Amanda shrieks yet again until, paler than ever, her wife collapses. “Thanks a lot, Nix,” the laboring woman mutters after she opens her eyes and draws enough breath to speak.
Emily, still holding her friend’s hand and looking like a displeased cat, swallows. “I told Nicki she should have put on some headphones.” She leans forward, loosening her tight-lipped smile and lowering her shoulders to kiss the brunette’s cheek once more.
The pregnant woman continues pouting. “Stupid Nix,” she grumbles. “Little Ms. ‘Nooo, I can handle it; don’t worry about me!’ She’s fired from being my wife ever again.” Then she screams anew.
“Please let me change hands again!” the smaller woman squeals in return. She doesn’t get her wish. “Dee, can I please be fired too? I-I’m sure that I hear Nana crying for me!”
“Liar!” Amanda cries back. Her bearing takes on a much sadder air. “Please don’t leave me, Em! It’s almost time; I can feel it!”
But it is not. Two hours later, and her labor has barely progressed though nearly twenty hours have passed since her first contraction. “Make it stop, Em! Please!” she has begged most of the time since her wife passed out. Reese is still in hiding, or taking care of Hannah, if one believed her.
Yet another doctor suggests that he give Amanda medicine to induce the second stage of childbirth.
Yet again, the patient refuses. “No way, mister. I don’t want anyone drugging Julie before she’s born! We’re doing this all-natural.” She has accepted no aides throughout the entire process.
“Please just give it to her!” Emily pleads with the man. “Dee’s not in her right mind! Can’t you see that? She-”
“Shut up, Em! The answer’s no! You’re excused,” she tells her doctor when he does not move away from the foot of her bed. Using a splayed leg, she bumps Emily’s thigh for the uncountable time. “You’re officially fired from being my best friend!” she adds as she crosses her arms in a huff.
The older woman echoes the doctor’s sigh. “You’ve already fired me, Dee. Six times,” she mutters. “Still won't let me go anywhere, though.”
“Then you’re rehired-”
“For the seventh time?” Bored brown eyes peer up into dark flaming ones.
“Yes!” Amanda sulks. “But now you’re-”
“Fired,” EmDee say together.
The doctor puts his foot down after another hour. “We’ve tried everything else now! We have to get that baby out!”
“Wait, wait!” Fear overtakes the fury and pain on Amanda’s face. “Please just wait! Em!” She throws her arms around her friend and squeezes her tight. Her teary face presses into Emily’s back.
At once, the blonde changes her stance. She holds out a thin arm to fend off the man in the white coat. “Maybe we could-”
“No, I’m sorry. I can’t do that any longer. The baby-”
“Let me try one last thing!” Placing a gentle but firm hand on the overstretched skin of her abdomen, Amanda takes a deep, calming breath. Then she shouts, “Juliette Catherine Thompson, you get out here right now, young lady!”
Nicki perks up from being out cold on the hospital bed next to her wife. “Y-yes, boss? What?” she wonders, disoriented.
But Amanda is already screaming again; their child has finally dropped into place to be born.