Althea Hrdlichka is the Founder and Owner and Midwife at Tender Gifts Midwifery and Birth Center in Fort Collins. After years of supporting Northern Colorado moms through at-home births, Althea took a leap of faith and opened her birth center in the fall of 2020, navigating an abundance of regulations - covid and otherwise - and finding strong market demand for their services from the beginning.
I first met Althea several years ago, when she sought support through the Larimer SBDC for a business plan and SBA loan package to open her birth center. From our first meeting, I could see she was passionate about her craft, focused on healthy moms and babies, and willing to put in the work to see her dream to fruition.
This episode covers a lot of ground. A key element is an introspection on the journey in transitioning from a solo operator, with minimal overhead and few managerial responsibilities - to a 20+ person enterprise, with high overhead and much more complexity - during a pandemic! Another is Althea’s journey to becoming a midwife, inching closer and closer as she delivered each of her children - until her young son told her she should be a midwife! Althea has a powerful why, a servants’ heart, and a wonderful story to share, and I hope you’ll tune in.
Episode Sponsor: InMotion, providing next-day delivery for local businesses. Contact InMotion at email@example.com
Episode Sponsor: InMotion, providing next-day delivery for local businesses. Contact InMotion at firstname.lastname@example.org
💡Learn about LoCo Think Tank
Follow us to see what we're up to:
Althea Herd Lika is the founder and owner and midwife at Tender Gifts Midwifery and Birth Center in Fort Collins. After years of supporting Northern Colorado moms through at-home births, Althea took a leap of faith and opened her birth center in the fall of 2020, navigating an abundance of regulations, covid and otherwise, and finding strong market demand for their services from the. I first met Althea several years ago when she sought support through the Lairmer SBDC for a business plan, an SBA loan package to open her birth center. From our first meeting, I could see that she was passionate about her craft, focused on healthy moms and babies, and willing to put in the work to see her dream to fruition. This episode covers a lot of ground. A key element is the introspection on the journey in transitioning from a solo. With minimal overhead and few managerial responsibilities to becoming a 20 plus person enterprise with much higher overhead and much more complexity all during a pandemic. Another is Althea's journey toward becoming a midwife, inching closer and closer as she delivered each of her children until her young son told her that she should be a midwife. Althea has a powerful why, a servant's heart, and a wonderful story to share, so I hope you tune in and meet Althea Herd. Welcome back to the Loco Experience Podcast. I'm honored today to be joined by Althea, her Lika, and Althea is the founder and owner of Tender Gifts Midwife, midwifery and Birth Center. And so let's just start with a description of what is Tender Gifts, midwifery, and. Well, thanks for having me today. Sure. Yeah. Um, so Tender gifts, midwifery, and birth center are started as tender gifts midwifery. Uh, we started as a home birth practice. This was a solo practitioner that just did, uh, home births and then, uh, all prenatal care and postpartum for mom and baby to six weeks. Okay. Um, two and a half years ago, I expanded to Northern Colorado's first and only birth center. Okay. That is a considered a free standing birth center, and that means that it is not associated or attached to a hospital. Mm-hmm. it's free standing. Mm-hmm. And why is that significant? Is it for like licensure and things like that, or? No, it's just a different model of care. Yeah. Yeah. So we spend a lot more time, so a lot is based. Um, time and education. Okay. Throughout the prenatals, uh, and the postpartum period. So I'm an outsider looking in and, you know, I don't have any kids and I obviously haven't had a baby, uh, myself, but it seems like it's kind of, the notion is if you can keep a really healthy mother and baby, you don't need all the fancy equipment and stuff that a hospital might try to sell you as part of the process. Sure. yes, this is true. Um, we do take care of low risk, uh, women. Okay. So if they become out of our scope of practice mm-hmm. then we would refer them to a hospital provider. Gotcha. So, so you're starting with a, with a lower risk category in a way. Younger moms typically, I suppose, and not always. Yeah. Um, but it depends. So, you know, we have our healthier, you know, we, it, it depends on how you take care of your body. Right, okay. It's not all about age for sure. Sure. True enough. So, so, um, so. why, why build a birth center? Like what was your motivation? If I remember? So, uh, full disclosure to our listeners. You and I met about three years ago now. I think it was the fall, maybe longer. A little more than that even. Yeah. And, uh, we worked a little bit on a business plan and you had been, um, very successful, really as a, as a home birth coordinator, you know, financially and a big following and such. Yeah. Um, what was the impetus to to build a birth center? Well, uh, one, there wasn't one here. Apparently there's been attempts to get it through the city, but, um, none were successful. Or maybe it wasn't the right time, the right, I don't know the logistics exactly behind it, but it was tough to get through, is what I was told. Um, so a lot of people, is that unusual for a city of this size that they wouldn't have one? I would, you know, in Colorado I would say yes. It is. Um, we don't have that many, but it is, uh, difficult. I think out of all the states that I have either lived in or talked to other birth center owners, this is one of the most difficult states to open a birth center here. And why? Like just the regulatory tangle? Yes. The same one that's messing up the mental health services. Yes. And a lot of the human services in general. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I, I think it's also, you know, you would think Colorado was a little bit, I think it's an education piece, truly, you know? Mm-hmm. Um, in reality, when I vi envisioned a birth center, it was like a birth house. Right, right. Little home, just a much cleaner house to wipe down in a consistent environment to the baby. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And, you know, kind of just a little bit more quaint, if you will. Yeah. Um, but the regulations didn't allow for that. So it became bigger than I anticipated. Um, I actually. Designed it on paper with myself and, um, my student at the time, Aubrey, uh, we threw it out over and over and it was awesome. But, um, we got it through and here we are so well. Um, but the other reason is I just, uh, truly I felt called to do it. I wasn't, it was an interesting, it's kind of a belief system for me. Yeah. But I really, truly felt like a pull, it was like a calling. No, no, no. It was absolutely a calling, excuse me, as was midwifery in general. So I guess, um, should we come back to the story of building the, the center? And I know you navigated a bunch of covid and things and kind of jump in the time machine and learn about Young Althea and why she would wanna be a midwife in the first place. Yeah. Is it the right time? That's great. I think because I, I want to get into that whole Yeah. The process and the regulatory challenge and navigations of further regulatory challenges, I'm sure. And all that. Mm-hmm. Um, but like, I haven't met. I don't, I don't know if I've met, I've met one or two people that, what is doula? Doulas. Mm-hmm. which is similar. Essentially a birth coach is what that would be like back in the day. Would it be called kind of Lamaze coach? Yeah. Um, but more of a, a physical and emotional helper. Not as much educational as far as the health and the No, they're not responsible. They're not a medical provider. Mm-hmm. Gotcha. And so we are responsible for the medical aspect. I see. And they're not, so let's jump in the time machine. Uh, where did you come from when you were in second grade? Do you remember your teacher's name? I don't That's okay. But it's a hard quiz. I remember what they looked like. So you official Um, we moved around a lot, so. Okay. Um, I started out. nobody get upset. But I started out in California, I was born there. Um, my mom was a little beach bu and so she had kids very young. And um, we moved from California when I was about 10 over to Arizona. With your dad too? Or? She had kids, but yes. Yeah, with my dad at the time. Okay. Yes. Um, and so then, um, when we moved to up to a little town, kind of little town called Prescott. Mm. Yeah. And it's on the mountains. It has a very similar feel to here and Fort Collins, but it is, um, a little more conservative in general. And it was more of a retirement community at the time. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Um, but no, it's Definit. Split, but that's where we moved. Um, I wanted actually to be a veterinarian and um, an artist. This is when you're creative writing? Yep. All of those from little on up. Okay. So that's what I wanted to do. And what was your family dynamic? You have brothers, sisters, so I do, I have, um, I have one older sister. Mm-hmm. and two, uh, younger siblings. So a little brother that's six years younger and a little sister that's 14 years younger. Oh, wow. Yeah. Broad spread there. Yes. Um, and so, uh, what took your family to Prescott? Um, My mom and dad got divorced. Okay. Actually. And so we landed in Prescott with my mom. Yeah. And so little life challenges. She was a single mom for a long time and Wow. Had super grit. I What did she do to support you guys? She actually started the first elderly care homes in there. Oh yeah. So, or two peas in a pod, I guess, if you will. Yeah. Um, she did everything I did in this town and laying the groundwork for a birth center she did for private care homes. Wow. So we actually, um, had a house that, a big house that she got, and then we turned it into, part of it was our living quarters and part of it was elderly care. Yeah. It's basically like in the old days, uh, we're gonna start a boarding house, I guess. Mm-hmm. Cause I can't leave the kids by themselves. And what do I got for an asset and resource and my own hard work, cuz I'm sure how many mm-hmm. how many elderly care patients did you have? I believe she had the highest amount was seven at a time. Okay. Did they wall off the oldies from you kids growing up and stuff? Or was it kind of a commu kind of No, actually, uh, actually my best friend ended up later opening a, a elderly care home because of our involvement as kids. And we were very much involved. We took care of them. I absolutely adore elderly. Yeah. Like we would play games with them. We had so much fun. And so like my heart, it's like it's not for private moms. Yeah. And babies. Yeah. It's for the elderly. Well that is definitely a non-traditional, uh, upbringing though, right? Right. It's very non-traditional. I mean traditional from a hundred years ago, kind of. Yeah. In some ways. Yeah. Uh, but she did, you know, my mom worked really hard to keep us in either private schools, her. That's very impressive. Yep. Mm-hmm. So, so, um, you get off into the middle school and you're gonna be a writer, a veterinarian, and a creative writing and artist. Artist. Yes. So I actually did get accepted when I was in, I think my eighth grade year into a school to do dual Oh. School. Cuz I, I guess I was okay with my kids well with art. Yeah. And so, um, but I did, I loved it. I could see, you know, I actually moved more like in the cartoons, which was kind of funny. Hmm. That's, I was really good at doing that. I don't know, like old school, like flip sheets and stuff like that. Um, more still images. Yeah. Just, yeah, I could pretty much copy anything that I saw, but interesting. But I moved, I think as, um, you know, hormones changed and I moved more into the writing and the creative writing aspect. Mm-hmm. And that's where I, I loved animals, but besides that, like, I kind of just moved into the creative writing piece of it. Mm-hmm. Um, so I got a, I have a couple of poems published and Oh, wow. So I did some of that from those days, like as a high school schooler, my high school mm-hmm. yeah. Moving into high school. Yeah. And so, like what was that dynamic? Were you like excited to go and explore the world from there? Because you already had some tastes and some accolades and stuff. Yeah. Um, well I had started college and