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Sensing that she was slipping into panic, Jake searched the room and quickly spotted a soft, fold-out lounge chair placed near the hospital bed-- no doubt to accommodate the expectant father while his wife was in labor.

"Okay," breathed Jake, "I need you to get up, Abby."

"No!" she resisted, but Jake's strong arms soon had her out of bed and on her way to the lounge chair.

Jake sat down and placed his legs around Abby, just as they had done on the living room floor back home. Then he rocked her back and forth, until she was relaxed and even smiling.

Izumi sighed in relief, and went to call Agatha to see if John and Terry had returned home from their basketball game yet.

"Feeling better?" asked Jake, as Abby placed her hands on his knees for support.

"Thank you, Jake," she replied, her voice sounding much calmer now. "This really helps a lot."

"Soon, you need to start moving around like Dr. Chambers ordered," he reminded her.

"Why are you always trying to get me to move, just when I begin to feel better?" she cried in dismay.

"Brace yourself," warned Jake, his eyes watching the contraction monitor.

Clenching her husband's legs, Abby rode out the pain until it subsided and she could relax again.

"The sooner Ricky is born," he encouraged her, "the sooner all the pain will go away. Just think about the baby, Abby. It'll all be worth it when you see Ricky for the first time."

"Okay," she moaned, as Jake helped her to her feet. "If walking doesn't work, can we come back to this chair?"

"If you need to," promised Jake, letting Abby hold onto his arm as they slowly made their way out of the hospital room and into the busy hall. Jake located a stretch of hallway not so bustling with activity, and the two walked back and forth, pausing every so often for one of Abby's contractions.

After her phone call, Izumi found them walking in the hall. She was relieved that Abby was in such confident hands as Jake's. Indeed, the mother had been so concerned about Jake's ability to help Abby in the delivery room, that she had even planned to take over the roll of support partner should Jake be unable to. As Izumi watched the couple, she realized how unnecessary her planning had been.

"They're on their way," she smiled, when AJ finally noticed her standing nearby. "Terry said not to let the baby come until he gets here with a camera."

The very thought of anyone recording her ordeal, made Abby feel weak. Her steps began to flag, and Jake asked if she wanted to go back and rest for awhile.

"Yes!" she almost shouted, eager to get back to the lounge chair and the comforting rocking.

Just as Dr. Chambers was about to check her dilation again, John and Terry rushed into the room, both breathless to see Abby.

"Please," she whispered to Jake, as the doctor was about to examine her cervix, "ask them to go until he's finished."

With an understanding nod, the young man did as she asked. When Jake returned, Dr. Chambers started his examination.

"I'd say you're about six centimeters along," he pronounced.

Abby wearily looked at the doctor, her face betraying just how disappointed she was at the news.

"At this rate," said Dr. Chambers, "you could be in labor for several more hours-- even days. I'd like to induce labor and see if we can't get the little fellow to make an appearance today. What do you say, Mrs. Murphy?"
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