Sometimes ER is less a remote drama than a dangerous flashback machine. Sometimes it is very hard to watch ER on the same couch with Anna, watching a woman try to keep her baby inside, it's only 22 weeks, too soon to turn the fish out of the bowl. 22 weeks is when we had the first scare with Toccoa, she threatened to jump, she tried to kick her way out, she did some damage.

The woman on the screen is trying to freeze her belly, trying so hard to keep the muscles yanked tense, I think she would gladly stay taut for eighteen more weeks if it would work. She would stay in bed, she would take any test, any drug, anything that might work. But it doesn't work for her. It's done.

Toccoa gurgles around her bottle and squinches up her eyes. Anna is crying and trying to be quiet about it. The terror that possessed us halfway through the making of this baby is not quite forgotten.

The doctors could never decide what fixed it, what made Toccoa's frantic bird heart relax back to normal, what made her stop trying to leave her hammock too soon. Anna and Drew don't care. I don't care. Medicine, herbs, bedrest, shaman ritual, who cares, we won the right combination, and invisible Toccoa shushed and went back to eighteen weeks of good sleep.

Drew has never been much of a poet. But in the end, when Anna was dazed, bloody, out of her head but safe, holding her (alive alive alive) baby, Drew found the artistic sense to leave them for a second, to pull up the blinds, to let dawn slide warmly into the room, and the quiet light hit everyone's face all at once.

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