy, Ye An pulled Xie Shuo to consider many names but never settled on one. Feeling that there might be a better choice, they kept postponing the decision.
Torn between choices, Ye An sent a message to Shi Shuangshuang, asking for her opinion. She wrote novels and scripts, so she should have a knack for choosing names.
Shi Shuangshuang: “Well, you may not know, but many authors struggle with naming too.”
Shi Shuangshuang: “Actually, the surname Xie is quite good for naming. For example…”
Ye An: “Xie Daoyun?”
Shi Shuangshuang: “Forgive me, the first name that flashed in my mind was…”
Shi Shuangshuang: “Xie Guangkun*.”
Ye An: “………”
Sure enough, Shi Shuangshuang received a message of being blocked by Ye An.