It's a cold and stormy night, and in a house in rural Vermont, midwife Sibyl Danforth is, together with the father and an assistant, in the middle of a homebirth. As time passes, the woman in labor meets with difficulties and Sibyl concludes that it would be preferable for the woman to deliver her baby in the hospital. Though a dead telephone line and bad weather prevents Sibyl from going anywhere. Black ice and a persisten snowstorm makes transportation an impossibility. Early in the morning, the woman dies from what they believe to be a stroke and in all the chaos, Sibyl promptly decides to do a C-section to save the baby. The baby survives, but the mother is dead and tragedy is obvious. Yet, it's only going to get worse for Sibyl as her assistant is certain that the woman was still alive when Sibyl performed the C-section. Sibyl is charged with manslaughter, brought before the court and her life is and will forever be changed.