Managing Postpartum With a Big Family

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Our oldest son, Ethan (14), with his brothers Luke (21 months), and Fisher (newborn)

 

The misperception is common, and I probably would have thought wrongly about it, too. Back when I was single, or a mom of 1-2 kids, if I’d had to describe what postpartum weeks would look like for a mom with her 8th baby, my eyes might have bugged-out, and I would have had the image of a frazzled woman ripping out her hair, in some state of losing her mind.

And I’m not saying it’s easy-peasy.

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Look, it’s still postpartum. I still gave birth to a baby (never easy, at least not for me!). Hormone shifts are real, and for me, the emotions have been stronger this time.

There are other challenges beyond postpartum life. Like: we have NINE PEOPLE who need to eat through every day. And siblings still karate-chop each other, even if they do have a few-day-old precious new brother.

BUT. In some ways, with a little lowering of mom’s expectations, and pitching-in from all these people who like eating and karate-chopping, it’s easier than the earlier me would have thought possible. Here’s what postpartum looked like for me, 11-12 days in, with our 8th baby:

Video Overview:

 

And here’s a detailed look at the place I did most of my resting (and how I kept our 21-month-old close by) in the days and weeks following baby #8. This is a peek at what my postpartum “nest” looks like, with other little ones:

 

I really love the gated play yards. Seriously, that was probably my wisest purchase of 2016.

 

PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS: What are some ways you work (or are planning to work) to make postpartum seasons more manageable? 

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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6 Responses

  1. Carissa says:

    The play gate! I need that! I’m 17 days post partum with my 4th and I got mastitis twice this last week so I’ve been in bed a lot, and my just-a-few-months-over-two kid has been.a.challenge! He’s busy and likes to explore…especially my room since we’ve never spent so much time in here! (My room looks the same otherwise …even down to the big yellow cup on the floor! Lol)

  2. Diana says:

    Thanks for these videos, Jess! Loved it. We are a little less than two months out from our next postpartum, and your tips were very relevant. While I spend most of my time freaking out about childbirth (NOT my favorite activity, LOL), I do also worry about the postpartum period, which I usually find quite stressful. However, as you mentioned yourself, my first was absolutely the worst – every postpartum since then has been an improvement.

    Thanks for posting this information!!
    Diana

    • Jess Connell says:

      Glad for the feedback, Diana.

      At this point, 8 babies in, I spend pregnancy NOT thinking about labor, for as long as possible. Never pleasant, but it’s always valuable work.

      This postpartum has been more difficult emotionally/hormonally, for me, but the actual physical healing has gone great because of all the rest. I’ve really taken it easy, not letting myself freak out about messes, etc., and I can tell it’s made a real difference. It’s been a very relaxed month and a half.

  3. Lisa D says:

    Your videos are always such an encouragement to me, Jessica. I really enjoyed seeing you and little Fisher, even if we can’t chat in person!

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