Waiting for Baby…

by Amity McElroy, Certified Doula and Childbirth Educator

It’s finally here: the last few weeks of pregnancy! You’ve spent months growing and preparing for baby. You’ve taken the classes, read all the books, and the nursery is set up. Now the countdown begins — the waiting, and the wondering when baby will arrive, and the inevitable excited calls and texts from family and friends asking, “Baby yet?” There is also the physical reality that baby is pushing the limits of the space in your body. This can cause the symptoms of pregnancy to become nearly unbearable, which can be compounded by the emotional toll the end of pregnancy brings. We often, as with most things, are in a hurry to move on to what’s next, as we hope the baby will arrive sooner than later. 

For me, it always felt like the calm before the storm, and living in a place of in-between. After spending months getting ready, it felt like all that was left to do was wait… 

With my first three pregnancies, I remember being so ready for the last days of pregnancy to end. It felt like it could be its very own trimester, but without a name. But by the time I was on my fourth pregnancy, knowing it was to be my last, I found myself feeling more curious about the purpose of this time in limbo between pregnancy and motherhood. Could it be a gift — sacred, or even spiritual? Maybe this could be a time for me to pause and reflect on the way my family and relationship looked right now, and to honor all the hard work and sacrifice my body had given over the past few months. Just a bit more time, to practice the art of slowing down and learning to be in the moment, in preparation for the different pace of life with a newborn. 

In figuring out how to do that and what exactly it looks like, you might find some success in first shifting the perception of these last few weeks. This time is not wasted or useless… important work is still being accomplished, in baby and in you. Explore being curious whether there is something that has been left undone. I don’t mean washing all the baby clothes or installing the carseat; instead look deeper and be open to something that could only be realized during this unique time of pregnancy. 

Try starting with some of these suggestions.

1. Rest, as much as possible. Since nighttime sleep can be elusive and uncomfortable during this time, instead shift your focus to rest. Give yourself some long afternoon naps curled up on the couch, binge watch shows, and spend some quiet time every day with your mindfulness practice. One of my favorite zen sayings is “All there is to do is sit and sweep the garden.” Balance these important times of quiet, reflection, and rest, as you also prioritize all that you need to get done before baby’s arrival.

2. Move, even though this may look different at this stage of pregnancy. Unroll that yoga mat to stretch, making more room for baby. Get outside and go for a walk, or swim to feel weightless for a little while, or turn up the music and dance! All of this may help your little one settle into position, ease discomfort, and decrease stress. 

3. If there ever was a time for self care, this is it! Back pain, sleeplessness, heartburn, mood swings, and Braxton Hicks contractions may be just some of the symptoms you‘re experiencing. Now may be the time to finally use that business card you grabbed, and set up an appointment for acupuncture, prenatal yoga, massage, chiropractic care, or therapy.

4. Celebrate and love your pregnant shape by creating a beautiful belly cast, setting up a pregnancy photo shoot, painting a self portrait of your pregnant body, or applying a fun belly henna design to rock in labor. You might celebrate this baby by writing a love letter to them to read on their 18th birthday, or by singing or playing a special song to them every day, that you can sing to them when they are born (see midwife Susan’s newsletter on lullabies HERE). 

5. Let the oxytocin flow! Hold hands, cuddle, and if you’re feeling it, get intimate. Plan a date or a staycation, or a nearby baby-moon. My favorite quote from Ina May Gaskin is, “The energy that gets the baby in is the same energy that gets the baby out.” (Check out the newsletter article from midwife Yelena HERE on sex during pregnancy.)

6. Have a Mother Blessing! In our culture we do a good job of preparing for and celebrating baby’s arrival, but we don’t often honor or celebrate motherhood enough. This focus on mom could be as simple as sitting with some of your female friends to share thoughts on motherhood, or it could be more elaborate and include a foot bath or special ceremony. My favorite way to celebrate is planning to shower the mother with blessings postpartum with a meal chain (laundry, dishes, massages and the gift of sleep are good too).