um, shortly thereafter I ended up pregnant Oh, taken after your mom? Yeah, pretty much. But hey, I waited a little longer. I was 19. Okay. so she was 16. Ooh. So, yeah. That's awesome though. I mean, it's impressive that she carved out such a successful upbringing for your kids and stuff. She certainly did. Yeah. Certainly did. And so, uh, Where were you and you were getting ready to leave Prescott and like I was, oh, hey, look. Yep, yep. I actually was going to art and writing school in Oregon. That's where I was planning to head and then not so much. Um, so I ended up, um, for the duration of my pregnancy, I, um, single mom at the time. Oh, okay. So he decided to not be part of it. And that's okay. Um, we have a fine relationship now, but he was not part of it at the time. It wasn't super cool. No, no. It wasn't super cool. um, sorry, I shouldn't laugh at that. It's okay. I mean, it worked. I mean, it's part of your strength today is from that it is, you know, relative abandonment, I suppose. Right. And I met my husband now in, uh, in the pregnancy and he was actually at the birth. Oh, cool. So yeah, we have a very unique story. He adopted him, um, you know, shortly after. Yeah. And, um, Thus began our journey. But, um, yeah. And what's your husband's name? Aaron. Aaron. Okay. Mm-hmm. he's an engineer. And we met, I met him in school, uh, one of the top schools and that was in Prescott. Gotcha. Gotcha. He's a super smarty pants. He went to Emry Riddle, so I don't know what that means. Well, if you, obviously I'm not ever super smarty or a flyboy as they told them you would know. Fair enough. Fair enough. Yeah. And so, um, who, who was this youngster that was born then? Gavin. Gavin? Mm-hmm. And he's your oldest? He's my oldest. He's, we'll talk all about the family, uh, soon, but did that. Lead to a change, then it's, yeah. Felt like you were kinda leading us somewhere else. Right? Definitely. So, um, so, uh, after becoming pregnant, I w had kind of, you know, done the party thing, kind of gone down that route and was a little bit of wild child free spirit. And then that really cleaned me up and I made a different decision, like, okay, now I need to, you know, straighten out. Yeah. I didn't grow up. Yeah. And it, it did, it made me grow up quickly. And so, um, when I found out I was pregnant, I just did what everybody does sign up for the first OB gyn and that's what they're told you go to the hospital, you have a baby in the hospital. And that's all I knew. Right. Um, I ended up with a, you know, I chose a lady doctor on purpose, um, comfort-wise for me. Yeah, fair. And, um, that's why I choose lady doctors too. Totally So, so we're kind of awesome, but, you know, so, um, But what ended up, um, I, I chose her because, um, she had a little, you know, I, I do have a little bit more conservative views, and she had, I was told, um, some of that and, um, she ended up being kind of not a very nice lady. Hmm. Um, later I found that she wasn't super keen on single moms and I guess more judgmental, if you will. Wow. So my, even though you had presumably already had this man in your world in some capacity, that kind of raised his hand and like, Hey, I'm in. Yeah. Um, but, but she judged you because you had become, put yourself in a position to become pregnant as such a young person. Yeah. So, um, interesting. Yeah, it was interesting. Yeah. Um, not exactly what I was raised and I was raised, I, I feel like Grace should be a little more easily extended than that. A hundred percent So, and I believe it is, um, in agreed. other people So, um, but, so my birth experience with her, um, never once did she say, do you wanna have a natural birth? Um, and or unmedicated. Yeah. There was not a lot of education. The only thing I ever was told is, you know, this is your weight gain. You should not gain so weight, you know, so much. Sur pass it, That was pretty much it. I mean, that's all I remember. Um, I, I, which seems to be a very individualized thing. Like I've known some women that are healthy and they've mm-hmm. only gained 25 pounds. Mm-hmm. and others that are healthily similar and they gained 60 pounds. Right. And then they shrink it right back off again. Yep, yep. And there's a whole thing behind that and I will definitely go into that later. And sweet. Um, I'm gonna learn so much in this episode cause I know a lot very little about your subject matter. There's so much so, so anyway, keep it going. Um, yeah, but that, um, that birth, you know, uh, it was really interesting because, um, there was. I went in for check, they were like, well, I think we should induce you. And there was really no reason for it. Yeah. Your water didn't break and you weren't in pre-labor or nothing, whatever that stuff is. Nothing above. It was Now what I know now is it was, uh, early in the morning, let's do this. Yeah. You know, we wanna go home at five and mm-hmm. plus we got these fancy inducement drugs people figured out, you know, 10 years ago, so we might as well use 'em. I mean, right. And so that's what happened is I was induced. Um, and the babies don't do as well when you have those meds in the system. And so he came out, um, struggling a little bit then. Um, so it was just a cascade of, you know, epidural birth, um, you know, maybe not coming out doing so well them extend doing things, labor, I imagine. And yeah, I mean, not terrible. Okay. So I do have pretty good genes when it comes to that. Don't, don't tell my mom. I said fair at the center, but it actually didn't take as long as. A lot of inductions. Fair. So, um, but it was more, uh, very empty feeling, if you will. Yeah. I was pregnant and then there was a baby. Right. And so there was like no connection Right. Between my son and I. Yeah. And later I found that the reasoning for that, now I eventually have, of course I bonded with them, but the, the labor hormones, the oxytocin, and the hormones that go along with labor, you actually need that in order to bond with your children. Hmm. And so those hormones are actually cut off by the meds they give you. Hmm. And so no one tells you that. Right, right. And so there, there's my total side note that have no scientific evidence behind whatsoever, but I think that's why we have more of a narcissistic society. Hmm. Because, you know, you don't Yeah. There's a more of a separation right from the beginning. And so, right. The baby eventually like, well, I guess I just love me too. Yeah. You know much. So it's kind of interesting in like some disconnect, but, um, I think it's Donald Trump's fault. Yeah. Just all right. Well, I don't know. Later so, so anyway, a long time ago, But yeah, so, um, I struggled a long time with breastfeeding and um, you know, they did the whole thing potentially, partly because you didn't go all the way to terms, they were just like behind from the start almost. Well, there are some of that, uh, cause I was, I think 38 weeks at that point. Um, but, um, the me, the meds that they put in your system also can delay your milk supply. Mm-hmm. And then they read out the get gate, said, oh, you gotta give 'em formula, right. So I tried the nursing formula, nursing formula. And then lo and behold, he got sick and wanted nothing to do besides nurse. And then, oh my goodness, healed right up. He was fine. And I nursed for I don't over two, almost two years. Wow. Um, and so it really just made you, to me start thinking like, yeah, these little blocks between you and the baby kind of. Yeah. Um, and then throw, I know this is a controversial issue, but throw birth control in there as well. Right. And later I found that birth control can decrease your milk pro protectant production also. Oh. So there's a whole bunch that's all connected to your hormones. Um, so there was just all those things and they stick you right on it afterwards if you don't wanna get pregnant, especially as a teenager, you know, Right. So, um, so anyways, so that's how, uh, I started on the birth path. That ended up not being so great. Postpartum was just not very good for me. Mm-hmm. you know, I had a really supportive mom and, um, then husband, we got married six weeks after he was born. Mm-hmm. Um, so from there, um, you know, we can continued on. I learned more about different types of birthing. Um, and I heard the word midwife. I, I never even heard that word. Yeah, yeah. Even though you had a bit of a hippie mom, but not quite that hippie. Right, right. Well, more beach. My mom, mom's pretty awesome. She had a breach birth at 16 years old vaginally. Oh boy. Yeah, she's awesome. Okay. But that's a whole thing. Don't mess with her. Yeah. So, no, don't she's like five foot three and vicious. That's awesome. I love it. She's a bulldog. But, um, but yeah. So, um, the second one I chose, uh, um, hospital midwives. You were still here in, in Prescott. Oh, no. Um, so moving forward, my husband went into the market. Not that we need to cover every track, but, uh, yeah, yeah. No, we, we left, um, After my son was almost two years old and my husband commissioned into the Air Force, um, after he finished engineering school. Okay. And we ended up in Montana for the time being. There's an air base in Montana, great Falls. Oh, cool. Not so great, but it's great. Falls. Yeah. Well, the falls themselves are pretty amazing. Yeah. I, uh, actually have a motorcycle trip planned up there next summer. Oh, that's mine. Yeah. That's part of the loop. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, well, our time spent in Montana with just having, being pregnant and having babies. Okay. To be honest, uh, we had two back to back uh, 19 months apart. So we had our first one. Then we moved there, found out immediately when we were actually in temporary housing that we were pregnant again, and I decided to do something a little different. Saw the midwives. Mm-hmm. Um, they, those were certified nurse midwives in the hospital. Um, so this is in Great Falls, Montana. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So if we got midwives in Great Falls, like they should have. I guess they did have midwives here, just not a birth center necessarily. Correct. Um, and the, she was very different. She's the only one that did that practice. Um, and so she, but she was very kind, but she never mentioned again, do you wanna have a natural birth? Hmm. It was very odd. Now I think about it today, I was like, well, you're a midwife. Makes sense that that would be my assumption. Mm-hmm. that's kind of the norm. That's natural and leave it alone and let process happen. Yeah. No, I was induced as well. Okay. With that one. Um, with under her kind of encouragement, I suppose. Mm-hmm. Yeah. She said, oh, you're already, you know, we had check cervix and she's like, oh, you're already this far along. Do you wanna just get things going? I don't know, I guess. Sure. Right. You know what pregnant mom at that point doesn't want to. Right. Um, if they're uneducated, if you will, on that subject. Yeah. A lot of this is in retrospect, I imagine, right? Yes, for sure. Um, so then the next, uh, you know, and it was an okay experience. I did get, um, something called an interest circle goal. It's kind of like an epidural, but not, um, but it wears off sooner. And um, but it was a better experience, but still it was like that I'm pregnant there. Blip in the middle, and then you have this baby. Yeah. And so that connection piece again, was not like totally immediate. And I was like, well, yeah, I love my baby, but it was not immediate. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Um, so then I, so that was kind of similar case. You used the same midwife for these next two? Yes. Okay. So the next one, I had the same midwife, um, 19 months later, but I had learned more and learned like, okay, maybe I actually should do this unmedicated without leaving alone. Be a self-advocate in that regard and stuff. Right. Uhhuh Right. Um, so I, I was inching towards understanding fully unmedicated. Yeah. Um, and. when I came due, again, the same situation happened. I was, I would, I'd walk around five centimeters dilated and not be in labor. That was my ML no And so it would kind of freak her out and she was like, well, do you wanna, you know, induce again? So I was like, okay, fine. And so I did. I wouldn't today obviously, but I did. And, but I did not have medications, um, like pain meds. Okay. I did have Pitocin, which is the mimicking of the oxytocin. Yeah, yeah. To kick things in. Um, you know, and at my third pregnancy, you know, birth it. Yeah. You knew that it went rather fast. You could get it done. Yeah. Right. Um, but I didn't have any pain medicines and as like, it was immediate. As soon as he came up on my chest, it was like, oh, that's what I was missing. That's what I've been working for. Yeah. And it was like, this is mine. And so, it totally shifted my view of birth. Do you and your kids will probably listen to this, so that's okay. It's awkward, but do you feel that like, that there's more bond even now, like no. With that youngest sister grow? Don't think so. No, it's not, yeah. It's not durably that way. Yeah. No, I mean, I, I was more proud of that birth. I'm not gonna lie for a long time. Right. You know, did it without, yeah. No pain meds. Mm-hmm. But if I were to have fallen into the trap, would I say, of trap of the induction and the, not the complications with nursing and then quitting nursing, then I probably would've have been in that situation. Mm-hmm. But because I pushed through and I had a really supportive people around me to push through and continue nursing and have that bond, that physical bond. I didn't, I don't have that issue today. Okay, well good So, yeah. And, uh, three Healthy was the second, uh, one a boy as well. All my first three were boys. Okay. And then my fourth one I learned about home birth. Oh. My husband thought I was a psychopath to even mention a home birth. Yeah. He was like, what? Why would, why would you do that? You're still in great falls I trust. Um, so, no, we left, um, there and when my third boy was six months, We went back to Arizona for a while up to Prescott and then we ended up, down in the Phoenix area, uh, Chandler area when he got a job out of the military. Oh, okay. So he, he came out And what was he doing in the military? Uh, other than being an engineer or an Air force, but it's, was he flying airplanes? So he actually wasn't. So the military's interesting cuz they have you go to school for something and then they don't use your degree. Yeah. So he was actually a missile air for the time. He is an officer. Oh, okay. In the military. And then his job was a missile air. So like if we were going to get Ned, he would be the one to do it. Cool. Yeah. So, well it was a lot of pressure. Yeah. A lot of pressure and probably a lot of training and stuff, but Yes. You know, at least you're not like moving rocks from one side of the base to the other all day. Cause you gotta be ready. She says you didn't miss it later. Mm-hmm. or something. I know. So why did he choose and, and did you guys choose together? Was it an easy decision or a hard one to leave the military? Um, he actually got force shaped and so they had a number. Um, how that works. Like they go through every couple years and they go, well, we have X amount of, from my understanding of it, they have X amount of engineers. Do they actually need those? Okay, no, we need to drop to that level, so we need more infantry, less engineers. Exactly. Whatever. Mm-hmm. Okay. So was he happy about it? Um, at the time, not really. No. Yeah. Is he now? Yeah. And it was much better for our family to not be in the military, I think. And so you said moved to the Phoenix area is the next step? Uh, we went up back to Prescott and then we ended up, down to in the Chandler area. Mm-hmm. I don't really know where Chandler is, is that, so it's near Phoenix. Okay. Yeah. So like 40 minutes from Scottsdale essentially. Okay. So, yeah. Fair enough. So, um mm-hmm. and like as an engineer or like As an engineer. Oh, good. Yes. He got a job as an engineer working for, um, Honeywell. Okay. So, so child number four comes along, you're talking home birth, your husband's freaking out. Yeah. Is it Aaron? Is that what he Aaron? Yeah. And uh, like was it a hard sell or he was just kinda like, well, you know, mom wants it, so let her try. He, I mean he, at that point he was like, okay, fine. No, in full disclosure, he, when it, his mom did have one at home, so it's not like it was born to him. Yeah. He was still like intentionally or not intentionally and it was intentional. Okay. Um, but um, you know, he, engineers are frugal too, and insurance usually covers hospital births to some degree. Mm-hmm. And at that time, you know, we were young family, we didn't make a lot of money mm-hmm. and coming out of the military and we're new civilians. And so, um, so that was the other, that's where I had to. is is that piece? Yeah. With this non-insurance covered home birth or the insurance covered hospital birth. Right, right. Interesting. Well that seems like kind of baloney ultimately. Mm-hmm. because there's so much, many more expenses incurred in the hospital. Right. Why do we want to promote that? Well, and but people don't realize that either. So they say, oh no, no. Insurance's gonna cover it. And then they get bill after bill. Right. Right. You know, oh, insurance covered the network, 55% of it. Mm-hmm. that's great. Mm-hmm 55% of what Right, right. Exactly. So whatever they can push on there. A lot of times sometimes. Anyway, that's just me being cynical. I know I can go there all on. I've got reasons. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Um, so you're, I presume you don't, you haven't started a career or anything cuz you got like ankle biters running around all over the place or were you Yeah. Yeah. No, so I was actually homeschooling my children and I was the best stay at home mom ever. Um. Did the whole cook everything from scratch, like even our bread. So all the shopping, all the bills, all the, I did it all. Mowed the lawn. Yeah. So we were awesome, like hanging out at home. Um, but in the pregnancy actually, um, I felt like I started to learn, well actually my five year old at the time, so I have five kid, you know, four kid, three boys, five and under, and I'm pregnant. Okay. Mm-hmm. my oldest Gavin, um, kept bugging me, mommy, you need to be a midwife. And I was like, oh, what? Because, you know, we were seeing a midwife. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So he was like, and he was so persistent, and his experiences with the midwives running, but it's three and four. Oh. I mean, for him, I, this, you know, we had started seeing a midwife, like an actual home birth midwife. Yeah. And so, um, she was awesome. Her name was Sue and she has, she had a nice, nice little farm. Cool. And we would go see her at her home office. It was awesome. Yeah. Um, But yeah, he kept on. And so finally I called Sue and I was like, Sue, you've gotta hear this kid. He's continuous. And she's like, well, what you should do is be a doula. What at first? And I said, A, what? I didn't even know. I'm pregnant with my fourth kid. And I didn't know what a doula was. Right. And so she explained to me what it was, and then pieces just fell together. Hmm. Um, she, I found out that her, uh, student at the time that had just graduated was teaching a doula class the very next, uh, month. Wow. And when I was pregnant, I studied and became a. That's cool actually. Um, and so you can't do it for yourself though, really, right? No, not really. no. Um, so, so that's what began the journey again. I felt like a super pull towards it. Yeah. And, you know, um, so I, I started as a doula and my first birth I attended when my daughter, well, the home birth was just amazing. We'll just go there. Yeah. Fair. It was calm, it was, my husband caught her you know, so amazing. Yeah. Best of the four by far. Oh yeah. And then Cherry on top. It was a girl, of course, right for me, because that's the reason we had one more dam. It. Yeah. We, he was like, we're done. I'm like, okay, well actually I'm pregnant. that's about how that works. Did you? We even got rid of all the baby stuff. It was kind of funny. Anyways, um, so, so, yeah, I'm, you know, as we, as time went on, um, I became a huge advocate for women and breastfeeding. I, I actually created a tea company right after my daughter was born because I had nursing issues with her because she was tongue-tied. I'm just, uh, well, I was thinking about bobba tea and, yeah. You're talking about buba tea? Oh, yeah. Like buba tea. Yeah. Right. But anyway, sorry. I, I shouldn't probably don't have a place making that joke. It's so, Funny but it's like the lactation aid tea or something. Yeah. Yep. Exactly what it is. So you didn't call it Buba tea, I hope. No, I didn't. I actually, my, the name of the company is Mother's Life T Oh, how nice. And then it's pretty generic nursing blend. Yeah. So I wanted it to be very specific. And you still, like, how did you learn how to make this tea or what? So I had started learning and a Chinese kind of, yeah. So, um, I actually had a friend at the time and some midwives friends at that point. Mm-hmm. And, um, we talked about herbs and I did a lot of, um, studying and research and pulled together. And you had a fresh baby for testing. I kind of did so, and I tried everything on the market and didn't work. And then I tried my own that we pulled together and it was 72 hours. I was like, whoa, I have milk It was awesome. So I could imagine, honestly, that has to be Oh, this is gonna be terrible. But like, just knowing how refreshing. A nice pea or a good poo is or something. Mm-hmm. Like, I have to think that the expression of milk is even more joyful and wonderful because it's not. Yeah. Pooper, pee It's life. It's life. Right? Yep. You're sustaining life. Well, that's cool. It's awesome. Anyway, we won't get too in depth on that details, but that's good. But it does seem like it really, uh, like when you notice a change from that t mm-hmm. on your physiology, like that's gotta be a. Mm-hmm. moment of sorts, right? Yeah. It was, it was, um, because I refused to supplement, I refused anything like that, I was like, no, I'm, I'm meant for this and I will fix it. Hmm. Something is, you know, wrong. Well, oh, you mean supplement with like other Right. Breast milk and whatever. Yeah. Or so your poor girl was starving, but Yeah. She was totally starving. So, but I did, I got it. I think. Yeah. You figured it out. Yeah. You know? Yeah. For you to put her on the formula, then, you know, she'd probably be mm-hmm. less of a wonderful persons today, you know, with no judgment on those who Yeah. Formula. And at times it is true. You need to, and there are, there are times you, you really do. And, and we have had those times and with close friends that I've had to say, no, you need to do something and you just need to feed your baby. But if people had the resources that I had mm-hmm. and the understanding, curiosity. Yeah. Curiosity. Right. But I learned later, she, she was tongue tied. That was the issue. Oh yeah. and a number of wo women have babies with tongue ties. Oh, I don't know what tongue ties means. So it's basically sometimes they're lip tied and sometimes they're tongue tied. It's basically where the, the piece of skin underneath. Yeah. It's too close. Correct. Yeah. Um, and it actually is associated with, well, it won't go into all that, but a gene called M T H ffr. Okay. And, um, a lot of people have it and if you have methylated vitamins, like everyone says when you're pregnant, get on folic acid. Right. Yeah. You should not get on folic acid. Anyone hearing me? Do not get on folic acid. It is folate that you wanna get. It's a meth methylated version so your body can actually utilize it. Mm-hmm. So if you have the MT M T H FFR gene, that is uh, uh, usually cause common problem from the forecast. Interesting. So anyways, that's my side note. I have that gene. Lucky you. Mm-hmm. Um, so is it diet that can help change that? It is like yeah. Not even surgery or anything. Um, well, uh, the tongue tie, once it's done, it's done. You actually have to get it taken care of. Gotcha. Um, in order to a lot of people to push through that nursing or to increase their supply enough, I was fortunate enough to kind of, um, go around it. Yeah. Um, but she did have speech issues until I got it taken care of and then it totally corrected it. It was awesome. Yeah. So, yeah, so that was my experience and I r rolled right into, um, You know, being a doula, really Uhhuh, Like even with, with all those ankle biters at home. I sure did. Just really on your own time though, kind of like, Hey, I'm gonna meet with people in the evenings a lot of times. Or were you dragging, you had the quad chair. Well, I guess the, the oldest one can walk so he could push one of the babies is his stroller. I know. Five. Yeah. We were chaos. We were constant chaos. Um, but it was organized chaos. I guess. We, we had a minivan. No, no, no, no. I did not do that. Okay. No, there was for a hot second. My husband was like, okay, if you want a new car, you're gonna a minivan because it's more practical. But we got it in nipping a lemon. I was like, yes, get rid of that. Never did it again. It