Friday, June 15, 2007

Are you pregnant or want to be?

I have begun doing some research in preparation for labor and delivery. The book I am currently reading is "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" by Susan McCutcheon. It is very informative and has given me a unique perspective. The Bradley Method is all about giving birth naturally - without pain medication, episiotomies, c-sections, etc. There are times when the before mentioned procedures are necessary, but those times are rare. They have become common for many reasons, but my desire is to give birth naturally. I have talked to several women who have given birth with the epidural for one labor and without it for another. All of those women felt that labor was much better without the epidural! One of those women was my cousin who gave birth to a 10 pound 5 ounce boy without any pain medication at all. It was her first time giving birth naturally and she loved the experience in comparison to her other deliveries. The only women I have heard make fun of natural childbirth or say what a crazy idea it is are those who have never tried it.

I have obviously never given birth and I know I do not fully appreciate how difficult labor is. I was in the delivery room with my sister, but witnessing the pain and experiencing it are two different things. I hope to deliver my baby naturally, but I will not feel like a "failure" if I don't. However, I know that if I don't spend time now preparing for labor, I won't be ready for the task and will undoubtedly want or need help via pain medication.

I am amazed at how many women don't prepare for labor, but rather wait until they are in it and leave all the important decisions up to their doctor. Maybe it's my strong willed personality, but I want to be very involved in deciding how my baby is brought into this world. I want my baby to be the safest and healthiest he or she can be.

If you are pregnant or desire to be, pick up a copy of this book. You can order it here for $12.92.

If you don't have a strong opinion about labor and delivery, you may change your mind after doing some reading. This book has been an eye opener for me.


Kara said...

You can do it!!! Every baby is different, sometimes you lay there for 12 hours bored out of your mind (as with abby) or sometimes they practically fly out the minute you climb onto the table (as with Adam). Whatever happens for you I'm sure it will be a whopper of a blog story.

Tricia said...

Kelly, thanks for your comment on my blog. Whoever told you that you look ready to deliver is look really cute pregnant! I'm so glad that you are reading up on labor and delivery...that helped me tremendously. I delivered both the boys without an epidural and wouldn't have it any other way.

Carrie said...

Kelly, I don't actually know you, though I do remember you vaguely from Northland . . . but I enjoy reading your blog and wanted to say congrats on your pregnancy! And it's great that you are hoping/planning for a natural birth. Being mentally prepared is so important! I was like you and wanted to really educate myself ahead of time, so I read books, we took a childbirth class, etc. I've had two natural births so far--one in the hospital and one at home, and both were incredible experiences. I don't know if you're into reading birth stories or not, but I posted both of mine at my pregnancy blog (

Hope your pregnancy continues to go smoothly, and I look forward to reading about it as the months go by!

Don said...

What does a guy have to say about this? Feel free to skip this comment if you'd like, but I witnessed my wife deliver three 9 lb. babies with NO pain medicine at all. I am in awe of her strength and resolve! Having been through it as a husband, though I want to point out how important it is that Ben prepares along with you! He must know very clearly (even better than you) exactly what you want and don't want. There will likely be a moment when they want you to sign something while you are in labor and without Ben's involvement you will be ready to sign anything. While delivering our first, they pulled out a piece of equipment and began putting it together, once assembled it looked like a set of salad tongs: Forceps, we had already agreed that forceps are an extreme last minute resort. At my strong urging, they put them away.

Kelly Glupker said...

Tricia and Carrie,
It is so encouraging to hear other women who chose to deliver without the epidural and survived to talk about it! :) Carrie, I LOVED hearing your home birth story. I would love to do that! Thanks so much for commenting.

You always make deliver sound like a breeze. I hope I can be like you.

Thanks for your comment. I have been telling Ben that he needs to read these books as well. He agrees and plans to do so once his research paper is done. I have read over and over again how huge the husband role is. I enjoyed talking to Linda about her deliveries when we were at your house. It's nice to hear a guy's point of view.

Laurie said...

Kelly, I myself am not pregnant or anything, but I did come across a form online that might help. It's called a birth plan, and basically you answer questions about how you want the birthing process handled. Then you can print a copy for the hospital/doctor. Just do a google search on 'birth plan' and you should find a bunch of them.

Phil Luter said...

