September 14, 2011 03:00 PM

Kurt Markus

For Jewel and her husband Ty Murray, quiet life out on their 2,400-acre ranch in Stephenville, Texas just got a little more rambunctious.

On July 11, the couple welcomed son Kase Townes after an unexpected emergency c-section that left the new parents slightly shaken, but happy to end up with their “mellow and chill” baby boy.

“They always say, ‘Make a plan and God laughs,’ right?” says the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, 37.

“We wanted a natural birth and I was committed to that. I studied hypnobirthing.”

Kurt Markus

At a routine check-up a week past her due date, doctors discovered that the baby’s heartbeat was dropping whenever Jewel had Braxton Hicks contractions, and the decision to undergo the surgery was made.

“I feel lucky to be pregnant in the modern age where they could actually tell he wasn’t well during those contractions,” explains the new mom.

“We felt thankful that we had good doctors and a good hospital nearby, and that everything was okay. I’m so lucky that we have a healthy baby boy. That’s all I cared about.”

Watching his son come into the world, Ty, 42, recalls, “I felt like somebody went to a cabinet, pulled out a perfect baby and handed him over. It’s overwhelming.”

Kurt Markus

Kase Townes, now 9 weeks old, draws his name from Ty’s best friend, as well as one of Jewel’s favorite singer-songwriters, Townes Van Zandt.

“We had a name list a long time ago, before we were even married,” says Ty. “I like one syllable names.”

Adds Jewel, “It’s a strong name. We like it.”

Now that the couple are settling into their new late night routine, the pair each have their own duties — dad Ty handles the dirty diapers before handing Kase off to mom for breastfeeding.

“Neither of us wants to have a nanny,” Jewel, whose new album of kids’ songs, The Merry Goes ‘Roundis in stores now, says.

“Ty wants his relationship with Kase to be special, and the time you put in is part of that. I just want to soak up this time with him.”

Kase — whose “little face changes day to day” — will grow up at home on the range as Ty, a fifth-generation cowboy, runs their property as a working ranch, tending to cattle and horses.

“I can’t wait until when Kase goes out there with me,” the co-founder of the Professional Bull Riders says, while admitting that he doesn’t necessarily want his son to follow in his footsteps.

“Jewel and I have to remember he is his own little person, and it’s all for him to figure out. Our job is to enjoy what his little journey is, not fret over it.”

Kurt Markus

— Alicia Dennis

For more on Jewel, Ty and baby Kase and to see the nursery, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE Country, on newsstands now. And for free music from artists like Vince Gill, Billy Currington and Ronnie Dunn, go to people.com/free.

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