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The Last Month Rollercoaster

The Crier Landing Page >>

A New Mom, a New Marin

By: Taylor Shepard  |  June 1, 2023

Click, click, click. 
You've waited 9 long months in line.

Click, click, click. 
And finally, you've boarded. The last month of the pregnancy rollercoaster.

Click, click, click. 
Slowly chugging to the tippy top point. 
Waiting to just drop you down into the wild, flipping, turning, exhilarating, terrifying world of parenthood. 

Click, click, click. 
That ride up to the top is always what makes me most afraid of these types of rides. It's not the speed, the height, the loopty-loops it throws your way. It’s the waiting. The not knowing what is ahead. The drop in your stomach that is sitting there right over the edge that you have no control over. Will it be today? Or will I be “late” and take another five weeks? The not knowing, out of control feeling growing in my body daily, just like this baby bump, continues to weigh me down. 

If there is one thing I have learned from the mothers before me, the podcasts constantly playing in my ears, and the books always in my hand, it is that pregnancy, birth, and parenthood is basically a surrender. The pain dissipates when you lean into the void. So, in this last month as the anxiety builds and the cart climbs closer and closer to my first baby's due date, here are three things that have kept me from going off the rails…

1) Birth and Childcare class with Lauren Brown
If I had to recommend one thing to new moms, it would be to contact my friend Lauren. She is a Marin local, bike enthusiast, SMMC member, mom to the cutest little one… and she is also an amazing doula. Lauren hosts classes, offers services, and is overall just a wealth of knowledge and support. What this class gave to me is some actionable knowledge I can pull from in those times of labor, delivery, and newborn fog. When the pain gets to be too much, when the delivery plans change, when the baby just won’t stop crying, I will hear Lauren’s voice encouraging me and my partner to dig a little deeper and try one of her easy-to-understand techniques. Having those in my back pocket feels invaluable and gives me so much more confidence as the rollercoaster continues to approach the grand descent. 

Check out her work at Moon Belly Birth HERE >> 

2) Nesting 
We’ve all heard about it. If you are already a mom or are in this stage of pregnancy with me, you have likely experienced it. Nesting is SO real. I’m not one to usually gravitate toward things like cooking and cleaning; my nesting is more of an organizational, color-coded, typhoon of prep. The clothes are washed, everything is sanitized, I have built the trendy Instagram-worthy diaper/nursing cart (seriously it is so cute!). If you are anything like me and love The Home Edit, Restock-O’clock, home organizing Tik-Tok influencers, and spending way too much money at The Container Store, then I highly recommend channeling some of your anxiety into major nesting. For me this activity gave me something productive to do. Pregnancy, impending birth and the upcoming newborn era can feel completely out of your control. But, you can control the way you fold the baby clothes and organize the baskets neatly in the linen closet. While trivial, this gave me some peace of mind. And in these last weeks of pregnancy, that counts for something! 

3) Finding some fun 
Getting my mind off the weekly countdown has been crucial during this phase when it seems like every second is ticking by so slowly as we get closer and closer to the big 4-0 week mark. I have been keeping active by SLOWLY hiking along some of Marins flattest trails and scenic bike paths. There are some great spots on Mount Tam that require no massive back-ache-inducing hill climbing for this late stage of pregnancy, and staying moving has really supported my sleep at night and my energy levels during the day. Check out the Harry Allen trail off of Crown Road and the famous Phoenix Lake. Bike paths are accessible just about everywhere, but I especially love the section by Bacich school where you can walk along the water. 

The pool has been my other happy place, especially as the heat begins to roll in (finally!). I am lucky and have local in-laws with a pool, but I have also been hitting the Terra Linda community pool when I want to mix it up. Floating and swimming provide outdoor time that does not involve any pressure on my body--something I am pretty unfamiliar with at this point! It has almost completely cured my swollen ankles too, a major bonus. 

When I joined SMMC, everyone raved about the Play Groups. So I navigated my way through the WhatsApp options and signed into my PlayGroup just in time to get a notification that they were looking for a few leaders to run the events. I raised my hand, and, along with two other expecting moms, have been running our July-September Play Group. So far I have especially loved our Friday coffee dates at Rustic Bakery where between two and ten pregnant women show up and talk about EVERYTHING from the completely unrelated to all the pregnancy questions, cravings and feelings… This group has been exactly the support I have needed. If you are not in your quarterly, age specific group don’t walk, RUN, and find your people! 

Lastly, we are lucky to have an amazing friend who also happens to be an out of this world photographer. Guru Khalsa photographs my business, our wedding, and now he was the visionary behind two very fun photo projects documenting our time in pregnancy land. The first started at just 14 weeks when we decided to do a photo session in the same spot and clothing every trimester. Each session I dreaded. First trimester I just felt too sick, second trimester I was scared at how my body would look… big but not “popping”, third I was just huge and exhausted. But Guru made me feel like a strong and vibrant pregnant goddess everytime he put me in front of the lens, and I am so thrilled to have this progress update to treasure forever. Around 35 weeks we also did a family shoot of my husband and me in a few locations showing off the belly. It was really fun to spend this time together, but getting the photos back and seeing myself in this new body was honestly magical. There is something about the way an artist is able to capture your image that can really help you see the beauty in yourself, even with this body I hardly recognize. The shoots were empowering and I will treasure them forever. 

Check out Guru’s work HERE >>

As these last few days ratchet up ever higher to the big drop, I am so glad I was able to cherish these stressful, yes, but incredible final weeks of pregnancy. I am so excited for what's to come but can genuinely say I have enjoyed the ride so far. 


Taylor Shepard is a new Marinite and mom-to-be exploring what this next stage of life will hold alongside her amazing partner, Jacob. She is a lifetime equestrian and entrepreneur who specializes in heart centered horsemanship and equine facilitated wellness. Taylor and Jacob have 5 horses and a beloved mini goat, Hazy Daizy. She is the owner of EQ Wellness LLC and founder of the California Cowgirl Company, a PATH certified instructor at BOK Ranch, coach of the Stanford Western Equestrian Team, and an avid Wild Horse advocate. You can learn more about Taylor and her work at or on instagram at @thecaliforniacowgirlcompany.

More from this issue:

Back to School Hacks for a Smooth Transition HERE >> 

Creating Time for Movement HERE >>

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival HERE >>

Show Her Real Friendships HERE >>

The Crucible HERE >>

The Last Month Rollercoaster HERE >>

Travel School: London & Paris HERE >>