Just wondering. Is there some advantage to enduring all that pain when you don't need to? Are there statistics that show that the babies are healthier (or the moms)? I once had four stitches in the top of my scalp with no pain killers. I certainly don't recommend it. At any rate you sure sound brave to me. I think Ben may need a couple shots if you go through with it and he is with you. We continue to pray for everything to go well.

Kelly Glupker said...

I have heard of the birthing plan, but never though to get a form from the internet. I'll have to do that. Thanks for the suggestion!

There are many positive reasons to not have pain medication. There are always risks involved when you take something. With all the medicine I have been on over the last couple of years, I just don't want to take something unless I have to. I want to minimize risks and harmful side effects as much as possible. I have also heard many women testify that labor is better without the numbing because they can feel their contractions and work with their bodies rather than against. It makes recovery easier.

Karen said...

When I was pregnant, I decided to go as long as I could without an epidural. I made it to 6 cm, which was much farther than I thought I would! Next time, I would love to have a natural birth, if for no other reason than to compare the 2 experiences. I think it's great that you're doing that--and I really hope you won't minimize your experience if it doesn't work out the way you want it to.

Nate was an unbelievable source of strength for me, and he didn't do a lot of preparation. I would tell him lots of stuff that I read, and he also learned a ton from our childbirth class.

Anyway! You look so GREAT! Do you feel good? I can't wait to see pics of the little Glupker!

Kelly Glupker said...

Thanks for your support. I know that regardless of how the delivery happens, it will all be worth it. So few people are open to the idea of natural child-birth and just mock those who want to try it. If I can do it - great. If I can't - that's okay too. It would be neat if you could do it both ways and compare your experiences. I would love to hear about it. I am feeling good and can't wait to meet this baby! With so many people getting pregnant, you might be next! :)

TwoMuths said...

This is a great book - I hope you get to experience the birth you want to! I know you can do it!! I had hoped so deeply for an all natural birth, but God had another plan that ended with a (very unwanted) c-section. I am still holding out for next time, though! :-) I'm so glad you've had a great pregnancy, and am hoping & praying that your labor & delivery go just as well!!

Kelly Glupker said...

Jenny M,
Did you read this book too? Thanks for your vote of confidence - I sure don't feel very confident! I know sometimes c-sections are inevitable. Will your doctor allow you to try vaginally next time? I know many doctors won't allow you to after you have had a c-section. My cousin was able to though so you never know.

TwoMuths said...

My doc is all for it, and when I researched it out, the risk of complications is only VERY slightly higher (like .2% or something) for a VBAC vs a repeat C-Section. I'm praying for a successful VBAC and have been since Aaron's birth. :-) God knows best, though!

Busch family said...

Hi Kelly,
I have enjoyed reading your blog! I don't know if you remember me from NBBC or not, but we were in the same class. My last name was Emig, and then I married Kevin Busch.

I realize I'm really late in commenting here, but I wanted to say "Bravo!" on your desire for natural childbirth. My son is 18 months old now, but when I was pregnant I wanted to know everything I possibly could about labor. Somehow that helped with nerves! :) Kevin and I took a childbirth class together, and I read several books. I am SO glad that we did. We had several scenarios come up during the birth that we had prepared for in class.

The book that you're reading was good, and I also enjoyed "Husband Coached Childbirth." I think the most helpful thing for Kevin was a chart that was in the Bradley class student workbook. The chart basically explains the different stages that a woman goes through during labor, both physically and emotionally. He said he could track exactly where I was, based on that chart. (If you'd like me to send you info on the chart, just let me know. My email is bethemigathotmaildotcom.)

I think that sharing what we read, and being in the class together really strengthened our relationship. It was a sacrifice of time and money since the class we took was so long and involved, but it was worth all of it. I praise the Lord that our labor was basically textbook. It was over and done in 12 hours. I came home from the hospital a little over 24 hours after delivery, and felt like I could do it all over again. I didn't feel like that after a couple weeks!! The sleep deprivation got to me a little! :) God knew I could handle just one at a time (for now). Our birth story is here if you'd like to read it:

I was so comforted by the fact that the class I took focused on healthy baby/healthy mom - even if it meant medical intervention. I gave birth in a midwifery center in the hospital. It was great to know that the OR was right down the hall if the need arose.

I'm so very excited for you. You look wonderful! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your new little one and hearing your birth story.

Sorry this is so incredibly long!