7th Heaven

Because how could I not use that title at least once?

So, I have a feeling that at least 2 of you are wondering what life with 7 kids is like. And let it never be said that I mind writing for a small audience because I’m going to deliver the goods for all 2 of you right here, right now.

Life with 7 is…a whole lot like life with 6.

In other words: busy, but good.

Edit: I started writing this a week ago. So. Yeah. Very Busy. 

The end.

HA. There is not one single person out there who has read more than one post of mine who believes for even a nanosecond that I did or even could write a 100 word blog post. (Because that sentence, alone, had 35 words).

But seriously. Adding a baby to our daily life has been a remarkably smooth process, due to several factors.

1. My mom kept all 6 of the other kids for 5 days after Honor was born, which, yes, I realize, pretty well qualifies her for sainthood and makes me spoiled rotten (guilty). She even brought homemade dinner with the kids to meet Honor the day he was born then took them all back home again. And let me just say that–when you’ve had 6 kids already–5 kid-free days to rest, recover, and bond with your baby is completely unexpected…and all the more amazing for it (although, there were several evenings I almost made Shaun go get the other kids because I was missing them something fierce, and the house was entirely too quiet).

2. Once we were all back together, the crazy levels never got out of hand. The older kids, including Theo, have all been super-chill–while still extremely excited–about Honor’s arrival. (I wouldn’t say that Theo has been “super-chill” in general because, well, he’s two, and the emotions, they are strong. But he loves his baby brother).

Ezra–true to his “helper” name–would gladly hold Honor all day long, which is a huge–yes–help when I need to flip the laundry or even take a shower. Shaun has been around a fair bit, which doesn’t hurt, but the kids and I are managing pretty well on our own too.

7th heaven1

{I need to give Simon his “helpful brother” due too. This is the scene I turned around to one day from the kitchen. Gosh, those boys are sweet; also, don’t you love my clumsy baby nudity censorship?}

3. We’ve gotten back into our routine as quickly as possible. We started back to homeschooling the week after the baby came, and we even made it to our homeschool co-op last Monday and today. (Honor just hangs out with me and naps in his car seat or the crook of my arm while I grade papers…or he gets held by a succession of eager-to-help fellow homeschool mamas).

I probably would have waited longer to jump back into thick of things if we hadn’t just had Christmas break, but we all needed some schedule in our lives, and it has helped to stave off the baby blues (which I tend to get if I have too much time to think).

I even managed my first solo flight a week and 1/2 ago with seven kids (to the grocery store, mostly) and only rolled my eyes halfway back in my head at my own ding-battedness after Honor COMPLETELY peed through his outfit, and I fished around in my bag to discover wipes and a change of clothes but not one single newborn diaper. Of course, when I decided I would just have to diaper him up to his eyeballs in one of Theo’s size 4′s, I discovered I was out of those too. #meforpresident

7th heaven

{I felt like we needed a herald going before us declaring, “Here ye, here ye. Your ankles, knees, and hips are in grave danger of assault by these awesomely unwieldy car carts. HIDE!”}

Thank goodness for a nearby gas station, which sold size 2 diapers…so he only had to be diapered up to his armpits.

Shaun and I managed to sneak off to Dallas last Monday (thanks again to my nice mama) for a last minute birthday celebration dinner (for him) and circumcision date (for Honor). I’ll give you one guess which one of them enjoyed that trip more. Spoiler: it wasn’t Honor.

And last night, we had 35 people in our house for a joint birthday (for my bro and Shaun) + Super Bowl party.

Like I said: busy. But good!

4. My physical recovery has been swift and (mostly) easy. Minus some rather atrocious after-birth pains for the first week, I’ve had very little pain or issues. I attribute this to a) the grace of God, b) water birth (way less bruising than usual), c) a brilliant tip from my midwife, which made latching better and helped me avoid the nasty nursing soreness I’ve battled every other time, d) decent amounts of sleep (see below), and e) using an ingenious invention called a Belly Bandit, which has helped so much with ab/organ support.

5. Honor is a total babe of a babe. He sleeps 5-6 hour stretches at night, takes great naps during the day, eats really well, and is generally the picture of health and contentment. Even in utero, he seemed to have his days and nights straight and that has continued (at least in some small part due to the fact that we’ve been implementing our tried and true–for us–sleep-training tricks from pretty much week 1).

7th heaven2

{Hanging out with the big kids}

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t let myself worry (as much as possible) about what life with another baby in the house will be like…mostly because it doesn’t change a thing, and it doesn’t help me prepare.

cover pic2

{Hey look! I finally got a new photo that we can use as a blog-header. One that includes ALL of my children and isn’t 3 years old. How long will it take me to actually get it up there on the home page? Who. Knows). 

It helps that I’m not a worrier in general, but I can be a stresser (the two are different in my mind). But even with the inevitable hiccups and hardships that come with introducing anything new–much less a tiny human–into your life, each transition has been better than I expected–at least partially because I keep my expectations low or nonexistent.

I may sing a different tune when it comes time to stage our current house, sell it, and then move (the goal is a couple of months, but we’ll see). For now, though, I’m trying to do the next thing and not worry about the stuff I can’t get to yet.

So far, so good. Because God is good. And hard is not the same thing as bad. (Come to think of it, neither is easy…because sometimes, we just need a little stretch of unexpectedly easy to rejuvenate our spirits).

