by Alexa on July 9, 2012

It’s funny: even though I knew better, even though I’d followed along with dozens of soon-to-be-second-time-parents as they wondered how they could possibly love another child as much as their first, and then inevitably found all their fears on the subject unfounded, I was still shocked and relieved and thrilled to my bones to be smitten all over again with a whole new baby. Twyla Kay! 5 lbs, 15.9 ounces. Born at 2:52 p.m. on June 13th, more than three weeks ago.

Twyla Collage #1
She has a fuzzy head and a tiny mouth that runs through a whole repertoire of expressions (surprised! despairing! gleeful!) while she sleeps. I love her awfully. And, as anyone who has done this before could have predicted, my love for Simone remains undiminished–is, if anything, more acute. A neat trick, really. How on earth does that work?

Another surprise that ought not to have been: new babies are hard. I am ashamed to say that I was entirely unprepared for the rigors of our first two weeks home. Because, you see, THIS baby would have no oxygen tank or apnea monitor or medicines, and thus was going to be EASY! SO EASY! A cakewalk! As pie! Insert your own metaphoric language denoting facility!

By the time Simone came home I’d had three months to recover, both from my C-section and whatever postpartum hormonal swings might have assailed me–I honestly don’t know whether I had any hormonal wonkiness last time, because I had such legitimate reasons for emotional turmoil in the weeks after the twins’ birth, but this time…well. That was an experience. Also, being the mother of an infant has to rival pubescent boyhood in helpless, frustrated mammary preoccupation. Also, REFLUX. Again. Also, I’d forgotten that I’d get a whole different baby this time, not a carbon copy of the last one, not to mention that I’d still have the aforementioned last one hanging around, wanting food and entertainment and, you know, parenting.

Suffice it to say that all expectations to the contrary, this second newborn period–the one with no NICU and no fleet of home medical suppliers–was harder than the first. Harder than expected, but also better than expected, because did I mention how much I love this new girl of mine, right out of the gate? Just look what was waiting for me on the other side of those last long months of fear and nausea and muffled hope. Even my wildest dreams weren’t quite wild enough.

Twyla Collage #2

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{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

Manda July 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

She’s beautiful! Congratulations to all of you.


sarah July 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Congratulations!! She is absolutely gorgeous. I am totally thrilled for all of you… and so relieved. Welcome Twyla Kay!


StacieT July 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

She is beautiful! So, so happy for you!


A'Dell July 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Oh my God, she is just SO GORGEOUS and even though I have seen all these photos she’s just lovely every time.

And yes, why DO we expect subsequent babies to be predictable and pliable? As if we know it all now that we’ve done it once? I did that with my second child, too. “Oh, I know JUST what I am doing! I’ve got this covered!” Uh, no.

Congratulations! She’s fantastic.


Red Stethoscope July 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

She’s perfect! Congratulations again!


Amyintexas July 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Yay! She’s beautiful!


Jesabes July 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm

I love the very first picture. You’re holding your baby! Right after she was born! You’re both so beautiful.


Jennifer F July 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

She is so beautiful and absolutely perfect (and so BIG with those gorgeous cheeks – hey almost 6 lbs seems ginormous to us former preemie moms)! Congratulations!


Veronica July 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

She is absolutely beautiful. Congratulations!


Melissa H July 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I’m pretty sure you have the prettiest newborn I’ve seen since, oh, May 2011 ’cause of course mine was cuter (but not much). Hope things are settling down here in week 3ish. Congrats!


Heather July 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

She’s beautiful. Congratulations!


May ProblemUterus July 9, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Oh, my dear, she is just lovely. I am thrilled that she is here safely.


Annalien July 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

That is a seriously awesome baby! She is adorable! I was also totally unprepared for how hard the first few weeks with a second baby is. Wishing you lots of joy from your two girls.


Meredith July 10, 2012 at 12:00 am

Congratulations, she’s beautiful! I went through much of the same when I had my second…the fear beforehand that there was no way I could love him as much as my first, and finding this fear to be totally unfounded…The discovery that a second newborn is HARD, SO HARD (this improves with time, and also…totally not the case with a third or fourth newborn, no idea why). My favorite part, though, it the complete and utter joy…sitting and staring at the baby when I know I should be taking the fleeting opportunity to sleep, but rejoicing in the wonderfulness instead.


Yatima July 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

As a baby expert with a special interest in cuteness, may I just say OMG GORGEOUS.


Erin July 10, 2012 at 12:26 am

Oh! She is absolutely, insanely perfect. My perfect second-born is thisclose to turning one and it’s freaking me out. Believe me, spend this whole year taking as many pictures as possible, but even more, make sure you write about your day, every day. It goes so fast and there are just so many little things that change in the blink of an eye that you won’t want to forget. Most of all, enjoy that baby. She is heaven.


Rebeccah July 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

Yay! I’m so delighted to see this post! You did it, mama, you did it! She’s absolutely delicious. And good grief, yes, the older child wanting parenting while you deal with newborn stuff and hormones is quite challenging … it gets both easier and harder, but oh so very worth it. Congratulations!


Susie July 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

Oh Alexa, she is just perfect. Enjoy her!


