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"Yes," she nodded eagerly, "let's do it."

When Jake readily agreed as well, Dr. Chambers broke Abby's water and a nurse started an I.V. drip to get the needed drug into her system to induce labor. It didn't take long for Abby to feel its effects. She had thought that the previous pain was bad, but this was much worse. Clinging to Jake's presence more than ever, Abby struggled to remember that God was with her. Doing his best to keep her calm, Jake offered to rock her on the lounge chair again, but her contractions were coming so strongly, that she turned it down. With a silent prayer to heaven to ease Abby's labor pains, Jake squeezed her hand and reminded her to keep breathing.

Then something wonderful happened: Abby received an epidural anesthesia. Never in all her life had she been so grateful for a drug! Out of sheer relief, Jake laughed when he saw Abby's face spreading into a tired smile.

"It feels so good," she sighed blissfully. The drug didn't effect her awareness, but the sudden lack of pain was giving Abby time to catch her breath and gather strength for what lay ahead.

Seeing his chance to say "hello," John placed a warm hand on his daughter's forehead and smiled patiently.

"It'll be over soon, Sweetheart," he encouraged her.

"I know," she whispered, incredulous at how calm her voice had sounded.

Then it was Terry's turn. After telling her that he was praying for her and the baby, Terry kissed her cheek and took a picture.

As Terry went back to wait with John in the corner of the hospital room, Abby's contractions started coming even stronger than before. Dr. Chambers was quickly called, and he examined Abby's cervix once again.

"You're fully dilated," he announced, readying her for the delivery. "Just a few good pushes, and you'll have your son."

"Did you hear that, Abby?!" cried Jake excitedly.

Abby weakly nodded. She was so tired, that even the presence of her father and uncle during the examination hadn't even crossed her mind.

With a parting wave, the men waited outside the hospital room while a nurse propped up Abby's left leg and Jake supported the other. Izumi took pictures in Terry's stead, and gasped in excitement as the baby's head began to push its way into the world.

"Mrs. Murphy, I need a good strong push," said Dr. Chambers, as Jake anxiously watched on. Jake had thought that he wouldn't actually watch the birthing process, but keep his eyes on Abby's face, instead. Now that the moment was upon him, he couldn't help but watch in total amazement as his son slowly appeared from Abby's body. "Just one more push," coaxed Dr. Chambers.

Abby screamed and pushed with all her might. With that one last push, Ricky was born. Jake held his breath as the doctor gently handled a small infant and cleaned the amniotic fluid from its mouth.

With a sigh of joy, Izumi touched her daughter's hand. A little bewildered, Abby looked to Jake, who was smiling ear to ear. Then Abby heard a sound that she would never forget. Ricky let out a small cry, and as his lungs filled with air, he wailed in protest from being taken out of his mommy's safe belly.

"Listen to him, Abby," grinned Jake, shaking her clinging hand in excitement, "doesn't he have a good set of lungs?"

As happy as she was to hear her son, Abby's only thought was to hold her baby. Just as she was about to ask for someone to please give her her son, a nurse laid a small infant on Abby's chest. In awe, Abby caressed the soft, dark pink skin of her baby, and Ricky reacted to her touch by grabbing a tiny handful of her hospital gown. A tidal wave of love swept through Abby, and she forgot the agony she had just endured bringing her son into the world.

"Abby?" said a voice. Abby looked up to see Jake's face, hovering above hers. His expression was one of concern, and suddenly, Abby's world started to become hazy.
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