Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Announcing Towns!

I am officially a mother of two!

(And for those of you who've been following along since the beginning of this blog, when it was just me and my cats and yarn and wine, this is kind of unbelievable.)

Townsend Hall Bartlett was born on May 4, 2011 at 12:12 p.m. He weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and was 20.5" long.


Yes, we decided on Townsend. It was my grandmother's maiden name and my father's middle name, and I think the nickname of Town/Towns is super cute and yet mostly unheard of. Hall is Ish's great-GREAT grandfather's middle name, but he went by Hall. And even though this gives our kid the sort-of name of Town Hall, we're okay with that. Maybe he'll become President someday. (Thanks to West Wing, we already know how good the term "President Bartlett" sounds.)

The birth itself was as smooth as a c-section could possibly be, at least, certainly it was compared to the first time we did this.

And not that I ever, ever, ever doubted scheduling a c-section, but I'm so glad I did. I planned to use the side-hatch originally because Eve was a c-section, and because there was no reason to believe that my body would have a successful "traditional" birth this time. Then when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I was a little concerned that this baby would be big. (If you Google GD, you don't have to look far before you find mothers telling horror stories about their big babies and terrifying delivery experiences.)

THEN we found out that this little dude was breech, and that just solidified our decision. By the time we went in for the delivery, they did the final ultrasound and discovered Townsend was no longer breech but entirely transverse -- which is to say, wedged in sideways.

Sidenote: no WONDER I've been so uncomfortable.

Thus, the c-section was a good decision and made everything much less stressful than it would have been. Especially when we learned that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Towns' neck twice. Phew.


So I don't have a lot more to report about the experience. We were in the hospital from Wednesday to Saturday, while our BELOVED nanny and in-laws stayed with Eve.

Frankly, the hardest part of the whole thing was being away from Eve for three days. Ugh.

Not that there weren't smaller challenges/moments of uncomfortability/sleep deprivation/etc. For example, waiting on the operating table for the procedure to begin is much harder when you're starting off well rested and totally unmedicated -- in fact, hyper-alert -- and you find yourself staring at the ceiling, counting the minutes until you can't feel your legs.  (The first time I went through that I was distracted by having been in labor for over 24 hours, and was still having contractions, totally exhausted, starving, and on painkillers.)

Breastfeeding has gone a lot more smoothly this time around, too, since T latched immediately and never seemed to mind chomping away at my pre-milk-producing boobs (unlike Eve who SCREAMED for hours and hours and days and days when I was only producing colostrum for a full WEEK). In fact, he was so persistent that my milk came in on Friday.

Being home with the baby has, thus far, been great. I understand NOW why people (who have more than one child) would say things like "newborns are easy!" when I would talk about being totally scared of Eve. Because newborns are easy...you know, when A) you're not afraid of them and B) you are comparing them to, say, teething toddlers.

I call this photo "Portrait of Paternity Leave."
Note the unshaven face, the worn-in pajamas, the pacifier backwards-in-the-mouth,
the near-shut eyes, and the SportsCenter.


Townsend seems to be a typical newborn, based on all my experience of uh, the one other kid. He hasn't figured out any kind of sleeping/nursing schedule yet: everything is totally unpredictable still. But after the first three days and nights of waking up every hour to eat, he's started sleeping in four-hour jags and everyone is happier for it.

He does prefer to be held. In fact, unless tightly swaddled and clearly SUPER tired, he finds not being held unacceptable. He has a screechy cry that sounds like a pterodactyl and is ridiculously loud, so we choose to hold him as he wishes. Because we are tired and weak and I am in no way exaggerating about the pterodactyl thing.

He does not like his bassinet, either. Which is how we, as the aforementioned tired and weak sort, discovered that he is perfectly calm and happy sleeping in our bed with us, even if unswaddled.

Who is this happy, nursing, baby-wearing, newborns-are-delightful, bed-sharing hippie mother? I DON'T KNOW.

In the meantime, Eve seems to like the baby. HI, BABY! she says in the morning. She brings him diapers and "bo" (pacifier, don't know where "bo" came from), and blankets. She asks where he is when she can't see him. She is gentle with him and likes to point to his ear, eyes, and nose. We are working very, very hard to make it seem like our attention is not divided, and Eve always has the full attention of at least one adult (for the first few weeks, that is).


However. Eve does NOT like that her routine has changed. She does NOT like that Mama and Dada were gone for three days -- she wouldn't let me hug her when I came home from the hospital, but also tried to send our replacement sitter home. (GO! NO! BUH-BYE!) Mostly, though, she REALLY does NOT like the six teeth that are currently jutting their way through her gums. (Timing? Awesome!) They have given my darling daughter an occasional monster of a personality, that rears its cranky, chewing head when you least expect it. This is especially awesome when it coincides with a pterodactyl sighting.

So, well.  While the baby himself doesn't seem to be the root of the problem, we don't have what I would consider a perfectly happy almost-two-year-old at home, either.

Do I look like I was just chewing on the corner of Mama's laptop? BECAUSE I TOTALLY WAS.

Still.

Overall, this birth experience -- my second and last, mind you -- has been fantastic from start to finish.

