Midwives: Abigail, Melanie, Patricia and Ruth
Abigail Eaves CNM, MSN, Executive Director, Founder (Email Abigail)
I was born and raised in Albuquerque and attended the Albuquerque Academy. I went on to UNM and received both of my nursing degrees — a Bachelor's in 2000 and Master's with a concentration in nurse-midwifery in 2002. I knew from a very young age that being part of natural childbirth was my calling and I realized that I was to be a midwife by the time I was 16 years old. The path has been difficult and long, but midwifery is my passion, my life's work and worth every minute that it took to get here!
Birth is one of the most important moments in a woman's life and I believe the caregiver, whoever the birth attendant may be, should nurture and empower a woman in that moment. I am passionate about all women receiving care that strengthens them as individuals and gives them the power to make informed health decisions about their own care, as well as their family's care. I attended deliveries at Lovelace Women's Hospital from January 2004 through July 2009, but have always had a desire to attend women in a birth center. I fiercely believe that women need as many options as possible to birth their babies, and the birth center option has been missing too long and is greatly needed in our community.
I am married and have a son who is 13 and a step-son who is 17. My husband and I also have a little boy born in February 2009. My family gives me infinite joy and ongoing strength as I continue to work on growing this incredible organization. I am privileged to have a family that believes in my path and supports my every step. We currently live in Corrales and have a house full of dogs and cats, smiles and laughter.
Melanie Yanke, CNM, MSN, Clinical Director (Email Melanie)
I grew up on a farm in the Texas Panhandle and spent most of my life there. In 1979, I finished my nursing degree and taught childbirth classes and worked in labor and delivery for a while until I took time off to raise my family. Kids, farming and working in landscape design in Texas and California occupied my time until I moved to Albuquerque in 2006. You know how life happens in mysterious ways? Well, I found my passion rekindled for nursing after being in Thailand during the Tsunami and helping in New Orleans after Katrina. I rediscovered my enthusiasm for helping women give birth and that led to my Master’s Degree in nurse midwifery at UNM in 2008. Much of my research involved out-of-hospital birth and how to provide a supportive birthing environment.
Before joining the birth center, I trained at the Tucson Birth Center and worked for over 2 years at one of the UNM clinics, but my real dream since graduation has been to help start this birth center. I am convinced that for the majority of healthy women, the birth center is a very safe and supportive place to give birth.
I feel grateful to have experienced a life full of challenges and learned great life lessons that I use to help women though their own experiences. I am passionate about being with women through pregnancy and birth and strive to guide them to find their own power and strength to meet their own personal challenges and be great women.
Many describe me as a woman with many talents. My other interests include gardening, landscaping, sculpture, hiking and biking. I love plants of all kinds and especially orchids. You may notice the landscaping around the birth center, which is my creative work in progress and helps me achieve a more perfect balance in my life.
I look forward to getting to know you and sharing in your birth and life experiences.
Patricia Caro Metz, CNM, MSN (Email Patricia)
Ruth Golar, CNM, MSN (Email Ruth)
Concurrently, I developed a crush on Latin America, traveled and studied Spanish. My Spanish skills opened up the opportunity to work with immigrant women regarding health care needs, and the relationships I developed propelled me further into understanding the complexities of women’s health. During a critical moment of personal reflection on the direction of my life, I was summoned by midwifery. Six months later, I was enrolled in the Santa Fe Community College. I completed my associate degree in nursing in 2007.
After a few years working as a labor and delivery nurse, I was accepted to the nurse-midwifery program at the University of New Mexico and graduated in 2013. During the throes of midwifery school, I became the proud single mama to Elsie, who is my best teacher. My research areas of interest are in physiologic umbilical cord clamping, bedsharing with your infant during the first year of life and extended breastfeeding.
I believe midwifery care is truly about supporting women and families. It’s about working in partnership to achieve a healthy pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum experience. Birth center care is meaningful, intimate and supportive. It is my greatest honor as a midwife to be able to offer these services to the women of Albuquerque and surrounding communities.
Birth Assistants: Alyssa and Amanda
I am a registered nurse and one of the birth assistants. I also coordinate our Strong Start program and teach the condensed childbirth class offered once a month for Dar a Luz clients.
I grew up in Germany and currently live in Los Lunas. I am married with three kids, the last of whom was born at Dar a Luz in December 2011.
I first found my love for labor and birth with the birth of my first daughter. I thought it would be amazing to be there at the moment when new life is brought into the world. This inspired me to go into nursing. I have enjoyed being a birth assistant here and look forward to working with you all!
