Han Yunxi's words stunned both the husband and the hearts of every man there. Cloud Realm Continent might be advanced for its times, but it was still a patriarchal society. In everyone's minds, the man had full rights to decide while the women were only supposed to follow along with his choices. The women present were caught between shock and admiration, but still others were left confused and unable to understand.
A female doctor suddenly laughed out loud. "Han Yunxi, are you pretending to be stupid, or an actual idiot? Ask any of the mothers here! What would they pick? If this goes on, you won't be able to shoulder the consequences!"
What kind of mother would sacrifice her child to save herself?
"Of course, she'll choose to preserve the children! Do you even need to ask?"
"Exactly, this is just wasting time! Suppose we miss the chance to even do that? You'll all be committing sins!"
"Han Yunxi, you guys can't be so selfish!"
There was a flurry of commentary from the crowd, but Han Yunxi simply leaned against the door in silence. She looked coldly upon the female doctor who had instigated the crowd and said in a clear voice, "Stop misleading the public, you. This wangfei is simply letting the mother choose whether she wants to believe in Gu Beiyue or you guys. I have no right to let her pick whether to save herself or her children."
If there was a choice, would any mother bear to lose their baby?
The female doctor was rendered speechless. She shot looks towards the department heads while the husband began to stutter and curse Han Yunxi. "I, I--I'm her husband. I...you have no right to meddle in which doctor I trust! Y-you--just who do you think you are, huh? Don't think you're all that!"
After that, the medical assistant rushed out, earning the attentions of everyone there, including the husband. He gasped for breath as he inhaled and proclaimed, "The mother says she trusts Doctor Gu, she trusts Doctor Gu! None of the other doctors need to come in…"
At this, Han Yunxi shot the husband a venomous glare until all of his wrath withered up. Then the medical assistant added, "Clan Head Ren, Doctor Gu asks that you hurry and let the Ren Clan's fourth young Miss go in. He'll need her help with the births."
There were plenty of top-tier female doctors in the crowd, but Gu Beiyue wanted the Ren Clan's fourth young Miss? While the crowd mused over that, even Clan Head Ren himself was surprised. The fourth young Miss was his daughter by his first wife and had been in the medical academy since her childhood years. She only began specializing in obstetrics a few years ago, so her experience was far below those of the female doctors here!
"What's her background?" Han Yunxi asked Gu Qishao.
"Clan Head Ren's favorite daughter, he dotes on her. I don't know about her medical skills, though. Heheh, Gu Beiyue's certainly picked an interesting person," Gu Qishao chuckled.
Fourth Young Miss Ren's participation would greatly affect the decisions of the judging panel. Although Gu Beiyue's choice to ask her for help was filled with veiled complaints, no one dared to voice them in front of Clan Head Ren. He didn't have a good opinion of Gu Beiyue either, nor did he want to involved his daughter in this mess. Just as he was about to refuse, Fourth Young Miss Ren herself spoke up from the crowd.
"I'm here! I'm here! It's an emergency, so it'll be dangerous if she doesn't birth the babies!" She pushed her way through the crowd and prepared to go inside.
"Hold it!" Clan Head Ren snapped. "Your seniors in the obstetrics department are all here. Aren't you going to greet them?"
Clan Head Ren's words were full of obvious hints, but Fourth Young Miss Ren only said in a hurry, "Father, human lives are more important! I'll pay my respects to them later."
Clan Head Ren grabbed her wrist and gave her a few meaningful looks. Meanwhile, Han Yunxi observed the young twenty-year-old, who was both delicate and pretty.
"You know that human lives are at stake too! You can't shoulder this burden, I won't let you in!" Clan Head Ren fumed.
"Father, daughter can do it! Doctor Gu is the main doctor, he had the right to choose his helpers," Fourth Young Miss Ren tried her best to struggle free, but couldn't.
Han Yunxi gave a look to Xu Donglin, who instantly stepped forward and grabbed Clan Head Ren's wrist. She herself went to open the doors and let Fouth Young Miss Ren inside. Once the girl was gone, she went back to leaning on its frame as before.
"Han Yunxi!" Clan Head Ren was furious. Xu Donglin unsheathed his sword and stepped in front of his master while Gu Qishao remained stepping on Department Head Lin. Both of them only allowed the servant girls to go in and out with their pails of hot water.
"You all!" Department Head Huo glared at Han Yunxi. "All of you! Very good! Han Yunxi, this old man is telling you now, if Gu Beiyue fails, don't even think of leaving the academy!"
"If Gu Beiyue fails, then I...then I want all of you to repay with your lives!" the husband added his warning.
Everyone waited anxiously. News of the events had already spread beyond the Apricot Woods and all of Medical City. No one could bother worrying about the medical skills competition now when the mother's life hung in the balance. Everyone was worried. Would she live? Die? How many would live or die with her?
If Gu Beiyue succeeded, it didn't mean he would win; he still had to deal with the rest of the medical skills competition. If he failed, then he'd not only lose all standing and reputation, but be denounced and criticized by the entire city. Han Yunxi and Gu Qishao would join him as "accomplices" to his crime. All of their efforts at Medical City so far would be for naught.
