Abby & Joe began a new chapter in life on March eighteenth, three years after making their marital commitment to each other. Abby had endured nearly thirteen hours of labor with Joe right beside her the entire time. Her efforts had not been in vain because at eight o'clock that morning, a son was welcomed into this world.

"You did it," Joe exclaimed soothing back her sweat soaked hair from her face with his free hand once the afterbirth had been delivered as well.

She finally relinquished the tight grip she'd had on his other hand and barely noticed that it was near purple in color. Joe didn't seem to care about the lack of feeling in his hand for the other feelings that were filling his heart, feelings of indescribeable joy and pride. The nurse then brought them their son and asked if Joe would like to hold him. A bit nervous, Joe took the newborn in his arms.

"He's so tiny," Joe whispered in awe of the precious cargo he held.

"You didn't exactly expect me to give birth to a five-year-old, did you?" Abby said. After intense labor and a sleepless night, she hadn't lost her sense of humor or sarcasm. She took in a deep breath and examined the scene before her, her most beloved husband sitting beside her holding and gently rocking their newborn son.

"Jonathan Mark Thomas, you are finally here," she said when Joe finally allowed mother to hold her son. Jonathan Mark was the name they had decided on almost immediately after learning it would be a boy. Jonathan as a variant of Abby's father's name as well as her grandfather-who they claimed as the reason that they ended up together, and Mark for Joe's father. "We've waited so long for you."

"Your mommy's right, little man. We and so many other people have been waiting a really long time for you to come into this world. There's so many who having been waiting to see you, but there will be time later for you to meet them. Right now, we're going to be selfish, and we're not going to share."

Joe had to eat his own words because moments later grandparents filed in to see their first grandchild. Victoria had spent the past week with the expectant parents due to complications Abby was having. She had been put on bed rest two months prior to her due date. Many of the ladies at Pine Crest had helped as well. The moment Abby went into labor, Victoria took charge and alerted Abby's parents as well as her husband, daughter, Leah, and Nicole. The Hopkins as well as Mark Thomas, quickly made their way to Simpsonville, South Carolina, while Madelynn, Leah, Matt, Nicole, Tyler immediately set to praying for a safe delivery.

Joe and Abby watched as their son was passed from one grandmother to the other. Unfortunately, Abby realized she'd be seeing a lot of that in the recent months. A child born into a highly family-oriented church like Pine Crest was certain to be showered upon with attention. As the youth pastor's bride, the entire church had watched as the pregnancy progressed. They would all be extremely glad to hear of the birth, and many would even stop by while she was in the hospital to visit.

Just then Abby let out a huge yawn which got everyone's attention. Suddenly everyone was being shooed out. Baby Jonathan was taken to the nursery as his mother was settled into her own room. Joe was the only one allowed back in.

"Thank you," she said softly. Her face glowed with pure joy at being a mother.

"What are you thanking me for? You're the one who did all the work," Joe said, not quite sure how women did it.

"If you weren't there I would have dug inch deep claw marks into my own hands," she said again revealing that her humor was still there. Joe looked down at the hand she had been squeezing during the delivery. The color had returned, but Joe noticed small nail imprints that were still there. He had felt them, but his wife's pain seemed much more intense than the claws she was digging into him caused.

"Will you get some rest?" Joe asked.

"As soon as you promise me you'll go home and do the same."

"Will do, love. Thank you," he said before kissin her softly.

Abby fell asleep not five mintues after he closed the door behind himself. Her thoughts drifted to when her labor had begun. She had been on the phone with her best friend, Leah Lawson wishing her a happy St. Patrick's day. Leah had just finished putting her and Matt's two year old son, Brenden to sleep, but she had to tell Abby her wonderful news before she, too, retired for bed. She was expecting another child, one who's due date was set for September.

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