3. Chapter 1.

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"What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child. It's the courage to raise one."

The cries of a healthy, non-stressed infant last on an average of 0.5-1.5 seconds with a fundamental pitch in the range of 200-600 Hz. Crying is normal and is the only way your baby can let you know that something is upsetting them and that they need you. When babies cry they may be hungry, thirsty, too hot, too cold, unwell, in pain, over-tired or uncomfortable. They may have been startled and just need to be resettled by holding close and cuddling for a while.

Alex opened his eyes to the sound of a baby's cry through the baby monitor on his bedside table. It's Zooey. And then he glanced at the digital clock beside it - 2:45 A.M. Shaking the sleep off him, he got out of bed. He once declared that he wasn't built for this kind of life and it wouldn't be easy for a guy like him. He never imagined that he'd find himself embracing every challenge that fatherhood was throwing at him. Most guys would be complaining, but he didn't. He never did. Bring it on, he'd say to himself.

He was already well accustomed to this new found routine he's been doing for a month now - waking up in ungodly hours of the morning, feeding, burping, diaper changing and even bathing. No matter how hard that was for him, he never found an excuse not to do it. He loved every single minute of it. Every single minute with his daughter was important to him and he didn't want to miss out on anything. And this was one reason why he left his job at Eastvantage a week before Zooey was born last September.

"I decided to go back to web developing...." He casually dropped the news while they were at the dinner table with his family and Drei's sister and her husband. It was right after Drei and Zooey came home from the hospital. It earned him a skeptical look from Drei along with a question why. "Well, para maalagaan ko si Zooey..." he told them and a smitten look appeared on his face.

He started out as a Web Developer in IBM Philippines for about three years before he worked for Eastvantage. The pay was good but he eventually got bored and the idea of trying out the world of call centers, which was the "in" job that time, got him interested. And now after almost five years and a half with Eastvantage, he decided to call it quits. He was able to find a home-based job a week after Zooey was brought home. He is handling two different clients for web developing, one from Colorado and the other one from Chicago, where he's given twelve hours to work each day. This wasn't new to him because he used to do this a part-time job whenever he's available. He's working five days a week and he's free on weekends. Plus, the financial package that was offered to him was impressive that he couldn't say no.

When he got inside the other room, the night light' was on and there he found Drei sleeping soundly, beside her is Zooey. Her little arms are free from her swaddle blanket, wiggling them as she let out her little cries.

"Hey princess..." Alex smiled sleepily at his little angel and Zooey didn't stop crying but gave out a 'daddy-look-at-me' cry at the sound of his voice. He sat on the bed and gently carried Zooey off the bed. "Anong problema... why is daddy's princess crying?"

Carrying Zooey in his arms, they made their way out of Drei's room and into the kitchen. A line of feeding bottles that contained Drei's breast milk greeted him as he opened their fridge. He grabbed a 6-ounce bottle and warmed it using the bottle warmer. When it was done, he squireted a few drops of milk at the back of his hand to see if the temperature was just right. Then when it was okay, they came back inside Drei's room and sat at the other side of the bed beside Drei. Zooey started feeding hungrily from her bottle the moment Alex placed it on her mouth.

"Wow! You're really hungry, huh?" Alex laughed softly as he watched his little one devouring her milk. Zooey cooed as if telling him yes. "Mommy is tired, maybe she didn't hear you calling her a while ago..."

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