was like a six month blip in my life. I am not a miniman person. SUV lady Institute. A hundred percent. Yeah. So, um, but yeah, no, um, I actually brought my daughter with me, strapped to me. I, I wore her. I would go to, uh, appointments when I got clients and I would have her with me. Wow. Um, and then when I started going to Burst, when she was Yeah. You were on fire for this, right? I was. It was just like, you know, again, a calling. Right? I've learned so much. I need to share this kind of, in part, there's so much too right? So, yeah. And I need to learn so much more. Yeah. Right. So anyways, that's what I did. And well, that was probably a great thing for your family from a financial perspective. I don't, I don't know what doulas get paid, but Yeah, it was, was good. You could earn a third or a half as much as he was earning in his regular thing. That was, yeah, just big contribution, right? Mm-hmm. it was, it was good because you're probably still mowing the lawn and cooking all the meals from scratch and all the Okay. I did, I pulled back, actually, I was totally doing that until when I had my homeworks practice, but then when I started the center, it was like, all right, babe, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta help me out now we got a new system. This is, let's talk about it. Yeah, that's fair. Um, so. are we getting close to like the move to Colorado here? Mm-hmm. or where is that? Yeah. Uh, so we actually were only there in Arizona for three and a half years. Okay. And so we did a lot of stuff in three and a half years. I started my midwifery training in Arizona. Almost out the gate I started my doula business. Mm-hmm. and midwifery training. That's like the, the medical add-on to the mm-hmm. doula coaching kind of stuff. Yes, yes. And so I started training, uh, with a local midwife there that trained me as a doula. Yeah. Um, ended up training me as a doula trainer, so I trained doulas as well. Oh. Um, but I then moved up here. I finished my, uh, training in 2016. Okay. And I started my home birth practice, uh, in 2017. And, uh, I, it got really busy really fast. Well, yeah. So you hadn't been established as long as I thought, honestly, I mm-hmm. you kind of had such a command on your home birth business. Yeah. When we met that I was like, I kind of, I just assumed that you've been around for five years or more, you know? Well, and I had done so much doula work that as soon as I, you know, got licensed, it was out the gate. Right. Everybody's calling. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And so everyone that you know, was having a hospital burst maybe at that time, or burst with other midwives that I was at in attendance. Mm-hmm. they just resonated with me and they felt more comfortable and so they moved over to, yeah. And how did you land in Fort Collins? Was a job kind of change for Aaron or, yep. He just, he got an email for a recruiter and said, I'm Carl Colorado and he likes to snow. I do not, but no. Really? No. Do you regret moving here or you realize now that Fort Collins isn't that snowy? No, the snow's. Okay. If you wanted to take you back to Arizona, you'd be like, oh, that sounds. probably. Yeah. I still love Arizona. Your second location can be there and you can winter in Arizona and some are up here. Trust me. I have thought about it, Fair. Well, we can talk about the future here coming up. Yeah. Yep. So, um mm-hmm. so you're kind of shot out of a cannon really, in this market as far as Yeah. Providing those doula and midwifery services. Yeah. Um, and how long before notions of a birth center started to creep in like a year in Yeah. You're like, I got so much volume. If I want to handle all this, I'm gonna need to. Yeah. And, and honestly, people, you know, there were so many people and, and quite frankly it was the dads a lot of times had a reservation about home births. Hmm. Um, full disclosure to the exact same. It's just the same care. Uh, we do the same appointments. We take a lot of time. We have hour appointments with our clients, with the midwives the entire time. Mm-hmm. um, both home birth and first and our clients. So it's literally just a different location. Hmm mm-hmm. Interesting. Yep. And I assume. Surgical services if something needs to happen or things like that. Do you have any of that level of care or urgent care level? Yeah. Nope. Good question Is the question most of the time, right, right, right. And so we, everyone on staff, even our, um, the majority all, but I think one of our admin staff, um, are neonatal resuscitation certified. So N R P I also require my doulas, any doulas that train through me or I have doulas on staff as well. They are required to be N RRP CERT certified. Okay. Um, and of course CPR for certified. And then, um, then so, and then we have a multiple medications in the OR in order if we have any hemorrhaging or bleeding or anything like that to, to resolve. We have IVs, we can do IVs if we need them. Rarely do we need them. it's there, it's a tool, right? Yeah. We have all these tools and you use it more for saline or whatever that chemical was. That was like the oxy replacement thing. Um, so we do not use that. We don't use that stuff yet. We do not use Pitocin in Yeah. That one labor. Okay. Um, we only use Pitocin to stop bleeding if we need to. Oh, and so only after baby's born. Yeah. Right. Because that's what that hormone helps to do, I guess, is like, is wrap things up kind of thing. Right. You know, it contracts the uterus and so, um, and after the baby's out, you're not, As many of those issues with the baby. Right, right, right. The baby's out. It's okay to, yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. Okay. Yeah. So, um, yes, so we have all of those, we, we do vitals of course, throughout the, you know, pregnancy and, uh, at the birth. Yeah. And postpartum. Is there any, um, like a governing body for doulas and midwives, or is it a semi unregulated industry and that's part of what gets cities queasy or, well, it is un misunderstood, I think. Okay. But yes, there is a governing body here in every state is different, but Dora, department of regulatory agencies Oh, right. Actually, well, they regulates us regulate everything though. And they do, but they regulate the job of all of it, pretty much. Seems like, right? Um, yes. So the issue with Dora, um, and in Colorado from. Most midwives believe this. I think all, um, we do not have a midwifery board here, and so, or we're not under the medical board or any of that. And so it's, there's really standard of care Right. Kind of established and understanding of, of the standard of care. Right. And I think that's really the issue because the same people that are looking at, uh, dog groomers Right. Are regulating us Yeah. And haircut cutters right. Or something. So Totally. Should rule on the haircut and the midwives. Totally makes sense. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, regulation is regulation, right? So, um, my goal, my long-term term goal is to get a midwifery board in Colorado mm-hmm. and to be able to, um, collaborate with doctors and certified nurse midwife. Yes. Provide best practices around that you can, and information so that we can maybe change that regulation. Right. Yeah, no, that sounds, uh, like. The right thing to do if you're called to this work. Yeah. Yep. So, so, um, I actually could use a quick break and then I wanna come back and let's go through the process of getting the doors open in this place. Huh? Sounds good. And we're back. Um, so what was the first steps to like contemplating a birthing center? I mean, obviously you drew up a business plan. Was that like a ways down the road or was that a really early step for you? Is that kind of your nature to plan first? Um, well it was, um, I knew that I needed to have a plan. Of course. Right, right. And to see if it was a viable plan. Yeah. And so that's when I sought out you and kind of looking down that path. Um, and plus you need some capital, right? Um, yeah. I, well, so I thought I did, and to be honest, at that point I thought I needed more than I did need. Oh. Um, so just because of SBA loans and things they Yeah. Right. And, and I, you know, and I did get SBA loan, but I didn't have to get as much because I did so well in my home birth practice that I put it all away. Oh, nice. Good for you. And, um, it was kind of like a half and half. Wow. Um, that's amazing. Mm-hmm. So I, I didn't end up having to get any funding from anybody else. Yeah, that's great. No, um, nobody owns it but me. Yeah. That's all mine. Um, though, um, you know, the building, I got to, you know, design and build, um, and there was some, you know, things through the city. It was kind of a funny story how I got it through the stor, uh, the city, um, the builders actually could not get it through the city. Uh, they tried. Okay. So like somebody's gonna build it for you to suit and then lease it to you instead or something? Yes. Okay. But they could not get them to agree. So there's different kinds, uh, levels of buildings and medical buildings. Mm-hmm. And they wanted it to be that they, being the city thought it should be what's called an ambulatory facility. Yeah. You're delivering babies here. It needs to be super high tech and Right. You're just like, I just wanted a bigger house for pretty much, where is it? Yes. And so instead, and they kept, you know, it kept getting kicked back. Kicked back and I was like, just give me a shot at them. And, um, it was Beli mos who did the building, you know, the owned Joseph farm. I either ha or love Gino. And I love Gino. I think it's pretty fun. Yeah. He, I, I really do enjoy their family. Yeah. Um, so, and they did a great job on the project. And so anyways, he came back. He is like, I can't, we, we can't get it through. I trespass once in a while. Fine. When I go running. Oh yeah. He's got the, the river. Uh, property development right there. Kind of, yeah. By the Martinez Park. Mm-hmm. And so I cut through there and it says, private property, don't enter. But I like to run through the neighborhood so he won't, he won't care. I'm always nice and stuff and usually well kept. So anyway, sidebar Sorry Gino. Uh, it's okay. He won't care. It's just cuz the houses are so nice. I like to wave it people early in the morning and look their dark windows pretty much. Anyway, so talk about the, you get to the council? No, to the, I said let's just talk to 'em and then he said, they said, okay, let's try an email first cuz you know I can be intense. Fair. All right. Yeah. I was like, fine. Okay, I will just write them. So actually what I did, um, so, so understand what they were trying to say is why they wanted an ambulatory facility because they thought in the event of an emergency, they can't get out of the building. Okay. So it much like an elderly care home, right. Or a hospital. So, so I went into the hormones of labor. It's all about the hormones. See, so when you have unmedicated birth, You don't have the epidurals in place, therefore you couldn't move. Right. Right. Um, you don't have the medications that, um, interfere with the how you're feeling and make you feel, you know, drugged or whatever. Right. What may be. Yeah. Um, so, and the hormones in labor, you know what happens just like an animal, and this is what I said to the city. I said, just like an animal, you're not gonna have an animal drop a baby in the middle of the street with a car coming. They are going to be in labor, but they will get up and jet. And that is a fight or flight hormones. Right? Right. So the women are just like that. We are mammals. And so in the event of an emergency, I kid you not, you should see these women. If there is a situation, we have to move 'em or get, and then we're like, Hey, we need to get your leg up. And they're like, boom, done. Got it. Right. You know, and so, Especially when they're not all drugged up. That's it. That's the issue. Because if you do, it's cutting off those hormones. Yeah. So that's exactly, I went all into it and how, you know, they're gonna Interesting. Yeah. This, that, and this is like in front of the planning and zoning committee basically, or something like that? Or some small segment of it, perhaps. It was, it was, um, but it was actually just an email again. Oh, right. I I wasn't allowed. Oh, so you ranted on and on about all these hormone ones? I did, I did. You're like, watch this video from National Geographic I would've gone, I would've gone there, but I didn't have to. That's good. Um, so they, um, literally the response to my email was, okay, that's it. That's it. So Dina Cosman goes, you want a job