Minnie’s Birth Story

mallory the midwife, parenting, storytelling

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. :)

Minnie's Birth Story

While this post is about Minnie, this story is dedicated to another baby.

mallory-and-rooMallory, 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.

mabel-clearyOne 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.

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  • Reply Milkshake Tim April 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    As a guy, I hate that you made me weepy with this post. Happy Birthday to Minne, much love to the fam, and continued prayers and love for Mallory and her family.

  • Reply Sara Record April 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    This is beautiful beyond words. Thank you for sharing some of life’s most precious moments with us. Your girls are so lucky to have such an amazing mama.

  • Reply Ashley April 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I am 26 weeks pregnant with my third girl. My other two are 3 and 2 years old. As soon as Remmy and Sophie walked into the room, the water works started. I am so excited/terrified/grateful for the journey we are about to go on! Thanks for sharing this, and Happy Birthday to Minnie!!

  • Reply Bethany April 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I’m the least emotional person I know and I almost started weeping watching that video. So beautiful, thank you for sharing. Love and prayers to Mallory.

  • Reply Christina April 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Holy tears all over the place!! Your face when she was born just hit me in the chest! How beautiful, makes me want another baby. Happy Birthday Minnie! And lots of love and prayers to Mallory for the loss of Mabel. My best friend lost her son in October to SIDS at 11 weeks old, so I’ve witnessed the heart shattering hurt loosing your child causes, and continues to cause.

  • Reply Lindsay @ fueled by diet coke April 9, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    OMG! TEARS!!!

    I LOVE that you were surrounded by so many women helpers. That is so beautiful. I want that if I’m blessed with another pregnancy/labor.

    <3 <3 <3 Happy birthday sweet Minnie, and so many hugs and smooches to Mallory and her sweet angel Mabel. xoxo

  • Reply Megan @ Teaching Every Day April 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Tears streaming down my face! Childbirth is such a miraculous and amazing thing. Your video is simply beautiful. Happy birthday to your little Minnie and hugs to your family (and Mallory’s too!).

  • Reply Andrea April 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I love your video – makes me so jealous we didn’t do that. Although I was not very nice during my non-epidural labors so maybe the video wouldn’t have been a good idea. But Beautiful. Love. Happy birthday to Minnie and what a tribute to Mallory and Mabel.

  • Reply Michelle Lim April 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Tears!!! I love…. And were you possibly saying, “Holy sh*t….holy sh*t…” as Minnie arrived? :) Because I loved that too.

  • Reply Katie April 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Oh, smiles, tears, baby fever, and all that rolled into one! You have a beautiful family!

  • Reply Elizabeth April 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    So beautiful, Roo! What a special story. Thanks for sharing. My one and only (so far) turns two on April 21st. Not the story I imagined–she was 6 weeks early and had a 3 week NICU stay but came home on Mother’s Day–but w often does that happen, anyway?
    The impending birthday, lots of pregnant friends, and your video gave me new baby pangs like whoa. Happy birthday, sweet little Minnie! And blessings to Mabel’s sweet family. I can’t imagine the strength required to carry one through the loss of a child. She has not been forgotten!

  • Reply Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? April 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Happy birthday, Minnie! And, Roo. I so love the video and wish I had one for my girls. So many feels and emotions.

    And, for Mallory and sweet Mabel. So many prayers.

  • Reply Nicole April 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Happy Birthday Minnie! She is such a sweetie. And of course her birth video made me cry. She is a month younger than my daughter, and I’m due next month with #2. I also don’t know the sex, but I REALLY think this one’s a boy… We shall see!

  • Reply Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution April 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Mallory’s story brings me to tears every time. My heart goes out to her.

    Happy Birthday sweet Minnie! I love the videos your mom posts on Instagram, you could be a huge star on YouTube as soon as you learn to work the camera.

  • Reply KiTX April 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Happy birthday, Minnie! Hurray for sweet little loves and celebrating their milestones.

    Every single time I see Mallory and Mabel’s story, I lose it and start crying (often at my desk like the working professional I am). If you see this, Mallory, please know that you and Mabel have impacted me so much, and I appreciate my daughter (7 months) all the more daily because of the story that you have shared. You and your little lady have touched a whole lot of hearts far and wide.

