First night

When my son was born

day old

I ended up staying awake all night.
His temp was a bit low and so they put him on a baby incubator heat lamp kind of thing to bring his temp up.
Problem was, the way our room was arranged, the incubator was located near an A/C vent, messing with the ambient temperature sensor alarm, which kept going off every fifteen minutes. So all night long, I had to reset the alarm to keep it from waking my exhausted wife.
At first I thought it was annoying, but by the next morning, I realized I had been given a gift.
Inside the womb, babies are not as dependent on light to guide their wake/sleep cycles as we on the outside are.
So my son was awake all night, just taking it all in. Although I was tired, I didnt nap, I stayed by his side, talking with him and resetting the alarm.
I emptied my heart out to him. He listened. We touched. This was his first experience with Love and I got to be the one to experience it with him.

Six years later, my daughter was born. Once again, I stayed up all night with my newborn child. Together, we connected as only a parent and a child can.
And once again, my childs first experience with Love was with her father.

Fast forward a few years, a friend and his wife were having their first. A little girl. Immediately, my experiences came to mind. I felt the need to let him know what I had experienced and had done with my kids. I wanted him to have the same wonderful time with his first born…
I sent him the following:

Hey bro,

All the best to you and your wife!
I meant to tell you all this before the day, but time just got away from me, so here goes.

I did this with both my kids.
I changed me.
_______________

After the baby is born, your wife is gonna need rest.
That’s a given.
In the middle of the night, there will be times when baby is awake and VERY alert for her schedule is not in sync with yours yet.
The first night you will usually sleep in the room on the daddy bed and even the second night.
Don’t sleep. Unless baby is.
That night, in-between feedings every two hours or so, THERE WILL BE PLAY TIME! 🙂
Already.
This is YOUR time and it is awesome!
Take those golden moments and bring that precious bundle to your daddy bed to lay beside you face to face.
Smile.
Mimic expressions except scary ones.
Blink.
Roll your eyes.
Smile.
Talk to her.
Whisper to her.
Tell her how much you love her.
Tell her about her mother.
Tell her about what kind of daddy you will be for her.
Tell her about her siblings (if there are any) and how awesome they are – for big sister/brother will forever be the coolest person baby will ever know until she is married.
Tell her about Jesus.
Introduce her to your hands and fingers.
Kiss her hands and let her try to mimic you or just gnaw on them. Wash your hands in water only (no soap tastes bad) before bedtime so you’re ready.
Laugh with her.
Pray for her.
Lay your hands on her and thank God for the responsibility he has given you.
Bless her as her father.
Ask for and then receive His guidance in raising her.
Play some more.
Ask questions so she can hear the difference in inflection and tone.
Ask her how she likes the world outside mommy’s tummy.
Answer the questions in a silly voice.
Laugh with her.
Rub noses.
Tell her a story about how you met your mommy.
Lightly caress the bridge of her nose to her forehead. I have never met a baby who didn’t love that.
Do the same from the corner of the eye across her temple to her ear.
While doing this, speak in low soothing tones.
Make up her song the one that you will sing to her every night. It can be silly, but it’s hers.
While doing all of this, take occasional moments to stop and consciously sear all you are doing into your memory, because these moments are more valuable than gold.
They are fleeting and you will cherish them later.
Have a box of tissues handy.
This is YOUR little one. Tears are expected as you contemplate the hugeness of this moment.

Best two nights of my life.

Have a great time.
-AL

Ive been meaning to write this post for a while now, and today I have a friend who has just experienced the birth of his third child.
In honor of my friend and the newest arrow added to his quiver, I thought I would finish this up and post.
I pray this finds a new father who is not sure of what to expect that first night. Let this be a primer for one of the greatest days of your life!

God bless you and yours!

-Alan

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