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"Izumi's in good condition," he announced with a thankful smile, "and so are the girls-- all three of them!"

Terry heartily clasped his best friend and gave him a great big hug.

"Thank God!" was all the uncle could say.

"When can we see Mom?" inquired Abby, after Jake had also shaken hands with her father.

"She's under anesthesia right now," explained John, "so she's a little groggy. Before she wants you guys to visit, she's going to breastfeed the triplets for the first time."

"Just let us know when we can see them," grinned Terry.

"I can hardly wait for you to see the girls, Terry," said John, his gray eyes wide with amazement. "They're so tiny-- only about five pounds each, but Dr. Williams said that it's a healthy weight for triplets, so we shouldn't be concerned. Abby," said the father, eagerly going to his eldest daughter, "all three of your sisters are in perfect health. Those were the doctor's exact words, 'perfect health'! Each one has the right number of fingers and toes! Terry," cried John, going back to his friend, "you should see them! Three beautiful baby girls! I still can't believe it-- three at one time!"

Then John went back to be with his wife, while Terry borrowed Abby's cell phone, (for he had forgotten to bring one), and began to call their family and church friends to let them know what had happened.

As Abby listened to her uncle excitedly talk to their pastor over the phone, she noticed Jake carefully resuming his seat. Recognizing the pained look on his face, Abby went to Jake's side and spoke to him in hushed tones so no one could easily overhear.

"Did you remember to take any Xantol before we watched the movie?" she wondered.

"Are you kidding?" replied Jake, with a soft groan. "I wouldn't have been able to 'watch the movie,' without it. Tonight would've gone easier on me, if we hadn't done it, though. I guess our timing is a little off."

"Are you sorry?" she winced in remorse.

"After what happened, today?" he smiled tenderly. "At least, it's not as though your parents are counting on me for anything right now. Abby, don't bother fussing over me. I've had worse pain than this."

"If you recall when you took the Xantol," said Abby, opening her purse, "then you can take more when it's time. I brought your painkiller with me."

"You angel," smiled Jake, resting his head against the wall, for the back of the chair only went up to his shoulders. "Please, don't tell them why I'm hurting."

"I won't," she consoled him.

Reaching for her hand, Jake shut his eyes and thanked God for his mother-in-law's safe delivery. While Terry continued to use up Abby's minutes on her cell phone, AJ sat in their side by side chairs and quietly held hands.

An hour slipped by, and Terry was back in his chair, waiting with the other two for more news. Just as he was beginning to nod off, John excitedly came to bring the family to Izumi's room.

"They're ready to see you!" John beamed with a broad smile. Hanging around his neck was Jake's camera, for the proud father had been using it frequently in the last few hours.

They found Izumi lying in bed, looking very pale, but very happy.

"Sweetheart," she smiled weakly, as Abby went straight to her mother and eagerly kissed her cheek. "I'm all right," she assured her daughter. "Go, meet your new baby sisters."
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