Letting Go

Something was wrong. She could feel it. The machine on her left was beeping erratically. Shouldn’t they be telling her to push or something?
Finally, the doctor stood up straight. He took the few steps needed to be standing at her side. His eyes looked weary. He put his hand on her arm and made eye contact as he spoke gently.
“You or the baby will survive. Not both. I’m sorry.”
Her mind stalled. When she realized he was talking again, she tried to focus.
“You need to make a choice.”
A strangled sob escaped from her throat. Her eyes became bleary. Unconsciously, her hand moved to her stomach. To her baby. She could feel its kicks, but they felt so distant now.
“I…” Her mind raced without focus. She felt dizzy. Forcing herself to focus on the doctor, she tried to speaking again. “I d-don’t-” a sniffling hiccup cut her word short for a moment. “I don’t want to die.” Tears streamed down her face at her soft admission. She felt the doctor move his hand from her arm to squeeze her hand.
“Okay. We won’t let you die.” All his words after that seemed like a faint echo, never quite processing.
In her heart, she just kept apologizing to the baby she was letting go.

Prompt: The doctor put his hand on her arm and said gently, “You or the baby will survive. Not both. I’m sorry.”

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