right? Well, okay. She can be my owner's rep on my city project. Let's do this. And, uh, so I, I was apparently pretty convincing. I. I call it I Greek to them. Cuz I'm Greek. So that's what I said. I've been, uh, looking forward to, uh, learning more about that because, uh, you have a, a darker and more distinctive look than Yes. Most of us whites around here. Yeah. I'm, I'm actually, uh, my, my dad's great-grandfather, or gra dad's grandpa, I guess is Greek immigrant. Mm-hmm. uh, adopted by Lutheran Social Services. Okay. And, uh, so anyway, I guess, and he's black hair, blue eyes. Yes. Which is quite unusual in most regions too. Right. And some of my, my dad's family is black hair, blue eyes. Is that right? And my daughter's blue eyes, blonde hair. Whoa. Mm-hmm. Is Aaron like, uh, Irish or something? No. Nope. Just don't, it's, it's a flyer. It is. Well, who knows if she'll have, she might have squiggly brown hair when she turns 13. Cause hormones. Right. And dna, listen, I don't know Anyway, I, yes. So, um, so you get this thing moving and so is this a. Did you, you didn't buy the property, you leased it? Uh, I, and I went back and forth of deciding do I want to, I had a lot of different places. Um, fun side known I was going to go to another location, but they decided that they wanted my husband to, um, come on and uh, basically a co-sign for you. Oh, yeah. And I said, mama Bear doesn't need her husband to sign the lease. No, I don't. I'm like, I love my husband, but Kick rocks. Yeah. And I think that building's still is setting empty, I'm pretty sure. But, uh, but it was, and so, um, Gino and I met down at, at this property actually, I was looking at a different, uh, like where Spanga is actually now, but then he's like, Hey, what do you think about building? And I went down there and we basically, uh, I think it's a great spot. We shook over a, a pab. Baclava. Perfect. Yeah. Yeah. It was awesome. Honey unites every friendship. Mm-hmm. Um, and so for people that are familiar with Fort Collins and listening, this is basically just down the hill to the north. Of the Jessup Farm restaurant there. Mm-hmm. and the kind of commercial district with the beer, with the brewery and the coffee shop. Mm-hmm. Yep. Yeah, it's right, right around the corner. Right. An access through that development. Yeah. So you gotta come right around the corner, so. Yep. Um, and this is, when did you move in? So, August of 2020 was, uh, it was complete. Okay. And then we got our, um, license for the building. To actually catch babies to occupy it or whatever. Well, we could do an office space, but we couldn't do it cuz it's different licensing. You could hang out there. It was safe, but not safe for babies. Right. Well supposed. Yeah. So we, we couldn't do births there until we got our um, so were you staff up and training and like sending, doing home births? We were doing with your clients? Cause Thank you Covid. Right. Nobody wanted to go to the hospital anyway. Probably. They're like, uh, I'm happy you're at home with a home birth. Yeah. We got actually the, the, we got 70 calls in two weeks. Wow. And was insane. We didn't have all those, of course. But it was, uh, it was a crazy chaos. But I And you were thriving. Chaos. Well you were building this whole thing. You're delivering babies and stuff too. And, yes. And did you have, like, as you made this transition, did you have a, a team of doulas or other midwives or anything like that? You went from like one to 15 employees or something basically at the time, or one to 10 or whatever? Yeah. Uh, at the time, uh, in the beginning I just had myself and then my apprentice, Aubrey, who is now a midwife. Okay. And a mama. Oh. Um, and she was actually pregnant at the time, so she was like a super rockstar. Oh, cool. Um, hard pregnancy, but I'll tell you, she rallied and so she was my You ever done the disc profile? Mm-hmm. Yeah. Sh I'm a di Everyone probably can see that Yeah. Um, but she was like my c I was gonna say you're a super low C besides probably Yes. As, as am I. Yes. We can compare, uh, narrowness of our sea lines sometimes. My husband. Interesting. She kept all your shit together. Basically. She did. And I, I really attribute it like my. I, I very, I could be very a d d and, and come off, you know, I see big picture and that's the important, you know, it's important, but I need someone to keep me on that narrow path. And she was very good at pushing me back. Is she still kind of your right hand familiar or, um, you know, you have a tendency to derail corridor sometimes. Yeah. She came, yeah, she came, um, back after maternity leave and then decided to stay home with her baby. Yeah. Um, mainly, but she's coming back. Oh. Um, back on as a staff midwife, but just very part-time. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm super excited. I think that, like, I suspect that if, if somebody wants to leave you because they want to go be a full-time mom. Yeah. Like, you're not gonna push back on that really? No. And it's happened I think three times now. like, okay. Yeah. So a lot of that, you know, you know, there's been turnover and Yeah. You know, that has been talked about and when they want to come back, 15 hours a week. Yeah. And they've got enough flexibility in their life so that they can, you know, be there when needed. Mm-hmm. you know? Yeah. And that, um, and I do, um, that is a different model for me, and it was really important is I actually allowed my midwives to come back with their babies until whenever they want Oh, really? Yeah. So they worked with, um, having, doing prenatals with a baby on their chest where we passed the baby around. Um, Aubrey was, uh, her baby Chloe was, um, nine months old until she stopped working in the office. Wow. How cool. Or bringing, bringing her to the office. Yeah. And then, um, another midwife did the same thing. She came back until about six, six months or seven months, I think. Um, that's really cool. Yep. Um, how would you, like, you've probably learned a lot about the difference between a, like a. that is like building yourself a job, like your previous business. Uh, and then when you've got a building with, you know, gah wants rent every month mm-hmm. and payroll taxes and da da da da da. Like, what are some of the things that you've learned? Cuz you're basically about two years in. Mm-hmm. Two years in a little bit of change from your first revenues. Right? Um, like it's hard I can tell you. Yeah. It's hard. Yeah. Um, I think there's a lot more, uh, that goes into it that people don't realize that I've done. I was, you know, in the first year, literally at the center until 12 or one every single night. Mm-hmm. My family did not see me hardly at all. Like, we had a family meeting when I started this and they knew it was gonna be a total shift. Um, so I think I've learned how old's your youngest right now? 13. Okay. Yeah. Um, who's awesome. Just side note. Yeah. She, she can hit IVs better than I can and I am not kidding. I believe it. She so awesome. She's done a number of births with us and she's so cool. She's definitely gonna be a midwife, but, and she's got more of the C in her. Anyway. You were gonna say something about, so, um, the challenges. Oh, yeah. Um, so yeah, I think that, um, you know, the, the piece that came to head, I guess for me to realize is, being a midwife, you have different demeanors that and characteristics mm-hmm. right? Um, I can sit and serve at a woman's feet for hours and quiet and just sit there and be patient. But when it comes, which isn't really the way you present, no, but I absolutely am. Yeah. Yeah. And people that have attended births with me understand, like, but I have like super confidence in women's abilities. Yeah. You know, and I, I could help them get through anything truly. Um, And that's why I got so busy because I can, it was, it's the person ability to be able to connect and be like, you got this girl. Right? Right. But um, when you are in the business side, you have to click in and that's the di Right. The, I was like personable and, you know, yeah. Connecting. Yep. And then with the business, you have to click into the, you know, direct and you have to do the things to keep afloat and pay the bills and follow regulations and all of the things, and make sure your team is doing the same thing. Well, there was a, a lot of regulations in the fall of 2020, if I remember right, too. Oh, yeah. Um, I don't know if we want to get into that yet or wait until our politics segment of the show, or we can wait. I don't care. Let's just wait. We'll, we'll unfold that egg later. But, um, so like, what's your, what's your hats? What's your, I'm sure you probably are like most of us with most people with two year old businesses or two. Mm-hmm. you know, the complex part of your businesses. Yeah. Just over two years. Uh, what are the main hats that you wear and then who are, what's your overall team look like? What do people do and, and who wears some of the other hats? Kind of describe it in that fashion from an organizational standpoint. Yeah. So I am my, I'm clinical director and I obviously owner midwife, and then I do a lot of ad administration right now. Okay. Um, growing the business consults. So, um, we tried group consults for a little while and having someone else do them, but we realized that that actually didn't work. Mm-hmm. they needed me. Yeah. Uh, and understand my story behind why I'm doing what I do. Yeah. At least for an initial kind of thing to mm-hmm. cement them to the organization too. Right, right. And, um, and then so, um, so my main, you know, right now I've pulled back from burst. um, prenatals because you had to pull back on something. Yes. Yeah. So too many hats. So, um, so, you know, we have our, you know, everyone has their places and they understand where their places and their strengths are, and that's kind of where that book, uh, traction. Right? Absolutely love it. Yeah, it's been good. And we've tried to, we've tried to kind of build on that right person right here. So we have the receptionists. So you have doulas and midwives on your team then? We do. Okay. We do, we have, uh, doulas and midwives and, um, so they, they can hire our doula team or them individually dependent. Uh, and can somebody bring their own doula into your birth center? So yes, and if they want to be basically approved doulas. Yeah. Fair. Um, and I say that because they have to align with, um, our philosophy of care. Okay. Uh, because if they don't align with the philosophy of care that their clients and our clients have chosen, the births don't go well. Yeah. What, what, how would you differentiate that philosophy of care? Um, well, we've had a couple scenarios and I can kind of maybe go in. Sure. Let's do it. Um, you know, it's, it's a discomfort, you know, not all duals are comfortable working out of the hospital, just as all midwives obviously are not. So it's that split of feelings of like, we should just be in the hospital. Some doulas are in this because. They're kind of a non-traditional thinker and a free thinker and wanna do it better. Right. Others landed in it somehow, and their comfort level is at the hospital. Yes. And it's kind of wrong if we're not there. Yeah. Okay. And so when you have that negative nervous energy Yeah. At the birth Yeah. It's not good. And you can feel it, everyone can feel it. Oh, for sure. Um, so we've really just talked about if you have your own doula, let's go have a conversation. So I will sit down with any and every doula that if they wanna, like, if they're outside doulas, and then we have an approved list as well that we know we've worked with. Right. And that is comfortable with this environment and on like, but you do have in-house ones mm-hmm. too. And that's the price of this doula is X kind of thing. Yes. It's like a menu of services. Yep. Exactly. Generally. Yep. Okay. And we also include, um, a birth class as well. Okay. In, in our doula services. Fair. Okay. Mm-hmm. um, like describe a customer. Well, is that the main people then? And you've got the doulas and the midwives, or is there one of each of those in each birth? Typically? Um, if the client has the doula, yes, the doula will be there. And then we have, um, birth assistants, students, nurses. Okay. Um, and so usually we have two attending a birth. Okay. Um, and then plus the doula C three, well, that would be three. Interesting. Mm-hmm. Okay. We also have, so all our services, so birth assistant is almost like a CNA at a elder care facility or something like that. Yeah. I guess you could a future midwife. Midwife or nurse midwife. Nurse perhaps. Mm-hmm. right? That