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

33 thoughts on “7th Heaven

  1. Congratulations on your new baby! I was quite surprised to read you had seven cause I just started reading your blog yesterday and in that post you had five kids. LoL. So when I thought to click on the home button and read your newest posts, I was surprised to discover it wasn’t five kids anymore. Congrats, though, that’s awesome! It makes me want more kids! (I have 3!)

  2. Congratulations on Sweet Baby Honor …. I haven’t noticed anything on your blog about circumcision before, but then I may have missed it. Just wondering, if you don’t mind the query, why?

    1. I don’t mind the query, but I probably won’t go into a really in depth or satisfactory response because it’s definitely not one of those post about it/mountain I’m willing to die on type of decisions. It’s just what we do. :) I’m totally good with whatever direction people choose to go on this one!

  3. I always wondered what 7 kids was like. …I went from 6 to 8, haha! : )
    Your new picture is fabulous! The fact that you managed to get one taken already means you are doing VERY well!

  4. Our baby number four is due in April and I’m doing way too much thinking about what life will be like with a new baby, so I appreciate your encouragement to give that up and move on with life!
    This was such a fun peek into your life!

  5. Ha! I’m wondering if your circumcision guy (Mohel) is the same as our circumcision guy? Rabbi Rovinski, maybe? I love the picture of your little guys helping with baby Honor! So sweet!

  6. So glad things are going well! I only have two (so far) and having 7 seems daunting but you make it looks easy :) . I will say that having my second was a much easier transition than having my first because with my first I had no routine but with my second I already had a routine in place for my toddler and the baby just kind of fell in to that too.

    I want to know this magical trick for latching that your midwife taught you! I’d definitely file that away for next time. And your tip about the Belly Bandit too.

    1. Hey Caitlin! I’ve so many people ask me about the latching tip that I’m just going to write a post about it. So be on the lookout for that!

  7. I’m due in June with number 3 and would love to hear the latching tip as well!! With my son I had a HORRIBLE time getting started (not wanting to latch on his own+bad case of mastitis

    1. Annndddd not really sure why it got cut off! Anyway, my son was hard, and while thankfully my daughter was easier comparatively, I still struggled. I’ll take all the tips I can get!
      I’m so glad you posted this. I’ll have a 4yr old and almost 2.5yr old by the time June arrives and with a husband who works night shift-he’s a police officer- I’m slightly freaking out about adding a newborn to the already crazy mix! I love reading your thoughts and thank you for being honest in your writings!

      1. Hey Sydney, congrats on your upcoming new bundle. I’ve had so many people ask about the latching technique that I’m going to write a dedicated post about it, so be on the lookout for that! And you can do this, girl! Not saying it’s going to be easy, but the Lord’s got this, and no amount of freaking out on our parts changes that. :)

  8. I’m so glad to hear you and your family are doing well. What a blessing to have such helpful youngsters! It gives me hope that my persistence will pay off with mine ;)

  9. Great post! I clicked over to your sleep training post but the link for the IKEA pillow seems to no longer be available. Would you mind telling me the name or something specific so I can look it up? I’m due with my 3rd, well I was due last week (!!!) and I’d like to try this! Thanks!

    1. Hi Baili,

      I don’t know the name of the pillow, but I really should go edit that post to say that pretty much any down-filled pillow will work (just be sure to cover it with a nice ,thick, smooth pillow case because those quills can get pokey!). The down-filled ones are the ones that hold their shape after you smoosh them down. The Ikea one was just the one we had.

  10. I’m due in two weeks with baby 2 and since I had so many problems with soreness the last time, I was wondering, if you would share your midwife’s lactation tip? Please!
    Other than that I’m really happy that you are doing great considering everything.

    Best Sarah

  11. Congratulations on your new little one! Glad to hear things are going smoothly! Just curious as to what the latching tip from your midwife is, please?

  12. Sounds like you are doing great! I never thought of jumping right back into schooling the kids as a good thing, but I just may try it after this next one and see what happens (in 6-8 weeks or so with our baby #7). We are military, so we don’t have any family nearby to help out. However, my husband does get 2 weeks off for paternity leave. That helps a lot…If I am wise enough to relax and take advantage of it. I just have the hardest time overlooking the dishes that get piled up more than I’m used to and the carpet that doesn’t get vacuumed as often, lol. Have you ever tried raspberry leaf tea for helping to balance emotions after birth? I have not, but I think I am going to try that this time and stay in the Word as much as possible when I get a chance to sneak away to a rocker and BF. Take care!

    1. Yeah, I hear you, Heather. The extra mess gets to me too, but if I can ignore it for that first week or so, I find that I can make baby steps each day to get it taken care of after that. It helps that the older ones do most of the dishes and help tons with the laundry/sweeping/bathroom cleaning etc.

  13. Good to hear from you. I’m glad you got to rest and recover. My husband is able to take a week off when I have a baby and I try my best to stay in bed during that whole week. It really helps me recover. I’m due with our 6th in a few weeks, so coming up on doing that again!
    Isn’t it funny how doing school and being on schedule can actually be more relaxing with a big crew than time off? I was so relieved to get back to homeschooling and extra activities after Christmas break.

Leave a Reply to Sydney Cancel reply