Han Yunxi leaned against the door while facing the countless angry stares in the crowd with a pair of clear, bright eyes. But she could hear the nervous voices coming from the delivery room, which sounded as if a battle was underway. Both the midwife and Fourth Young Miss Ren were doing their best.
"No good, no good! I can see the child's feet! The feet are coming out!" the midwife shouted.
"Block it! You have to block the feet--everyone, come help!" Fourth Young Miss Ren said loudly.
Breech delivery either came out one or two feet at a time, one or two knees at a time, or a foot and a knee at a time. This situation meant that the umbilical cord could leave the vaginal opening ahead of the baby, thus resulting in umbilical cord prolapse. The umbilical cord held the infant's lifeblood and oxygen. If it fell away, the baby would suffer from lack of air and die in the womb within seven minutes. Thus, when the feet tried to escape first, one had to "block" it back to keep the baby from coming out backwards. Once the buttocks of the baby were showing in the pelvic opening instead, a breech delivery could be performed with higher chances of success and safety.
But this blocking process was a heated battle! The mother's strength was the only thing sustaining the fight! She had to race against time to ensure a successful birth.
In the silence, the husband suddenly shouted, "What's the situation now? At least tell us what's happening!"
"The feet are showing first, so they're blocking it right now," Han Yunxi replied calmly.
"The water's broken for so long. No good, this is too dangerous! Gu Beiyue, this isn't just one child, but four! You don't have that much time!" a female doctor cried indignantly.
"Shut up! Whoever distracts him has to shoulder the consequences!" Han Yunxi was even louder than her, aweing the crowd into exchanging glances. For a while, no one dared to speak.
Han Yunxi's heart was pounding in her chest. She wasn't worried about the results, but human lives! Five of them were at stake! She herself had been delivered by breech birth into this world and caused Lady Tianxin's death. She had no idea how skilled Gu Beiyue was, especially when it came to obstetrics. But she was determined to believe in him.
Gu Beiyue had never disappointed her. Please don't disappoint me this time, either.
Behind her, the midwife and Fourth Young Miss Ren were still talking, but Gu Beiyue hadn't said a word. What was he doing? Meanwhile, the midwife suddenly gave a sob.
"I can't block it, I can't! I can't block it!"
Han Yunxi's heart almost leaped out of her chest. But a warm and gentle voice, filled with strength, soon calmed her down along with the midwife and Fourth Young Miss Ren.
Gu Beiyue said, "Fourth Young Miss Ren, please insert a needle in the sole of the infant's foot, one to two fen deep, three to four times."
"Alright!" Fourth Young Miss Ren was completely cooperative as she did as she was told. Very soon, a miracle happened. Scared by the pain, the baby quickly withdrew its foot and turned around until it came out headfirst from the womb.
"Wahhh…" A sharp, clear cry broke through the stillness of the air. Both the people within and without the room breathed a sigh of relief. Fresh air seemed to replace the stagnant atmosphere. The people outside had no idea what had happened, but Han Yunxi could hear every word from the gates. The mother still had strength to speak, so the situation didn't seem serious.
"The second one's coming out too! Quickly, it's also head first, the head's facing the bottom!" the midwife rejoiced.
"Mother-to-be, let's go again. Use more strength when you breathe in and cooperate with me. When I say to push, you'll push...we can't waste time," Fourth Young Miss Ren said urgently.
The first baby was a hard delivery, but after opening up the pelvic cavity, the other three babies slipped out quickly, one after the other. The continuous chorus of crying made it hard for the crowd to tell exactly how many children had been born. In any case, most of them were relieved by the sound. Even the children's father was smiling now. But Han Yunxi simply stood unmoving as the danger of childbirth had yet to pass. If the opening was too wide, the mother could suffer uncontrollable bleeding. Even more frightening was something called amniotic fluid embolism, where the amniotic fluid suddenly entered the mother's bloodstream and resulted in respiratory failure and profuse bleeding, damaging much of the internal organs. This phenomenon could occur before, during, or after childbirth and had a 90 percent fatality rate.
As the babies' cries grew louder, their father grew more and more excited. Moved with emotion, he rushed to the door and cried, "How many children were saved? Were they all delivered? I want to see my children! Hurry and bring them out!"
Han Yunxi only looked at him coldly without a word.
Soon enough, the midwife and servant girls carried out the clean infants, drawing the attention of the crowd. Of the four children, two were boys and two were girls, all of them safe and sound. Perhaps they were looking for their mother, because all of them were bawling at the top of their lungs.
"If they're all safe, then that's good, that's good!"
"Two sons and two daughters, congratulations! Congratulations!
"Thank goodness they're more scared than hurt! The Goddess of Mercy has blessed us!"
"Doctor Gu certainly has some skills. I never thought Fourth Young Miss Ren had the ability, either. Heheh, Clan Head Ren, aren't you afraid of losing a good daughter like this to any matchmaker who comes knocking on your door? Haha?"
In the midst of celebration, everyone had forgotten about the mother. Only Han Yunxi looked icily at the crowd while waiting and saying her prayers…