The planned nature of it was surreal, but I felt safe and well taken care of and never had any scare. The actual procedure is a lot easier to withstand when you're well rested and well nourished and your body hasn't been in labor for hours and hours. And while it's still major surgery, I was up and moving and disconnected from all the tubes and wires by Thursday afternoon. (I was even able to shower on Thursday, all by myself!)

And while this may seem like a small point, I'm on a totally different painkiller this time around, and that has made a WORLD of difference. Instead of feeling simultaneously drunk and underwater (the way Vicodin did), I just feel like I'm managing my pain but operating at nearly full capacity mentally.

Add that to the fact that I feel about a thousand times more confident and assured about what to DO with a newborn, and I would say that I have been having a totally enjoyable, happy, loving, awesome time with my new family of four.


Sleep deprivation and all, this? This adding a fourth member to our wacky little clan? This is the best thing I've ever done.


38 comments:

  1. You should so totally have at least one comment on this. CONGRATULATIONS! He is a beaut.

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  2. So happy for you! A little piece of domestic bliss. Like you, I feel like a much better mother of two than I was of one. Next month I get to find out how three goes . . .

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  3. Congratulations! Your son is so handsome, and the picture of your husband with the pacifier is too cute for words. So glad things are going smoothly for you and your family!

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  4. Congrats! Beautiful baby. I should be there in about two weeks myself...not that I'm counting or anything....

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  5. Congrats again! He is so precious! So true about the c-section....very weird to walk yourself into the surgery room and then to lay there waiting. Three more weeks until number three arrives for us!

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  6. congratulations, and thanks for bringing your IIFs along on this journey from bad online dates to life as a mother of two. it's been a treat to follow!

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  7. Congratulations! He is adorable! Glad everyone is doing well. :-)

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  8. OMG! Totally adorable. Congratulations!!!

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  9. Congrats! He is beautiful!

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  10. Delurking to say congratulations! He is gorgeous! So glad you're all well and happy.

    Also, I hope Towns goes through the same "stand up" hair period that Eve did. Those were the cutest pictures ever.

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  11. Congratulations! He is absolutely beautiful! Glad things went well :)

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  12. what a perfect, beautiful baby boy! welcome to the world, sweet towns. you are so very loved and wanted (so please forgive mommy and daddy with that town hall thing...i mean, after all it is terribly CUTE!).

    congrats, mom, dad and big sister!

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  13. Kristy, congratulations to you and your adorable family. I am awaiting my daughter's number 2 baby and seeing pictures of Towns just made me more excited to meet him. Thanks for sharing your story. I look forward to more pictures of your babies, as they both grow.

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  14. Yay! He is perfection.
    Town Hall. I love it.

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  15. Jocelyn Lowery1:24 PM, May 18, 2011

    In my pregnant hormonal state, this post had me crying in the end - I am just so incredibly happy for you! Towns is adorable and I love that your delivery experience was so much easier this time! Sending love and hugs,

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  16. Congratulations to you and Ish and Eve! I hope that I get to meet him sometime soon...

    Norma.

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  17. Congratulations, what a beautiful little guy!

    And.. what was that medication? I hate Vicodin too ;P

    -Erin

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  18. my god he's cute!

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  19. He is just beautiful, Kristy! I love the expression on his face in the second photo, as though he's solving a problem in his sleep. Congrats to you all!

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  20. What a super cute kid. Congrats, congrats. And I'm glad it's easier this time around.

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  21. Congratulations Kristy and fam! He's gorgeous and Towns is an adorable name.

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  22. He is just the sweetest of the sweethearts, and glad to hear that Eve is taking this interloper in stride.

    LOVE the last picture of him sleeping. And don't worry, I've totally gotten over my baby snatching thing, and am not at all saying this to lull you into a false sense of security.

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  23. Congratulations! He is beautiful.

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  24. Kristy, he is gorgeous! I hope that Eve starts feeling a little better. Poor kiddo six new teeth, plus a new routine and a little brother? I think that would bother me at 30, forget two.

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  25. Congratulations, what a cute baby boy! My mom can't tolerate Vicodin; but it was like a godsend to me after I broke my ankle.

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  26. Absolutely perfect. And so much better than yarn.

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  27. Many, many congrats to you and your lovely family. 2 can be... interesting. In a good way, in a good way! : )
    oh and I just love the top pic of him. thanks for sharing.

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  28. Congratulations! Your family is beautiful. :)

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  29. You have beautiful babies! Congrats!

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  30. Big, Big BIG congratulations are in order...both of them are adorable! :-)

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  31. Congrats! You made my heart all melty. They are both gorgeous.

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  32. Congratulations what a beautiful baby! And I love the name. I think it suits him!

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  33. Big congratulations! He is absolutely beautiful.

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  34. What beautiful kids you have! Congratulations!!!!

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  35. Oh my goodness, I could just eat him up! Love the name Townsend, too, so unique but not in a "what were you thinking?" kind of way. It's a delicate balance ;) A big huge congrats to all of you!

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  36. He is just perfect! The portrait of paternity leave made me laugh...so spot on! Congrats mama!

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  37. I was online checking out different blogs and came across yours, I felt compelled to comment and tell you how informative and very well written it is !! Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more soon !!

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  38. Yay! What beautiful pictures! He is amazing. Love the name... congratulations!

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