Episode 146: How To Give Birth?

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When I was a kid, I was always wondering where I was born and I am sure most people have the same experiences. In China, since sex including birth giving is a serious topic that parents usually don’t teach children. There are many weird but popular respouses out there that parents can use in China like “we found you in a garbage can.” or “you are given as a gift when we pay the phone bills.” or something closer to the truth that “I pooped you out.” or “you jumped out of my belly.”

These sayings sound bazaar however they happen in many mythological stories. Today we will tell two stories about bazaar ways of giving birth and interestingly you can find similar stories in Greek mythology.

In Greek mythology, the goddess of wisdom Athena was born from the head of her father Zeus. There is a similar story in Chinese mythology. In the book YiYuan 异苑, a book of collections of stories about the supernatural from the Southern dynasty 南朝, around the 420 ~ 589, it says during the reign of Emperor of An of Jin 晋安帝, between the year 405 ~ 419, there was a man called Li Xuan 李宣 from the place called WeiXing 魏兴. His wife Mrs. Fan 樊 was pregnant and she still didn’t give birth when the expected delivery date past. Instead, on her forehead appeared a wound where a baby came through.


In Greek mythology, the god of wine and fertility Dionysus was born from his mortal mother. There is a similar story in Chinese mythology from the same book YiYuan. It says, during reign of Wendi of Song 宋文帝 between the year 424 to 453, there was a man called Wu Piao 武漂 from the kingdom of Pei 沛国. His wife Mrs. Lin 林 deceased caused by diseases while still being pregnant. At that time, it was a taboo in that region to place a pregnant woman in the coffin and to avoid so the boobs of the women needed to be removed. It is for sure a devastating thing that a woman die while being pregnant but I don’t know why her boobs needed to be removed. Maybe people were worrying about messing up with the reincarnation? The mother of the diseased Mrs Lin were crying on her dead body and said, “god pity my poor daughter and don’t let her body be apart after death.” Shortly, the face of the deceased Mrs. Lin moved and looked embarrassed and also angry. Maybe she heard what her poor mother’s wish and knew what would happen to her body. People came up and held her up, after a while, a baby was born then the dead body fell back to the ground. This is such a heartbroken story. I wonder if the baby is alive or not.


I saw a news a few years ago. There is a woman in Portugal whose brain had been dead for almost 4 months and gave birth to a healthy baby.


异苑 YiYuan

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