Amanda Teupell, RN, Birth assistant and events coordinator (Email Amanda)
I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. At the tender age of 15, my world was transformed by the death of my mother, my greatest friend and dearest inspiration. It was through her loss that I found my calling for nursing.
Through the grace of God and the support and love of my husband, I was propelled forward to achieve my goal of becoming a registered nurse (RN). I attended the University of New Mexico, and received my BSN degree in December 2011.
I went on from there to start my career in acute care nursing while awaiting my long term goal of specializing in women's care. It was from there that I went on to work postpartum at Presbyterian. Through the many crossroads that life sometimes brings, I found my way to the doorstep of Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center.
To create and give life is one of the most profound moments in a woman's life, one that will forever be engraved in her heart and memory. I believe every woman should recall that moment as one in which she felt empowered and supported.
It is with this belief that I hope to give my all to every one of you, to nurture you through the path of inner strength, and show you just how powerful you are!
Administrative Staff and Instructors: Shelley, Tracy, Amity, Laura, Nancy
Shelley Black, Office Manager (Email Shelley)
I have been an advocate for natural birth and attachment parenting for as long as I can remember. Two natural births in hospitals convinced me that there had to be a better way to support women in labor and birth. After supporting my sister in an inspiring and beautiful midwife-attended birth, I was transformed into a cheerleader for midwives. When I found out that Abigail was starting a midwife birth center in Albuquerque, I immediately joined the cause, and served on the board of directors for three years. When Dar a Luz needed a hand in the office, I was thrilled to step into the role.
I graduated from the University of New Mexico and have been a both a business owner and a customer service manager in various industries from wineries to home improvement. I am also a certified hypnotherapist specializing in pregnancy and birth, and have been teaching childbirth education classes for many years. I am honored and privileged to support the birth center's business operations and to get to know all the wonderful clients who become part of the birth center family.
Tracy Cooper, Receptionist (Email Tracy)
Tracy greets everyone with a warm and friendly smile. She is dedicated to excellent customer service, and her peaceful, calm demeanor puts people around her at ease.
Amity McElroy, Childbirth Educator for Traditional Series, Newborns and Breastfeeding (Email Amity)
I’m blessed to be a mom to four children. I have also been working with families in the Albuquerque birth community for over 15 years. I started as a Certified Birthing from Within Doula, then went on to train as a ICEA Childbirth Educator and become Certified as an Infant Massage Instructor. I have had the opportunity to work as a Doula and Educator with many local family resource centers and hospitals. The amazing women who helped guide and nurture my journey through birth and motherhood are my inspiration.
My wish is that my work strengthens the connection within families and within the community during this important time of pregnancy and parenthood.
Laura Wood, CHt, BHE, Hypnosis Birth Class Instructor (Email Laura)
I teach the Blissborn classes here at Dar a Luz, and I am so honored to support parents in this amazing life event.
I grew up in New Mexico. I have three children and three very different birth experiences; one born by cesarean, one all-natural (but very long) hospital birth, and one peaceful five-hour home birth. My last experience with a midwife-attended home birth was life-changing in so many ways. I saw what birth can and should be, and it led me on a path to find a way to support other moms in finding their joy in labor and birth.
My degrees are in speech therapy and psychology, and I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years ... before everything changed! Now I'm a certified hypnotherapist, as well as co-founder of the birth education program Blissborn. We worked to put together a program for savvy and involved parents, providing the best tools available in a comprehensive, fun course. Teaching Blissborn here at Dar a Luz has been wonderful -- I really enjoy the parents who share the class time with me, and teaching keeps me charged up and excited as we continue to build Blissborn and to support our other Blissborn teachers. We're growing fast and I feel very blessed to do what I do -- I just skip around smiling most of the time!
I live here in Los Ranchos with my sweet and supportive husband, our three awesome kids, and our two dogs.
Nancy Anthony, Certified Car Safety Instructor (Email Nancy)
I have been a NHTSA-Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and Instructor since 2002. (NHTSA stands for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.) I am passionate about protecting our children from one of the worst dangers in the United States – car crashes. I love to help parents select, install, and use their child’s car seat correctly. If you are unable to afford a car seat, I can also assist you in obtaining a new one for your child through the Child Safety Seat Distribution Program offered at Dar A Luz.
I live in Sandia Park with my husband and two children, ages 10 and 1. Our daughter, Charlotte, was born at Dar A Luz in 2011. I am a huge proponent of natural, peaceful labor and birth, as I believe it can be very empowering and strengthening for women, families and society. I look forward to meeting you!
Looking for information on Chrystal Copeland, massage therapist? Click here.
We want to connect with you!
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