isn't there yet, but is interested in the field and mm-hmm. maybe even as being educated right now. Yes. And so we do, um, one-on-one apprenticeship based, uh, training. Oh, wow. So there's different types of midwives and that type of midwife of the apprenticeship based one-on-one training is what I did and what I prefer. Yeah. And it's out of hospital birth. We don't deliver in the hospitals, we don't catch babies in the hospitals. Your doulas won't go to the hospital? Um, no. The doulas will, I'm talking about the midwives. Oh, okay. Yep. So, um, but no, our doulas absolutely will, and that's the benefit is if they have our doulas, that they will go with them to the hospitals. Because during Covid particularly, we weren't allowed in as the midwives even. They wouldn't even let gosh, us, gosh, in to hospital. The doulas were okay over times, but not the Midwest. As long as there's only, as long as they were vaccinated. Well, that is true. That came down the pipes, particularly one hospital. but, um, or there's only two people allowed. Yeah. And so if they had a doula, they had us, they had their husband. Well, of course if we get called to a birth again, we want a steady person. Right. So we had the doulas go with them. Yeah. Yeah. Um, what else do you wanna talk about in the business journey? I feel like we're, we've got quite a bit of it. Like, why would somebody choose you? Like maybe describe the customer journey. Mm-hmm. of a, a tradit. Quote unquote traditional birth that Yeah. Your first one was. Yeah. Um, and then compare that to like the, the experience that a, that a mom might have with mm-hmm. engaging with your staff fully. Well, I think the biggest difference is what I'd say is, you know, why would someone choose something like this? Right? Right. Um, it is about relationship. Is it better covered by insurance now? It is more so. Okay. It is, um, we are still, uh, in on a number of things, uh, in number of companies considered out of network. Yeah. But the so many companies, they're outta network. What they're gonna pay out of or in network is no different than what we're paying. We're charging. Yeah. And so for the entire thing also, what they'll pay covers you anyway. Yeah. I mean, what they're gonna pay in the hospital for insurance coverage Oh right. Is, is how much I charge total. So there's that fair. Um, so. You know, so it's a relationship based care and it's what we call client-led care versus provider-led care. Mm-hmm. So as you've experienced, you can get doctor treatment Yeah. Yeah. But as if you, if you usually, and this is the, this is the truth. They have so many clients or what they call Oh yeah. Patients, we call 'em clients. So just the little differences to start there. Yeah. Yeah. There are clients that come in, you're sick, not you are not sick, you're gonna have a baby you know, it's like the healthiest thing in the world. Yes. And to stay the healthiest, you have to build a relationships with somebody for them to even listen to you. Yeah. Of how to stay healthy. So that is what we do. Fair. So we spend a lot of time talking about nutrition, talking about their health, talking about how they're doing in their relationship, um, and making sure that they're like doing well because that relationally healthy Oh yeah. Is just, is important as physically healthy. If there's a bunch of stress every night, because. Yeah. Husband hasn't gotten any in two months and he's ready. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, or whatever. Let's talk about that beyond the scope of this. But I, yes. I mean, those things are real. They are real, you know, and, and pretending they're not, is not a benefit necessarily. Or for instance, like, let's say they've had a loss. Right? Right. And um, you know, talking through the fear of that, talking through the stress of that and Oh, miscarrying scared. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yes. Um, so we talk, which most people have, it seems like a lot of people, and especially the last couple years have been increased significantly. Really? Yeah. A lot. I have my question. We can talk more about that later too, if you want. Yeah. So, um, so that's why, uh, and we also involve the dads and partners because. I did four pregnancies and the only one that anyone was involved with was my last one. Cause it was like, you walk in the door, you have, they have a checklist. Oh, you have anything going on? Do you have any questions? I don't know. Am I supposed to have questions? Right. I don't freaking know. I just got here. Right, right. And it's check, check, check. Okay, great. Out the door you go or you spend, you know, in your nurse's vitals and then out you go. It's a different philosophy of care. And I'm not saying it's wrong, it's just not what I wanna provide. Yeah. And that's not, that's why people wanna come to us because it's different. Yeah. Yeah. You're like the Matthews house, uh, uh, as an organization compared to dhs. Yeah. You know, that's tender gifts versus mm-hmm. uc, health kind of or something. Yeah. And and it, banner. Yeah. And it's, who's better? Banner or, you see, I'm not talking about that. Okay. I'll play, I'll plead the fifth on that. fair. And it just depends. Yeah. I like people in both. Well, you're really pretty fascinating in terms of your, uh, relational focus and, um, You know, you're a a girl power girl after my own heart, for sure. Fair Um, we always talk about faith and family and politics. Mm-hmm. um, and we let you choose what, how much you say, how much you don't. Mm-hmm. and the order that you mm-hmm. delve in. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. uh, which would you like to choose to start? I'll talk about faith. Okay. I'm fine. Yeah. Tell me more. Are you Greek Orthodox? No, I'm not Okay. I just wrote about don't tell my grandfather that. I just wrote about Greek Orthodox, uh, recently. Cuz one of the podcasts that's on my list is actually the Saint something something church in Loveland. Yes, I know. Yeah. Whichever Saint Spangler or, uh, whatever. But anyway, that, it's, it's really interesting, like the mm-hmm. distinct characteristics, different and yeah. I was musing about the split anyway. What kind of, what, what, what kind of a flavor of conservative are you? Are you a faith person? Yes. I like to call myself, uh mm. a believer. Okay. Right. I believe in God and I believe, um, in creation. Okay, but not so sure about Jesus. No. No. I absolutely believe in Jesus. Okay. Alright. No, I usually, I say I'm, um, a potty mouth. Jesus lover That's what Harry is going with that. Well, yeah. I mean, yeah. I look at my old, my, I like Jesus too. And my, all my podcasts get like an explicit lyrics mark on 'em. I know. And it's just cuz I let one little thing or two slip out. But, but we're. Right. Like I, I think he likes that a lot more than he likes that first OBGYN nurse that you had. That agree was a flaming bitch. Yeah. Pretty much. Oops, shit. Oh, there was, there it goes. The e But it's the truth. I mean, and as my kids will say, well, words are just words. Okay guys. Yeah. But Yeah. So, um, but no, it's, it's just being real. So was this going way back, um, like when did that happen? Was your mom come to faith as you were raised? Yeah. As a, as a little wild child. Right. Even as a beach bum and 16 year old, whatever she moving forward. So she actually became a believer when she was pregnant with me. Oh wow. Um, and so, um, and she was still wild. You know, we, you know, but we're not your traditional Christians. If you, what I like to say is, uh, one of the reasons I'm a Christian is cuz I need more grace than most people do. Yeah. Right? Um, and I agree. And so, uh, but, you know, and, and you know, I. I'm open about it. I, I'm okay being open about it, but I'm gonna take care of, you know, there's a misconception of using the word Christian. Yeah. And that's why I don't really like to use that word. Right. Well cuz it means you hate gays and you think that da da and Yeah. Whatever. And so for me it's like, what? I'm not gonna judge, I can, I don't have, and you're gonna be judgy agree with somebody's lifestyle to take care of them and to love on them. Right. And that's, I think, the misconception and the destruction of a lot of faith-based churches. Right. Um, today, what's the new act? The Respect for Marriage Act. Hmm. It's like, it was the inflation reduction act. Like I hate when they call things opposite land of Oh no stuff. Um, but we didn't quite get there yet. But, so tell me more about your faith. Like, so did you inherit your mom's faith? Did, did that just kind of, uh, come through or? I think, um, because you were a crazy girl Yeah. Party, you know, and got knocked up from somebody you definitely didn't wanna be married to because especially after he proved his colors. Yeah. Well and actually was with him for a long time. Oh really? It was fair. Like almost five years, so, oh, okay. So it wasn't just a Oops. No, it wasn't, um, fair. I mean it was an oops for sure. Right. But it was, it was, it was somebody that you were connected to. Yeah. But, um, but no, I still, yeah, I still a little wild. I wasn't as wild as my friends. Okay. But fair. Um, but no, I mean, you know, it was funny, I was the girl at the parties with a drink in my hand preaching about God. Yeah. I'm like, I'm drunk off my butt here. We have a lot of comedy that regard. Oh gosh. So I've give, I've been some of my best evangelizing when I've been drunk and high for sure. Yeah. So fun. But anyways, um, no, I, you know, and I just, uh, you know, I changed it a little over the years. You know, I think I went from, even with my kids, you know, my mom wasn't like super conservative, but then when she got a little more, I became a little bit more conservative. I married somebody from a little bit more conservative background. He was still, his parents were not particularly him. I just made an assumption. Fair. So he was a good boy. He was a good boy. But, um, but yeah. Um, And now I, I, you know, my faith is definitely different and matured. Yeah. As I've gotten older, you know, the, the judgment as you learn, like when you, you know, have kids, well, you look at those kids and they're running rampant and you're like, my kids are good over here. Right. Behaving, you know, you just learn as time goes on and well, there is a target, right? Like, yeah. You wanna hit the target and you want to give grace when you don't. Yeah. When other people don't. So was there a time, like if you were gonna say, like there was a time when you were like, yeah, I'll start taking communion now, or whatever, where you like No, I mean, I, I really didn't have that, but I can tell you when I really started falling, like, like being pulled, like when I really started hearing God. Yeah. Right, yeah. Was in midwifery. Yeah. It was a hundred percent that. Yeah. Like it was, it's kind of creepy but, well no, it's kinda like my situation with local think tank. I'm like, I'm kind of a lousy Christian god, but. Apparently you've got some plans for mm-hmm. me and what I'm up to here and, you know, and so I'll try to be good. You keep, give me the good stuff. Keep directing me. Keep directing me. That's a better way of saying that. Yes. It's, and I'll try and stay on that path. I'm trying not to mess it up. Yeah. You know, and to be, I can't say worthy of his blessings because I'm definitely far from that. Yeah. Um, interesting. Aren't God, we're just supposed to follow. Yeah. So. Well, and I like, uh, I, I had a hard time for a long time and you probably do too with the word obedience. Yeah. Very much so. but surrender Yeah. Is way better. Little bit because, well, it, it, I mean, it's like if I'm, I'm smart enough to know that if I am completely outnumbered and overwhelmed with power and smarts and love, that I should surrender. You know, that sounds a lot different than obedient, right? Because obedient sounds like put your mask on No. Yeah. You know, or what? Do that. Yeah. No, that's true. So anything more you would like to say on the faith category? I mean, I, I, when people say, how did you get that center through the city? And I said, God, right. I can't give you anything else. I gave him some information and he moved him. It's true. Yeah. And, um, why I did this crazy journey. Yeah. And the other fun fact about this crazy journey is that I am a cpm, not a cnm. So certified professional midwife, not a certified nurse midwife. Nurse midwife specialize in hospital births and cpm, specialize in out of hospital births in the state of Colorado. up until September of this last year, I could not catch my own babies in the