Once and Again
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Over at Manning Manor, Tiffany winces and leans against a chair. "Was that a contraction?" Grace asks anxiously. Tiffany says she doesn't know. The front door opens, and Grace and Zoe rush for it, relieved finally to see Lily. Zoe asks where they were and says that Tiffany's water broke. Lily says she knows; they had an accident, and everyone is fine. She says she'll tell them about it in a minute, but first she wants to see how Tiffany's doing. She rushes into the living room, but Tiffany assures her that she's fine; she's still in the early stages. Lily smiles, relieved, and says she went to the hospital twice before they'd even admit her. Tiffany says she's not going to the hospital. "Excuse me, what?" Rick says from the foyer. Zoe relates that Tiffany is having a home birth. Rick asks what happens if something goes wrong, and for the millionth time, Tiffany explains that it's really safe. She's interrupted by another contraction, one so strong that it doubles her over. Grace says, "It's all planned out. Dad's on his way to her place with the midwife." Rick says, "I just wonder if you wouldn't be more comfortable --" "Why doesn't the midwife meet you at the hospital?" Lily interrupts. Tiffany tries to be patient, saying, "If it's a problem, I can drive myself. But I'd really like to have the home birth I planned for." The Curmudgeon emerges from the foyer, saying, "Uh, statistically there's no evidence that a hospital birth is safer." Tiffany beams and thanks him. Les adds that his daughter had a home birth. The phone rings. Zoe hands it off to Tiffany. "Hey, beauty!" Tammy, the midwife, chirps. She asks how Tiffany is doing. "It's really weird down there," Tiffany complains. "Yeah, you've probably been laboring and didn't even know it," Tammy says sympathetically. Tiffany smiles excitedly and passes along that bit of news to the rest of the gang. They're much less thrilled about it. Lily distracts herself by asking Grace to get some ice for the Curmudgeon's forehead. Grace leads the way to the kitchen, saying, "I'm Grace." The Curmudgeon mutters, "Yeah, I gathered." Lily pulls Rick into the foyer. "I was so scared when you called earlier," he whispers. Grace asks the Curmudgeon, "How do you want your ice? In a towel or in an ice pack?" "In a glass, with vodka on it," the Curmudgeon answers. Have I mentioned that I love this man? Grace is charmed, too. Tiffany joins Lily and Rick in the foyer, asking tentatively, "Lily, can you check to see if my cervix is open? I have explicit instructions from Tammy." She heads for the stairs, while Lily looks positively horrified. "This is not my job!" she whispers to Rick. Bet getting trapped in a blizzard is starting to look pretty good, right about now.

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Once and Again

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