Gloria Yoder On Her Pregnancy & Baby
Some years back I wrote a post on why Amish don’t discuss pregnancy:
I never know when Amish friends have one on the way. I show up and there is another baby or one clearly about to happen. And even when it’s obvious, it never comes up, even as a mention. …
You’d think it would be hard to contain the excitement. Yet I believe, like with many things, there is also a tempering humility–a baby is a gift, a child of God–nothing less, nothing more.
That said, the topic can come up on occasion in an oblique way. Or, in some cases it could be discussed in specific, more private settings.
But broadly speaking, pregnancy is not spoken of publicly in anything like the degree of detail that seems to have become the norm among English people.
At the same time, as they say, “one size doesn’t fit all”. That phrase happens to be in the title of Amish Cook Gloria Yoder’s latest column.
In the column Gloria opens up on the topic, answering reader questions on her own pregnancy and soon-to-be-born baby.
First, Gloria confirms that “many types of Amish don’t feel comfortable talking about Baby until after the birth. Still, like any other ‘Amish’ subjects at hand, it just won’t be a one size fits all answer.”
However, she is comfortable sharing some details about her own pregnancy and happily-awaited bundle of joy. Here are a few snippets.
On her sheer wonder and love for her unborn baby. We cannot see it yet, but it is already part of the family:
For us, we feel like the baby is a part of our family long before he or she is born and deserves love and recognition just like each of our other five little ones. I have been astounded many times since I’ve been doing research these last months, on how much an unborn baby senses and the love and acceptance they receive long before birth. Amazing.
No family is perfect but the baby is God’s blessing:
Now I know our baby is not being born into a perfect family; many times I pray like an older lady shared with me how she often prayed when her children were young, “Lord, fill in what my children need that I’m not giving them and to take from their hearts anything I put there that wasn’t meant to be.” How precious.
God knows I won’t be perfect. He is my perfection.
Yes. we are unworthy and blessed beyond measure to think that God is actually giving us another bundle to love and care for.
Image: Bill Coleman
Next, on the specifics of the birth. How will the baby be delivered? Gloria does have a midwife who does some checkups, and she is open to using a doctor.
But as to who it sounds might do the actual delivery, that might surprise you:
Julia was born in a birthing center, and as unreal or crazy as it may sound, Daniel was the “midwife” for our last two babies. The stories are too long to relate how our unique situations came to pass. Let’s just put it this way — God sent Jesus to be with us, and there was one daddy as happy as a lark to be able to take care of his wife and deliver his two sons!
If need be, we do go to the doctor. We are ever so thankful for the medical world, though with many reliable home remedies, it seldom reaches the point of actually having to go.
Now the big question about who will deliver this baby. Only God knows for sure. We do have plans of having the midwife here at our house, but most likely, the new Daddy will be the primary doctor. I just pray that God will have His perfect in it all.
I will admit I have not heard of Amish husbands ever being in charge of the delivery. Gloria mentions the stories behind these “unique situations” of Daniel doing the deliveries.
It sounds like Daniel may have been recruited for the job when other options were not available. Maybe the midwife or other delivery person could not reach them in time. It sounds like Gloria has a good husband, one with rare but useful experience.
Gloria also discusses some technology they are using at home. They have both a Doppler machine and an ultrasound machine.
The ultrasound is a model meant for people, though they originally got it for their animals, she explains. These devices help them be more confident handling more things about the baby’s care and eventual birth on their own.
One size does not fit all
I thought Gloria’s column really illustrates the title it was given, “One size doesn’t fit all Amish.” You would be hard-pressed to find an Amish person from one of the plainest churches publicly going into such detail.
Gloria as a member of a New Order church is more open about these things. I would call this discussion uncommon coming from “the Amish” in general, but less surprising coming from someone of a New Order background.
On that note, one of our commenters on my original Amish pregnancy post, “Plain Lady”, shared this:
In the New Order church where the women do wear maternity clothes pregnancy is a more open subject. Once a woman shows up wearing a smock dress, her way of publicly announcing she’s pregnant, then there will be much talk of ‘the baby’.Of course in both cases, there is hardly ever ANY chance of a man saying anything about being pregnant to a woman. However, there is a VERY GOOD chance that a woman will see that another is pregnant and tell her husband and he will then make mention of it to the father to be…..and the news gets around and thus the subject is acknowledged, just in a more round about way than the ‘Englishers’.
Whether the world knows about it or not, Gloria and Daniel’s new baby is fortunate to be coming into a family so ready to love and treasure him or her.
Her pregnancy & baby
Gloria you are truly an active mother. Your information about your pregnancy and baby is very informative and very enlightening. I can appreciate your family and especially you as young woman even more. I hope you continue your column forever.
“House Calls and Hitching Posts” is a book about Dr. Elton Lehman and his experiences caring for the Amish in Ohio. Pregnancies are included, and it is a very interesting read.
The Amish attitude toward pregnancy and childbirth reminds me of my own family, all born in Europe before war#2. The Amish seem to retain an old world modesty about the subject. Modern (English) society has become glaringly in-your-face about matters older generations treated as extremely delicate and private.
Amen and amen. Too much in your face about pregnancy, and too much lack of modesty in dress in the English worlds pregnancies!
Gloria Yoder's baby
How true! Yes, each baby is a special gift from God. I was blessed with four of my own. They are adults now, (I’m in my 80’s) and we now enjoy our eight grandchildren and two great-grands. (A third is on its way)
I had my babies when it was not customary to broadcast the news too early, and my grandfather would leave the room if the discussion arose. We were careful to avoid it in most cases. But my, how he loved them once they arrived!
My very best wishes for your next child, who is indeed blessed to have a wonderful family already sharing their love.
Gloria Yoders Column
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Gloria Yoders column
Kevin Williams Amish365.com
I knew one Amish family where the dad was the only attendant at the last several births. (At least, o midwife, so I’m pretty sure there would’ve been no one else.)
They were a quite conservative Old Order, but quite friendly.
He, or they, liked doing things for themselves, and he taught me about burdock leaves on a wound to speed healing.
Gloria Yoders baby
God bless you and your family. In 3 months you will be a wonderful mother to a newborn as well as to earlier children. Any idea how
many more? You are lucky to have Daniel there also. I will pray for you
and your family.
Gloria Yoder's Baby
Is one of the reasons Amish do not openly discuss the pregnancy topic because they do not want to shine the spot light on the obvious- having had SEX?!
Maybe they just hold it sacred. I’m old enough to remember when it wasn’t discussed in general in the English world either. It use to be TV wasn’t allowed to show people, including a man and his wife, in the same bed together. That was also when taking the Lord’s name in vain was cut out, and taking Jesus Christ’s in vain was even more rare. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that back again?
I think that is part of it. Generally we (“English society”) are pretty open about all aspects of the unborn baby’s state, even veering into the conception process. The baby should be celebrated and as Gloria’s and other comments show us, they are, but I appreciate the Amish generally also keeping a higher level of privacy and discretion about things like this.
Babies and Intercourse
Children are truly a gift. However, must I remind all that Amish and English babies all are a product of unprotected intercourse or AI in females of reproductive age. My guess is you are correct, they don’t want to talk about “that subject”
I agree Erik, especially about celebrating a baby’s conception and birth just as much as a wedding. There are respectful ways to do that. I also extend my best wishes to Gloria and her family.