The Amish Midwife - By Mindy Starns Clark


Mindy thanks

John, Emily, and Lauren Clark, for input, inspiration, and never-ending teamwork. I am so blessed!

Vanessa Thompson and Al Cummings, for working so hard behind the scenes even when I’m on a deadline.

The members of my FVCN Small Group: the Akamines, Halls, Peases, and Smiths, for prayers, support, and patience.

Leslie thanks

Peter Gould for his endless encouragement and research assistance, Hana and Thao for joining in on the journey, and Kaleb and Taylor for their help along the way.

Melanie Dobson, Kim Felton, Kelly Chang, Emily King, Dori Clark, and Ellen Poole for their ideas and input early in the story; Mary Hake for sharing information about Conservative Mennonites; Libby Salter for her ongoing support as both a reader and a friend; and Laurie Snyder for sharing a new take on Psalm 139:16 with me.

Patty Deacon, RN, and Holly Frakes, RN, both who specialize in obstetrics, and Peter Gould, RN, for his input on both cardiac and general medical issues. (Any inaccuracies are mine.)

And all of the babies and children, both by birth and adoption, I have witnessed being welcomed into their families. I will always treasure the joy of those moments.

Mindy and Leslie thank

Chip MacGregor for bringing us together on this project, Kim Moore for making it all work, and the wonderful crew at Harvest House Publishers for their dedication to this book.

Dave Siegrist for his expertise; Jamie and Steve Shane of the Apple Bin Inn in Willow Street, Pennsylvania, for the perfect landing spot and appreciated insights; the Mennonite Information Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for their invaluable resources; and Erik Wesner, author of, for answering questions and providing clarification.


Baby number 244 was an easy one—three hours of labor, twenty minutes of pushing, and one healthy seven-pound-three-ounce baby boy. To put it in the vernacular of the parents, the infant slid into my hands like a football dropping into the palms of a wide receiver waiting in the end zone.

“It’s a boy,” I announced as I looked at the clock and noted the time: 5:33 p.m. “You did it, Brie.”

“A boy,” Stanley cried, turning to high-five his wife. The head football coach at Barlow High School, Stanley had guided Brie through the entire labor and delivery much as he must have ushered last year’s team through to the playoffs. “Finally, our own little future Bruin.”

“A Bruin,” she echoed, meeting Stanley’s palm with her own. Then she collapsed back against the pillows, laughter bubbling from her throat even as tears spilled freely across her cheeks. After three daughters, I knew they had both been hoping for a son.

I suctioned the baby, wiped off his tiny face, and then handed the scissors to Stanley, who didn’t need much help cutting the cord for this, his fourth down at the one-yard line, so to speak. Grabbing a warm blanket, I wrapped it around the infant and placed him in his mother’s arms, and then I added another warm blanket across them both. As soon as I returned to my chair at the foot of the bed, Stanley leaned toward Brie, touching his forehead to hers and wrapping his thick arms around wife and child.

“You did it, babe,” he whispered, kissing her cheek.

“We did it,” she replied, unable to tear her eyes from the infant she was clutching so tightly. “And you, Lexie,” she added. “Thank you. For everything. You’re the best.”

I waved off the compliment, saying it was no sweat for a delivery this fast and free of complication.

Through the next fifteen minutes, as I finished things up, I kept glancing at the three of them—father, mother, child—searching as I always did for that moment, that origin of family, that flash of absolute belonging.

Though every birth was different, my search was always the same.

When I was done I headed for the door, telling them I would be back to check on things in just a bit.

“You guys know the drill,” I added, pausing in the doorway to take one more look at the little family. “If you don’t mind, be sure to send me—”

“A photo of the baby. We know,” Brie said, laughing. “Don’t worry, we will.”

Out in the hall, as the door swung shut behind me, I couldn’t help but smile. Baby number 244.

Good work, Lexie.

When I reached the nurses’ station, three message slips were waiting for me, all from the same person. As soon as I saw them, my legs grew weak. Sinking into the nearest chair, I was thankful no one was around at the moment to see my reaction. I