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As Izumi's labor pains came quicker, Dr. Chambers administered the epidural anesthesia.

"Your wife will remain alert, but will not feel pain," he explained. A smile crossed Izumi's face. The pain had disappeared, though her contractions were stronger than ever.

"Oh, thank You!" she exclaimed.

"You're welcome, Mrs. Johannes," said Dr. Chambers, not realizing that her thanks were offered to Someone else.

After fifty minutes of "PUSH!" and "Deep breath!", the doctor announced he could see the head crowning.

"You are almost there, Little Dove," said John, clutching his wife's hand. Izumi had no time to think of her exhaustion. The urge to push was too strong to ignore. Soon she heard a loud "Slap!" and then the first cries of her daughter. The nurses all clapped, and Dr. Chambers smiled widely, as he placed a tiny baby in Izumi's arms. Izumi could not believe this little person had just come from her. Her happiness was beyond words. She looked up into John's beaming face. He was somewhere in between laughter and tears. Finding no words, he kissed her.

"A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour
is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth
no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world."
~ John 16:21 ~

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