Liz July 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

You guys make SUCH cute babies. Congratulations! If feeling despairing, read Anne Lamott’s “Operating Instructions”. So awesome.


ivfcycler July 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

so beautiful, so happy for you. tears in my eyes.


Sabine July 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

You look so perfectly groomed on your post Csection picture. Chapeaux! I looked like sh*** after mine but you even manage to sport full eye make up and perfect hair.

Oh and your baby is über süß, by the way.


Heidi July 10, 2012 at 2:25 am

Oh my, she is beautiful! Congrats and happy tears for you all!


Karen July 10, 2012 at 3:05 am

I was really looking forward to this post. I mean, REALLY looking … every second day.
So glad all your worries were unfounded. She is an absolute doll, congratulations and enjoy your girls. x


Paula / Hamburg July 10, 2012 at 3:51 am

Oh what a joy! Your daughter looks so cute and sweet and you look so proud and happy. Congratulations, also to your husband!
Ende gut – Alles gut.


Mel July 10, 2012 at 5:19 am

Thank you for the update, Tywla is gorgeous, congratulations to you all xx


ccr in MA July 10, 2012 at 5:33 am

She’s beautiful! Congratulations, family of four.


Alison C July 10, 2012 at 5:34 am

She is so beautiful! Congratulations to you all


It Is What It Is July 10, 2012 at 5:49 am

Wow, she is a beauty and it
Looks like you’ve been TKOd by TK in all the best ways.
Keep settling in, mama!


Amy July 10, 2012 at 6:31 am

Oh, yay! Sincere congratulations – she is beautiful!


Stephanie Burgis July 10, 2012 at 6:40 am

Congratulations! I am so happy for you guys! And Twyla is absolutely gorgeous.


Sara July 10, 2012 at 6:52 am

I always like to remind people who have had a challenging start to parenting that they get to have bad days too. Not Bad Days—my baby’s in the NICU, my baby might die, my baby died kind of days—but bad days where it all feels overwhelming and you feel like you don’t know what to do and all you want is a few hours of sleep all at once. Even though you know it could be so much worse, the bad days are still hard to get through. Being a parent isn’t easy, even when there is no medical component. It’s amazing and wonderful, but often not easy.

Welcome to your beautiful little one.


HereWeGoAJen July 10, 2012 at 6:58 am

Mmm, delicious baby! So many congratulations!


Jen July 10, 2012 at 6:58 am

Congratulations! She is so beautiful! My own baby after nearly 4-year-old twins just turned 3 weeks old herself and your amazing pictures inspired me to take more pictures. She’s already changed so much. Thank you for sharing!


QoB July 10, 2012 at 7:03 am

Her initials make me think of a famous Irish beverage: TK Red Lemonade. It is legendary. I assure you it is a compliment:)


QoB July 10, 2012 at 7:20 am

And also delicious with whiskey, but that is neither here nor there…


SarahB July 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

What a beautiful baby! Congratulations!

And I am sorry about the shock to your system. Those first two weeks after my c-section…whew. I remember how excited I was when I finally had a day I didn’t cry and I was able to bend over to get a plate out of the dishwasher.


Cara July 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

Oh, I’m so glad. Just so glad.

Also, thankful for your twitter side bar. Not being on twitter, the lack Ocartz birth announcement in the days after she was born worried me. (But, since I can clearly remember my own newborn haze, not unduly.)I was so happy when I checked in to see tweets that indicated you were in the standard newborn mussiness.


Amanda July 10, 2012 at 7:28 am

Yay! She looks just charming. Congrats!


smark July 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

Tiny hat! Hooray!

Congratulations, she is beautiful. I love the photos.


MJ July 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

So glad to hear from you, although from your Twitter sidebar I knew that Twyla had arrived. This loving more than one child must have something to do with the propagation of the species. And yes, being the parent of a newborn is indeed hard, but how wonderful to have her home right away instead of in the NICU. Now watch out, because in two weeks big sister Simone will suddenly start acting out in some way (like forgetting about toilet training if she is by any chance yet trained). Good luck in dealing with the next 20 or so years of sibling rivalry.


Heather@YSP July 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

I am SO happy. Every single picture is it’s own awesome joy, although I particularly favor the tiny hat picture. Congrats to you, to Simone, to Twyla. Another beautiful baby, so sweet and squishy.


a July 10, 2012 at 8:16 am

Beautiful! Welcome, Twyla Kay…


Laura in PA July 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

Beautiful. So happy for all of you.


KPhillips July 10, 2012 at 8:36 am

She’s just gorgeous! Congratulations!


Melanie July 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

awwww…. such cute baby pics!


sadie July 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

I am so overwhelmingly happy for you. Congratulations! She is gorgeous.


Penny July 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

Congratulations! So, so happy for you all!


Jendeis July 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

She’s gorgeous! I’m so happy for you guys!


erin July 10, 2012 at 9:21 am

She is really quite adorable! Congratulations!


cindy w July 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

She’s just lovely. Congrats.


kirsten July 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

I am so happy for you that she is here and healthy and looks adorable! I don’t do twitter, so I have been waiting eagerly for this post. Congratulations!
It cracks me up that you mentioned REFLUX in the 3rd paaragraph. For me, reflux was the first word that tumbled out as I was pulling my hair out from all that screaming and lack of sleep. So to me, it sounds like you are handling this new baby thing with amazing grace.


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