  • Reply Rachel Starr April 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Minnie’s birth story video and that song are simply beautiful! I’ve been following Mallory’s story ever since you shared her blog here. This was a touching tribute to sweet Mabel.

  • Reply Kathryn April 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I’m 6 months pregnant with my second baby, and my first is only 9 months old. This pregnancy has been way different than my first in that I don’t have nearly as many moments to day dream about my little guy. Posts like this let me press pause on my crazy little life and remember that in a few short months I’m going to have another tiny human to love on forever. I also followed along on Mallory’s blog during her pregnancy, and remembering Mabel keeps me so grateful for my kiddos. I pray for her family by name every day that they’ll be comforted somehow.

  • Reply Natalie April 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    That was beautiful, Roo. So very moving and lovely. Thanks for sharing and introducing us to Mallory. She has been in my thoughts.

  • Reply Denise April 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Happy Birthday, Minnie! She and my daughter share a birthday – my girl is celebrating her first today!

    I am grateful for my daughter every day; hearing stories like Mallory and Mabel’s makes my heart break every time. They have been in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply Katharine April 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing the update on Mallory and Mabel. Mabel touched so many lives and hearts in the short time she lived, including mine.

  • Reply Jillian L April 9, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    So, so wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your birth video, it’s such an amazing piece of life to witness. Mallory and Mabel are in my thoughts.

  • Reply Jenni April 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Such a sweet tribute to Mabel & her precious Mom!

  • Reply Anna April 9, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful life moment with us, Roo! And so much love to Mallory & Mabel and family <3

  • Reply Lynn April 9, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Absolutely beautiful :) My lo will be 6mo old this month and I’m not quite sure if I can still blame hormones for tearing up watching it… I also had an all natural birth and spent most of my laboring in the shower since there wasn’t a tub available.

  • Reply Lauren April 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Dang Roo. I’m crying. I was crying about 15 seconds into the video, but ending with Mabel… I’ve been reading Mallory’s blog every day. I can’t stop. Your video brought back so many memories of my daughter’s birth 7 months ago- the contractions, the emotions, everything. Lovely. Thank you. By the way, I love her little Instagram interviews- if you’d love to do more with any of your girls…. they’re just too cute.

  • Reply Tara April 10, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I mean…. That was just plain beautiful. I love the video. It instantly took me back to my own L&D lady feb. Wish I had that many women to surround myself with! And the moment where you’re sitting in bed with all three girls? Amazing. I think this us where you introduced your girls with their real names!
    Happy birthday Minnie! And so much love and hugs to Mallory and her family, I follow her blog and think if her often!

  • Reply Natasha April 10, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Ah, Roo. So many tears. This was beautiful! And happiest birthday to Minnie.
    I read some of Mallory’s blog, and it is beautiful and heartbreaking. Sending prayers to them.

  • Reply Anna April 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

    If I weren’t at my cubicle at work reading/watching this post, I would be a blubbering fool. The video is so real and so touching. I’m 22 weeks pregnant and while I’m terrified of delivering my first baby, seeing your emotions when you’re holding your little one for the first time is just so moving. My heart aches for Mallory and her husband. I can’t even fathom what they’re going through.

  • Reply A 3-minute birth story that took me 2 years to write | Baby Montgomery April 10, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    […] Here’s the video. Warning, I’m a little bit nudey in this. For the full story and the explanation behind the tribute at the end, you can click here to check out my blog post. […]

  • Reply Sarah April 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I cried like a baby…for all of the above. Love, love, love the video. Thanks for sharing that :)

  • Reply Whitney April 11, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Ah! I was crying watching the video, and then when I got to Mabel’s story I think my tear ducts exploded. What a beautiful post, Roo. :)

  • Reply Kristine April 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Crying non stop as I hold my 3 month old baby girl, tears of joy, beauty, compassion , sadness and much comforting love.

  • Reply Sam April 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Just beautiful. You are such a talented writer. Not only are you clever and articulate, but your heartfelt sincerity is just so genuine. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply monica April 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Incredibly moving Roo – your words, the video and the beautiful tribute to angel baby Mabel.

  • Reply Amelia March 19, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Wishing her a wonderful life????????

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