Thanks to her beautiful daughters, Melora Hardin couldn’t feel luckier to be the mom of two kids — Rory and Piper — with her husband, Gildart Jackson. The Office alum has made parenthood her No. 1 priority since welcoming her first child nearly two decades ago.
Melora and Gildart started their family after tying the knot in 1997. Four years later, their eldest daughter, Rory, was born in 2001, followed by their second child, Piper, in 2005.
As someone who has enjoyed every aspect of motherhood, Melora said she completely embraced being pregnant. Speaking with American Baby in May 2008, the 17 Again actress said she truly enjoyed watching her “body [change],” as well as undergo the “cycles of pregnancy.”
“I really enjoy how my body heals and can be strong again if I work at it and give it some time,” she shared. “I want to live a balanced life, and that means that you’re going to be a little heavier if you’ve just had a baby, and a little skinnier if you’re on Broadway doing a show.”
Reflecting on her journey through motherhood, Melora explained why she was so keen on welcoming her babies through a “completely natural birth” at home. “Everybody feels really safe and comfortable somewhere, and for me, it wasn’t at the hospital,” she said. “When I read about birth — most animals go into a cave and get really private, in the dark and alone — homebirth just made sense to me.”
Giving birth to both her daughters at home allowed Melora — who is cast on season 30 of Dancing With the Stars — to feel as comfortable as possible. Her experience welcoming baby No. 2 was extra special considering “Rory watched Piper being born.”
“My midwife told me that kids who watch their siblings being born have an easier time adjusting because they see the hard work that it took to get the baby there, and that the baby came from somewhere — we didn’t just go to the store and pick her up!” she continued. “Rory woke up for the last 45 minutes of my labor and put all of her toys out, saying, ‘These are for the baby.'”
Since earning the title of “Mom,” Melora’s love for parenthood has only gotten stronger.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn all about Rory and Piper!
1 of 3
2 of 3