They say good things come to those who wait. At eight pounds three ounces, complete with soft, chubby cheeks, my new daughter, Amy, is definitely one of those good things. There's only one prize worth going through pregnancy, labor and delivery for, and she's it.

I'm not prejudiced or anything, but she is without a doubt the most beautiful baby to ever grace this planet. Babies are the best idea someone ever had. With the size of families continually shrinking these days, I think babies ought to be put on the endangered species list. They need to be protected. Heaven knows what we'd do without them.There is nothing more awe-inspiring, more promising than a newborn minutes from birth opening her eyes to the light, turning her head to the familiar sound of her mother's voice, opening her tiny mouth for life's first feeding, or loudly wailing at the injustice of it all.

Even though they're continually damp or soggy, babies definitely have their strong points. What else could inspire a normally rational woman to offer lifetime love and free room and board to a person who isn't even house broken for years?

Some people will tell you the most endearing sound to a new mother's ears is a coo or sigh. But all new mothers know the most endearing sound is a burp. Basically what we have here is a very compact person who does not know the difference between night and day. These upside down newborn body rhythms help new mothers forget what a good night's sleep is like.

After an hour or more of feeding and several diaper changes, mother is definitely ready to put little one back to bed. Baby, of course, is sleeping soundly and will continue to do so until mother has crawled back in bed and almost dozed off. Then comes the "you forgot to burp me wail" and mother again rises to the occasion.

New mothers will try any way of extracting burps known to man. They start with patting and stroking the back. They continue into the infant forward-roll technique and progress to tactics like the spread eagle over bouncing legs maneuver. Nothing works and baby is still fussy. When that lovely burp is finally heard, everyone can rest easy.

Then the moment comes. Baby relaxes into peaceful slumber as the hall clock strikes four. Suddenly there is magic in the room, as you sit at the side of the bed cradling your infant's warm, tiny head in the bend of your neck. The white moonlight from the night sky breaks through the window, flooding the room as a singular warmth encloses you. You want to hold this moment, to seal it up in some great Kerr jar to open on later lonely nights.

You know your bloodshot eyes will clear in time, your saggy stomach muscles will tighten. But before you'll be ready for it there will be no more warm drowsy heads to cradle and this time will be gone forever.

You suddenly feel no hurry for a baby who sleeps through the night. And though you're tired to the point of exhaustion, you hold your child closer, trying to embrace it all a little longer.