Mary Goes Into Labor
(May 1977)
(Mary is lying in her bed at the Ryans', sleeping, when she wakes up suddenly with a contraction. She turns on the light, looks at the clock, and writes something on a pad of paper. Maeve, seeing the light on, I guess, opens the door.)


MAEVE: Oh, darling, did I wake you?

MARY: No, come on in. (smiles) I think it's starting!

MAEVE: (excited) The baby?

MARY: Well, something was going on earlier, but I thought it was just a backache. This is much more specific.

MAEVE: Should we call Dr. Wolfe?

MARY: No, not yet. Let the poor man get as much sleep as he possibly can!

MAEVE: Is your bag packed?

MARY: (laughs) It's been packed for a week! Can you stay for a while?

MAEVE: Oh, sure. Your father is sound asleep.

(She sits in the bed, next to Mary, and puts her arm around her.)

MAEVE: Are you feeling alright?

MARY: I wish I'd eaten dinner - I'm starving!

MAEVE: Oh no, darling, it's just as well that you didn't. I could get you a cup of tea, though?

MARY: I'd rather be here together.

(Maeve kisses her forehead.)

MAEVE: You scared?

MARY: Not much. More excited.

MAEVE: too. It's a girl, you know!

MARY: I think so too. Frank, of course, says it's a boy.

MAEVE: Frank is wrong!

MARY: Jack's daughter. Oh Ma, I'm so glad you're here!

MAEVE: Oh, I'm sorry he isn't here.

MARY: I can't wait to see who this person is!

MAEVE: I know.

(She smiles and flashes back to another night, in the same room, with Mary when she was a girl. Young Mary is holding a doll.)

MARY: What if you had a baby, and you didn't like it?

MAEVE: Oh my! That would be awkward, now, wouldn't it?

MARY: Could it happen?

MAEVE: Yes, but not around here, though.

MARY: Would you stay with me for a while?

MAEVE: Sure.

(She sits in bed with Mary, with her arm around her.)

MARY: Do you think I'll have a lot of babies?

MAEVE: Well, what do you think?

MARY: Some, I guess. Not a lot. You'll be their grandmother?

MAEVE: That's right.

MARY: (smiles) That's good.

MAEVE: (nods) I like that, too.

MARY: I wonder who my husband will be.

MAEVE: Oh, somebody fine, somebody loving.

MARY: And smart, like Frank.

MAEVE: (laughs) That's right.

MARY: He'd better be rich, too!

MAEVE: Awwww, I don't know, Mary, rich is not so important.

MARY: It isn't?

MAEVE: (shakes her head) I don't think so.

MARY: Da's not rich.


MARY: So if my husband's nice, and I'm good, my babies will be nice people?

MAEVE: (kisses her forehead) Oh, your babies are going to be wonderful people!

MARY: And I'll like having them?

MAEVE: (laughs) Yes.

MARY: Does it hurt?

MAEVE: Well, some, but it's nothing that you can't manage. Besides, look at the rewards you get in the end, huh?

MARY: Julie Rose managed it. She had eight kittens at once!

MAEVE: That's right.

MARY: (nods) I'll just have one baby at a time.

MAEVE: (nods) I think that's very sensible of you.

(Mary smiles and holds her doll, and Maeve returns to the present when Mary has another contraction and makes a noise.)

MAEVE: What, darling?

MARY: Here we go again. Ma, feel this.

MAEVE: Oh, my, yes. Oh! Was the first contraction that strong?

MARY: Nah-ah.

MAEVE: Oh, well, I don't think you're gonna waste much time having this baby!

(They laugh.)

MARY: Maybe you'd better go tell Da and get dressed, hah?

MAEVE: Yes, dear.

MARY: And I'll call the doctor.

MAEVE: Alright. (screaming, on her way out the door) John!

(She closes the door, and Mary, smiling, starts dialing the phone.)

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