When you find yourself in that rare and special place of being in-between, while it is completely normal and understandable to be “over it” and hope baby comes soon, remember there may be just enough time left to do the undone. Allow yourself to explore what that means to you, and to give yourself the gift of being present, and intentional, as you do.

Community-Wide Doula Meet & Greet

We are excited and honored to host a very special opportunity for ALL Albuquerque-area doulas and doula groups to connect with interested families. RSVP HERE

Upcoming Events

To register for classes visit our website calendar pageHERE


Birth Center Tours

Register HERE

  • Saturday, March 14th
  • Saturday, March 21st
    10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Interventions and Hospital Transfers

Learn what happens when birth doesn’t go as expected. Hear from midwives, doulas, counselors, and a past family who transferred. Free dinner! YOU MUST register for this class. Click HERE to register.

  • Wednesday, Feb 26th
    5:15 to 8:00 p.m.

Doula Teas with the New Life Doula Collective
Come & join us for some tea, and meet our doulas. We’ll help you learn more about doula care, so you
can explore your options. RSVP for tea HERE to let us know you’re coming (drop-ins OK too) or to learn more about doulas visit Doula page on our website HERE

  • Saturday, March 14th noon
  • Monday, March 23rd 5:30 p.m.

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Groups

Breastfeeding and New Moms

Facilitated by our Lactation Consultant Robin Hayter with support from the nurses and midwives. 

  • Wednesday mornings, 10:00 to noon

(No group March 11th)

Postpartum Mom Group 

Our staff counselor Kimberlee Maresma, LPCC will hold a therapeutic group that supports the new mother for the first year. Email Kimberlee HERE with any questions.

  • Friday, March 6th noon

Fathers Mindful Group

Thursday, April 23rd at 6 p.m.
The Postpartum Partner Group has a new name! Please join Jose Maresma for an evening of an emotionally safe exploration of the differences our partners face after the birth of a new baby. This Workshop is for fathers. Suggested donation: $10-20 
Read more about classes and events at the birth center.

Baby Count
 996

Milk Count

368350

…and counting! That’s over 2877 gallons! Go, Mamas, Go! 


Bonus classes
Disclaimer: Most of the special events below are set up and led by community members — not Dar a Luz staff members — and as such, they don’t necessarily reflect our beliefs as an organization. Dar a Luz is not responsible for their content, and does not necessarily endorse every aspect presented.
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Infant Child and Adult CPR

Monday, March 9th at 6 p.m. or April 20th at 6 p.m.
Firefighter Kris Romero leads this certification course in infants, child and adult CPR. Learn the basics for life-saving measures, what to do in an emergency, and feel more prepared for a sudden, unexpected event. Cost: $40 per person- PRE-PAY 100% NON-REFUNDABLE at the time you sign up. Space is VERY limited so register today. Register HERE
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Pappy Hour

Thursday, March 12th at 5 p.m.
Location: Tractor Brewery, 118 Tulane SE
Saturday, March 28th at 4 p.m.
Location: Desert Valley, 3517 Wyoming NE

This group is for all expectant or new Dads in the community and moderated by our own Dar a Luz Dads. RSVP HERE Dar a Luz does not advocate or encourage the abuse of alcoholic beverages. Please drink responsibly and in moderation.
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Free Family Music Demo!

Thursday, March 12th at 5 p.m.
Location: Tractor Brewery, 118 Tulane SE
Saturday, March 28th at 4 p.m.
Location: Desert Valley, 3517 Wyoming NE

This group is for all expectant or new Dads in the community and moderated by our own Dar a Luz Dads. RSVP HERE Dar a Luz does not advocate or encourage the abuse of alcoholic beverages. Please drink responsibly and in moderation.
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Free Family Music Demo!

Name: Ruian, Ezra, and Nolan
Birthdate: April 24th, May 5th, June 16th
Fun Fact: These adorable boy’s Mamas got to know each other in classes prenatally and postpartum .
You can have your baby featured by emailing usHERE a picture of your cutie and we’ll put them in a newsletter! Please include permission to use the image, your little one’s first name, date of birth, and a fun fact.

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