What the writer learned from the premature birth of his third child:

When the baby cried, I knew it wasn’t gonna die. They had just pulled my son out of my wife and whisked him over to one of those fancy hotel pans that you put newborns in, and there was a brief moment when he said nothing, which you don’t want. You want the baby to cry. You want confirmation that the child can take air in its lungs and then blow it back out. You want the baby to cry the first time. After that, you want it to be quiet so you can get some goddamn sleep, but the first cry matters. The first cry means it’s gonna live. So it cried, and then I did. I cried and cried until it felt like my face was gonna split open. I yelled out, ‘He’s crying!’ to my wife, and after that everything was all right.

“Pain Is A Gift, And Other Notes From A Terrified Father During A Seven-Week-Premature Birth.” — Drew Magary, Deadspin

See also: “The Loneliness of the American College Transfer Student.” Feb. 17, 2011