Thirty minutes after midnight, my third daughter turned two years old.
If the words ‘birth’ and ‘story’ make you feel wildly uncomfortable, I kindly suggest that you check out another post. Like yesterday’s cartoon! Or Friday’s TIHIF. This post is a little graphic, and I’m a little bit nudey in the video. My tank top and had stretched while in the laboring tub and y’all can see my super sexy nude maternity bra. (What. They’re perfect for under white t-shirts, get off me.) Alright, disclaimer over. :)
I chose not to find out the gender. One evening, a few months before my due date, I grabbed a notebook and wrote down “I’m having a girl, and I’m naming her Minnie.” I knew. I just knew. I was aware that I could be wrong, but I just knew. I tore out the piece of paper, folded it up, and kept it away in a safe place. I’d hand it to Jack on the day I gave birth.
A week after I wrote the note, I received a gift in the mail. I opened it, and on the very top of the package was a little polka dot onesie with Minnie Mouse on it. It quietly confirmed my thoughts. I was having a girl, and I was naming her Minnie.
I had a 2,000 word post written out before I decided to leave it in drafts and let this video tell the story. It might be a little confusing, so I’ll try to give the Cliff Notes version of it. I went to the hospital with Jack on Easter. It was nighttime. My dear friends Christina and Sunnie met us at the hospital (this sort of thing is normal for us; I’ve ‘helped’ out at a few friends’ L&Ds, including Christina’s; all that to say, call me when you’re in labor, and I’ll grab a towel and a catcher’s mitt and be there in five), along with Mallory the Midwife, who attended both Remmy and Sophie’s births. I also had an awesome nurse who totally loved my labor playlist (Salt N Pepa’s Push It and Far East Movement’s Like a G6 were on it), so we had a nice little crew.
Going in, Mallory and I didn’t have much of a plan. Our hospital now had a laboring tub, so the plan was labor in there as long as possible (policy states you can only labor in the tub, not give birth in the tub… for now), then have my third epidural-free birth. I roamed my room, begged off on the hospital gown (Mallory said I could!), and I didn’t lie down once. I labored standing up, then labored in the tub before giving birth on my knees on the hospital bed. It was intense and tiresome, and the moment I saw my baby (at around the 01:13 mark below), I was hit with elation and joy and fatigue and relief.
Mirabel Jolene (Minnie!), weighing in at seven and a half pounds, thirty minutes after midnight on April 9th, 2012. We celebrated, and we’re still celebrating. :)
While this post is about Minnie, this story is dedicated to another baby.
Mallory, my incredible midwife, who was invaluable to me through all three pregnancies and all three births, gave birth to her first baby on February 15th of this year. Mabel Cleary lived for six sweet hours before passing on from this life to the next.
One day, Mabel, we will meet, and lots of us will tell you stories about how your mom welcomed baby after baby into the world, and gave moms and dads so much comfort and kindness and love. It is wildly unfair that you’re not here with us now, but I will honor you by remembering you.