Birth Complications

INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM - MORNING

               Mid October, 1974

               It is 4:00am and Stuart and David pace the maternity ward
               waiting room.

                                          DAVID
                              I'm so glad you let us stay with
                              you for the last week, Stuart.
                              It's lucky that you live only a
                              block from the hospital.

                                          STUART
                              Are you kidding? We absolutely
                              love having you! Joanie has gotten
                              so emotionaly close to Emily since
                              we moved to Ottawa. I think it may
                              be a twin thing. Their bond
                              transcends the miles.

                                          DAVID
                              I know. Joanie was in our room
                              yelling for me to wake up just as
                              Emily went into labour. Emily was
                              just waking up herself when her
                              water broke. Sometimes I think
                              that Joanie is experiencing this
                              difficult pregnancy too.

               Joanie joins the two men.

                                          JOANIE
                              I called mom and dad, David.
                              They're going over to tell your
                              parents. Your dad has been so sick
                              since our wedding, that they'll
                              probably stay at home. I'll call
                              them when there's any news.

               A doctor joins the group. He looks worried.

                                          DOCTOR
                              Mr. Larson, may I speak to you
                              privately please?

                                          DAVID
                              Of course, doctor. Joanie, Stuart,
                              I'll let you know what's going on
                              as soon as I know.

               The doctor leads David to a small private doctor's lounge.

                                          DOCTOR
                              As you know, your wife is a week
                              overdue. The baby is very big, and
                              Mrs. Larson's birth canal is very
                              small. We were going to do a
                              caesarean section in two days'
                              time.

               David is worried, exasperated, losing patience.

                                          DAVID
                              I know all that, we went through
                              this two days ago. Just cut to the
                              chase. What is going on with my
                              wife and baby?

                                          DOCTOR
                              I'm getting to that. The baby's
                              feet are where it's head should
                              be. It's called a breach birth.
                              When Mrs. Larson went into labour,
                              the baby got stuck. We're doing a
                              caesarean section now, but there
                              has been some other serious
                              complications.

               David sits on a couch, his head in his hands. He's fighting
               tears.

                                          DAVID
                                     (wearily)
                              What kind of complications?

                                          DOCTOR
                              The umbilical cord is wrapped
                              around the baby's neck, it's in
                              distress. Your wife is
                              hemorrhaging and we're trying to
                              get it under control. I need a
                              decision from you, Mr. Larson.
                              There is a good chance that we
                              might be able to save one of them.
                              You must choose. Your wife, or
                              your baby? I know this is a
                              dreadful thing to ask, but I must
                              know now. There isn't much time.

               David sits on the couch, tears streaming down his face.

                                          DAVID
                              I don't know, how can I.. I've
                              loved her all my life... but
                              our child, our son or daughter,
                              how can I...

The End

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