person. Oh, really? I opened a birth center that I could not catch my own babies. You couldn't hire yourself. Could not at least for that. Yep. You could. For a home birth, but Yep, that's correct. So I was on the team, uh, that changed legislation and if it wouldn't have passed and we didn't get it through, I would've had the center for seven more years before we could ask again. Oh my goodness. So that, that's like, was faith blind roulette? It was. That's a really cool story. Mm-hmm. my, when Jill and I were moving back up to Fort Collins, um, we found a house. Mm-hmm. we got on our contract, we hauled all our stuff up as we were. I just didn't have a job yet. Mm-hmm. There you go. My mortgage lender was like, uh, you kind of know this is important, right? I'm like, well, yeah, I can't, obviously I can't buy the house if I don't have a job yet. And then like 10 days before, you know, I was like, oh, here's your law for letter. Oh. Great. Fax it in. Awesome. And, uh, so just trusting you walk forward Yep. Expecting that the doors are gonna open, that God has mm-hmm. revealed that will be opened. Mm-hmm. So, yeah. I think that's, um, so your faith has been strengthened by that. It really has. Um, you know, from that to, you know, I can actually be sitting at a birth and I have, uh, what I say, you're a prophet. I have a Holy Spirit come through me and go, something is gonna go wrong with this birth. I can tell you It is weird. Yeah, dude. I, I mean that's like the, the creepy part of like, Christianity, right? I'm like, that's not normal, but it is. And so like, I, I try to dampen that stuff with marijuana regularly and alcoholic. I know. Can we stop this? It still happens sometimes, you know, too bad. I'm on call. No Uh, but it is, it is, it's kind of comforting. In the beginning, I really did not like the feeling. Yeah. And I talked to my mom. Well, but what's, you said trust, you know? Yeah. And my mom was like, you know what? You just be appreciative of that. Yeah. That is discernment that you are being given. Yeah. I'm like, all right, fine guys. I have the feeling. And everyone's like, okay, fine. Okay, we'll buckle up buttercup. Yep. And everyone's prepared. And it's true. And they're like, how, how? I told you how. So anyways, you know, I think and moving forward now, um, we've had challenges, right? We've had challenges, we've had hits left and right. People don't want us here. And um, meaning like the hospital doesn't really want you here. Yep. Both of them. All of them. Or individuals in the hospitals or different practices, right. Cause hospitals don't actually think for themselves. Yeah. And you know, I mean truly, I, I, you know the Well cause you take 20 grand off they're plate every time you have a successful client try like 40 right? Yeah. So of which half is paid by the insurance company or something and half is paid by the client. and yours, yours are like 10 grand less than top to bottom. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, usually we're, they're in and out by it. About 8,000. Wow. And that's with a doula too. If you don't want a doula, then it's less than that. Wow. Do, yeah. So yes. Very different. Yeah. Um, but we have, uh, but the fact is, is that we keep standing and we will keep standing because I was meant to do this. Yeah. So, well, they have different powers that they're working against. It's not just me. I'm like, keep trying you Well, don't be too bold. But, but, and I know, you know, I believe you, frankly. I think you're right. So that's up to say. Um, well, is there anything, uh, you getting any messages from God recently that's, uh, as to next steps or things like that? Or you Coyier Springs and, and listen for right now, I think I'm in the B still. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's true. There's, that's really, their kids could use a little bit more from their mom. Yeah. And they've probably been getting it for a little bit, but they have still, they'd use a little more mm-hmm. Yeah. So, yeah, I have things, but I think right now it's, it's the be still, you know, work on administration. That's what I'm kind of, that's what I'm doing. Do you have a good helper in the administration realm? I do. Yeah. I have. Okay, good. Um, three great helpers. Okay. Good. Mm-hmm. Well, because we talked earlier that your C isn't super high and your vision is broad. And retail work is now for my affair. Mm-hmm. And my husband is a DC which is an interesting one. That's interesting. Yeah. He is useful. Very useful. Yeah, he's useful. Yeah. So that's cool. Um, we're gonna talk about, do you wanna talk about family or politics? Yeah, we'll start family. Okay. Family's good. You just mentioned your husband. I mean, there's a whole lot. Yeah. I mean, I have, I have great kids. They. You wanna, so, uh, we, we do a one word description for the children, each of them. Uh, so would you like to do that exercise? I think Gavin was the oldest. And how old is he now? He's 19. That's wild. Mm-hmm. um, of, what would be your one word for Gavin, if you ever forced Creative. Creative. Mm-hmm. And you said he's, is he the videographer? He is. So he would know how to fix our problems that we had here. Podcast. Probably would podcast, yeah. He'd figure it out real fast. That's almost that way too. He has his own little company, embolous. Very cool. He's, he's awesome. Um, very, he just sees things differently, so yes. That would be his one word. He's the most like me. Okay. Actually. Fair. Uh, my second one is Elijah. He, he is 17. Okay. He's a senior in high school. And, and where, where, where do you guys live? Uh, so Fort Collins in, um, my oldest graduated at Colorado Early Colleges. Oh, cool. I homeschooled them up until middle school, and then they slowly trickled them all in. Yeah. Cool. Um, and then, um, so then they went to the two older ones went to Colorado Early Colleges. I've gone to a number of their events. Mm-hmm. uh, Sandy, actually. Sandy Brown. My, my first. I think my first company party was at Horse and Dragon for Colorado Early Colleges when I was food trucking with Sarah's Backyard Grill. Cool. I was like this random Colorado early colleges hired me. Yeah. And, uh, I got to know them a little bit. They're awesome. Sandy and Mike. Mike. Yeah. They're really, they're good people. It was, it was fun. I developed my, uh, sassy squash tacos for that because I didn't really have a vegetarian entree other than Here's nachos with beans instead of meat. Okay. So, anyway, I digress. That's funny. Uh, so Gavin went to Colorado to college number two. Kid is Yep. He's gonna be graduating this next, you know, this year. And his name and one word. Elijah. Oh yeah, you said that. Hmm. Just one. That's a, he's an interesting character. what I always said is discernment. Hmm. Um, he's, which is his characteristic of his namesake. Right? Yeah. It's true. and very complicated. Yeah. he's definitely showing 17, but yeah, I'm like, wait, where's that discernment? Where'd to go? Oh. Was black blocked by your hormones? Uh, pretty much. Oh, okay. Fine. Let's study out. Um, but I would say he was, he's a sermon and then the third boy character and what's his name again? Xander with an X. Xander with an x. I like it. And he's a character? Yeah. In a good way or a bad way. Yeah. He's super, super smart, but he is super lippy. Interesting. Um, like he was really quiet as a, um, up until about a year and a half ago. Oh, interesting. Super quiet introvert. Um, maybe a little on spectrum. Right, right. Um, but then, and he, and then I put him in, uh, ascent Classical School. Mm-hmm. And he, like, they broke his shell in now. Oh. Lit up the kid. You can't get him to shut off. Interesting. But he can tell you every fact about anything he has, like, you know, that picture, he's the most like me. Probably mine. Yeah. Maybe. Yeah. I suspect it's crazy. It, he's, he's incredibly smart, but a little arrogant. So we're kind of, I like to say I'm the most humble person I've ever met. Yeah. Yeah. you could give him that if you want to. Well, he's the most like my husband. They are very smart, very, very intelligent. But, you know, let's, let's work on how the wield has some, let's work on the social, uh, you know, cues, of things. Fair enough. And your little girl. Amazing. She's just amazing. She's, um, the perfect mix between my husband and I. Mm-hmm. Um, nice. But she, what's her name again? Sariah. Sariah. Which means Princess of the Lord. Ooh. So she's, that's very beautiful. Yeah, she's awesome. Um, she is. And how old is she? 13. Mm. Okay. Oh, mm-hmm. So she came right in the chairs. Mm-hmm. Yep. They were really close. Yes. Ba bam. Bam. Yeah. six and under. That's how I did that. That's pretty cool. Um, so yeah, she's, um, she's down the midwifery path for sure. She, like I said, she's tended a number of births. Oh cool. She's done sibling doula stuff. She can take your blood, hit an iv, um, all the stuff not, but she has that seat in her. Yeah. Which is awesome. So she's probably character wise, probably she can, she's super balance sweet. But she's plug and play super balanced. like no a d d in her whatsoever. like definitely the, I feel kind of sorry for her a little bit, but I know I'm not really, this is just like, like crazy like okay. So I actually haven't looked in her backpack this year cuz you don't have to cuz she's like, got it right. She opens it up a couple months ago and I was like, holy cow, everything is color. Quote. At 13 years old. Okay. She has different binders, different colors, and then she's like, I was like, what is this? How, how you have that so organized. Meanwhile, Xander's got a two week old bologna sandwich, half eaten in there still. We, he totally is He's just like, man, where are my shoes again? Like, oh God, sander. But yeah. Um, and she was like, oh yes, so this is how it works. This class is first let show you. And then she pulls it out and puts it in the back when she's done with that class. So then the next one is forward, and by the end of the day, the first class for the next, it's ready to go class. Oh my gosh. she's gonna be the future office manager at like 15. Yeah, she's tried our tender gifts. Totally tried, right? This's just like, let me just take care of it. I I don't know if I can trust you. You have to go to school every day. Yeah. Um, so like, talk to me about the love story, uh, with, with you and Aaron. Like you were like knocked up. Did you know him already? Um, so you were in a five year relationship? I just heard, and so like, you were freshly on the market, I guess, or I guess, yeah. Um, yeah, I had actually wasn't of great story, but I found out my ex was cheating on me, and so I broke up with him and a month later I found out I was pregnant. Oh. So it was a little tr literally like the last time or two that you guys got together, like done. Oh, wow. Uhhuh So, um, you know, whatever. So actually it, it, it was a real, it was a real cool story. But again, go back to God. Um. He, it was his birthday. We started working together. We sold Cutco knives. Ooh. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, we were the top ranking salespeople, don't doubt it. And um, so we were talking, um, in the office and he told me it was his birthday. And I was like, well, what are you doing for your birthday? And he is like, nothing, what, who does nothing for their birthday? So that I'm like, extrovert, all you know. Right. All out there. And he's like the most introvert you can get. Okay. Why was he killing it so good on the Cutco? Cause he is smart. He was, he he's smart and he has a great smile, And he just, he was great. He's great with old people, you know, and that's who buys guys. Right. So, anyway, sorry to jump divert. Oh no, that's fine. That's why. So he's like telling you he doesn't have no plans. Yeah. Nothing, whatever. So then of course, I. I don't take that and just do nothing with it. So then I go back to my sister's house and I was like, listen, you gotta help me cook. Gotta figure this out. We're gonna make a birth cake for him. We're gonna make some spaghetti. Cuz I didn't care about any of that. But he, she helped me Right. Brought it to the office the next day. And, um, just his friends, you know, I, I wasn't interested in him. Yeah. And he was like, kind of seemed like a dick kind of So, you know, but because he is introverted and stuff Right, right, right. Because I'm like, what is wrong with you? Talk Right. You know, I'm here flirting with you, you know, so just talk at me. So, um, and I actually was not even interested like that Really. I was just like, dude, yeah, you gotta hang out. Yeah. So I brought it and we'd had cake and did thing. And then like after that he asked me out and I was like, what? I did not expect that. Yeah. They did know. He did know I was pregnant. And the fun fact is I found out I was pregnant because, He got us in a car accident on a way to a business trip. We were on the way. He flipped us three times. We, I, we should have died and that baby should have not stuck. I'll just go there. Whoa. So it was a miracle that I was still pregnant, number one, that we were alive, number two, and unharmed for the most part. Well, um, we hit like one sandy patch in this whole stretch of rock. Whoa. Big boulder. It was insane. So, um, so again, I feel like we were super protected. Yeah. And then after that, um, you know, he a, after that happened, you know, he came around and he asked me out that night and I was like, what? Um, and then we, he asked me to go on a hike, which he knows now. I don't like hiking, but I went and I'm sure I'll do it. Yeah. It was a night hike. Yeah. And at the, on the way to the hike he said, he said, so what do you want outta life now, now that you know you're pregnant? Like, what do you want outta life? I said, well, I asked God to either change my ex's heart and bring him back to me or find me someone that, um, is gonna treat me in this baby like his own. And he turns around and says, don't you think you have that already? He still to this day, does not remember saying that, in my opinion. And what I believe is that God spoke completely through him. Yeah. And that's how we ended up what, you know, and I, I've heard some stuff about calling and stuff, and so to some extent you're like, well, God picked this guy for me. He did. So who might have like Yeah. I didn't, I, like I said, like there's been many years it was, we've had a hard relationship. We've had a hard ups and downs. Well, you're both bullheaded strong. Mm-hmm. stubborn people. Yeah. And like everybody else in the world. Right. You know, and you know, not coming from, you know, I love my mom, but not coming from strong. background. Yeah. You didn't listen, I won't really talk about his, it's not appropriate, I feel. Yeah. But I can't say that it was the best relationship that you could, he didn't have model great examples either. Yes. And so we really kind of floated along and had to figure it out ourselves. Yeah. As kids. He was two years older than me and he took on, you know, a pregnancy and a wife. And frankly to me, that's a real man right there. He is a real man. Um, and honorable. I appreciate that. Yeah. So, but um, yeah, so it definitely wasn't, uh, you know, we've moved through a whole lot. Nobody. We kind of, my friends joke cuz we, we called us the four four Ds and meaning that ev every one of us thought would get divorced. Oh. And I was the only one that didn't. And so in March we actually will celebrate our 20 year anniversary. Oh. Being married, we'll be 20 years in May. My wife and I. Awesome. So, so just crazy stuff And a lot of the same kinds of difference in personality and character and complimentary Right. Skills and, and calling like after our first date, Jill told her mom, I think I've met the man. I'm gonna marry You know? Mm-hmm. I didn't learn that until much later, but Yeah, of course. Well that's what I felt too. And yeah. But again, I kind of joke, I was like, I didn't like him. I just married him cuz God told me to Right. Then it took some time to like him. Yeah. Um, but so that's what happened. Well I think that's really cool. Um. Where do you wanna go in politics? We've just had the, the red trickle. Mm-hmm. as I've heard it called here in American politics. Uh, you've faced, uh, some political, uh, headhunting and things like that. I know from previous conversations and mm-hmm. we were talking about the, you know, the fact that frankly the, the, the medical systems that dominate all the doctor's offices mm-hmm. in all of the, all of Colorado Yeah. Don't like places like yours. They don't, um, well, I mean, the thing is, is that I believe in medical freedom. Hmm. Right. And informed. and informed choice is an incredibly important thing. Yeah. Especially in the world I'm in, in birthing and it's a really sacred, important, huge. From the beginning for you, when they were giving you epidurals and Right. I had no idea. I was, here's some, some formula just mm-hmm. don't worry about it. That's right. Whatever. And there's so much connected to all those pieces, and if you are not given informed, you're not giving choice at least the right to inform yourself and then choose, right? Uh, very much so. So like, we can't even really expect to be fully informed because there's always somebody with an ax grind in the today's world. Right? A product to sell. Right. And what I, you know, what I kind of tell people when they come through my doors is, you know, and they ask about, you know, certain things, do you think it's good? Do you think it's bad? Whatever. And I just give them information and say, Hey, we don't have information to give you on certain things. So you can't make an informed choice if you don't know. You can't say this is totally okay if you don't have the data to back it up. What are you talking about that corner, maybe So, I mean, but there's that, there's all the testing that's involved in pregnancy that the hospital system wants to push. And I don't push, but I educate them on it. Yeah. But it's not my job. to push it. And then when it's not, they don't take that option. They don't, they, they make an informed choice for themselves to not do something. The hospital system needs to be okay with that. Yeah. Yeah. And they're not okay with that fair? Well, I guess, I mean, we, we could dance around it if you want to, but it's okay. I mean, I've, I've heard stories that the number of miscarries and the success in conceiving has been impacted by some of these vaccines and things. And have you seen evidence of that in your practice? I guess is a question I would ask just as an empirical basis. Mm-hmm. Sure. So if we're just looking at numbers Yeah. And the percentage of, um, miscarriage rates from before Covid and before covid, you know, vaccines. Yeah. Uh, to now. it has increased over a hundred percent, 150%, excuse me. Wow. In my own small pool of practice. Okay. Okay. And then if you look broader and you start talking to other people and other, uh, midwives across the country or out of the country even, um, they're seeing similar things. And so, and is it covid potentially like, or is it the m NRA vaccines? I mean, or do the traditional vaccines have the same challenges? We've, we've kind of seen, and I, you know, and again, it's like j and j isn't as bad for example. Same. I think, I think that there's, you know, from our, from our, again, I can't say for sure, but I can say, you know, anecdotally or kind of what I'm thinking of what we're seeing. Yeah. It's probably from the combination of the vaccine. Yeah. I mean that's what I've been hearing is, is like despite proteins, the, you know, all of those things. I went two months without a menstrual cycle. Yep. After I got my second dose. Mm-hmm. you know, shit like that. Mm-hmm. And was, and it's interesting is, uh, our little circle of people f you l um, every time we had a new employee that came in that was vaccinated, all of our cycles got messed up. Especially if it was got their, they got the vaccine close to when they started, it was a trip. So if they were shedding fresh, whatever, I don't know, Uh, so, um, so it, you know, so it just has to make you start thinking like, okay, you know, you don't wanna go down the totals. Conspiracy theory. Do I think it's, you know, do you think, do I think that they can like crack you? Yeah. You microchip you? No, I don't think so. But I mean, I don't know, but I, that's is unexplained cause of death a. Well, it seems like it. I mean, there's that, you know, I mean, sorry dad, but my dad did it. Oh. And I encourage my mom to do it cuz she's, I mean, I'm not gonna encourage anyone to do it necessarily, but I'm not gonna tell them what to do. Right, right. Do or not do. Right. But he, we have a doctor in the family and he tried to, you know, said, oh, you need to do this because you're around, you know, old my grandfather. Right, right, right. Well, right after that, my dad started having heart issues. Hmm. And heart attacks and almost died a number of times. So then like you start seeing that same thing, right? You're like, and over, over and it's like, okay, you were fine, you were healthy, there was nothing wrong with you. And then you're looking at other people going shoot, and then you're looking at pregnancies that are fine and then not fine. Right. And like, this is not right. Well, and that bologna about like, Okay, we're gonna mark you as unvaccinated if it's been less than two weeks since you got your vaccine dose or second dose. Mm-hmm. and by the way, your chances of getting infected in the two weeks after your first or second dose go up like 200%. Mm-hmm. Yep. You know, there's all this data that's like, it's mm-hmm. it, it fluffs the numbers. It does. It was like a baked in fluffing of the numbers to call these people unvaccinated when they got sick Right. After they got their vaccines. Right. Right. Making it appear to be successful. Anyway. Yeah. I digress. Well, and if you, uh, you know, look, and if you actually look a little closer at. Different data, if you will. Right. Um, you, you're not gonna dig deep on the Microsoft or whatever MSNBC and find it, but No, no. Probably not but 90, I think it was 93 or 97% of people that actually had really bad reactions to C O V itself. Mm. Their vitamin D levels were in the toilet. Right. So, you know, I went through, but you could only hear that I like listen to the Dark Horse podcasters know. I know. I, yes. Right. That's right. And, you know, I rolled through with clients that, you know, not, you know, intentionally, but ended up with Covid, whatever. I didn't get it a single time all the way through still. Uh, well, so I stopped taking my d and this is a really interesting thing I did. I stopped taking it. I went through about three months of, I was just like, I had just a stick of taking pills. Right, right, right. And I stopped and then my immune system dropped because of the d my D levels. and then I got it and I'm alive, aren't I? Oh, yeah. But I was not, I I mean, whatever you took took my, took care of myself. Well, and or Omicron came along by that time. Right? Because that was actually only like five months ago. Oh, really? Interesting. Yeah. You went, you were a survivor. Yeah, about I was like, year ago is when I got mine first time, so, eh, fine. Whatever. You know what I mean? Well, we don't have to speculate because that's all we can do, because it's fairly obviously that, that there's enough money that doesn't want anybody to dig too deep on it. But I think they're, they're the, the allure that they might sell, like booster after booster after booster forever, that's pretty well faded and the market has spoken. Um, and so well now it's going to childhood vaccines, right? So that's a whole nother thing that's, I mean, that was one of my biggest problems with it, uh, is like you've basically said that kids have no risk from this virtually. and you're gonna give an experimental vaccine and even in some cases require it to come to our school. Right. And now gonna be on the register. Are you that something you're fighting against? Mm, I'm thinking about it. I mean, it's scary, right? But you're already a non-traditional medicine. I am warrior. And so there's only so many of us that are not scared to take the slings and arrows. Yeah. And it's true. You know, I mean, the thing is, is like if, my theory is if I can save one baby by giving informed decision making and they make the decision not to do something and that baby maybe would've Right. You know, you won't know. But yeah. Well then I can take the darts fine. Fair. Then I, then I'm happy at the end of the day. Do you have, uh, Political aspirations or have you been a political person historically? Uh, well, I mean, it was on the team of the to of midwives to get through legislation for, uh, changing our regulations. Mm-hmm. um, I have recently just started another. Endeavor, um, Colorado midwives co-op, and, um, oh, my goal for that is legislation and bringing, um, CPMs, cms, um, doctors like-mindedness, uh, together so that we can start building a better collaborative relationship, um, and respecting each other. Right. And respecting our views. And the, you know, one of the, you know, our core values is respecting, um, choice. Yeah. In, you know, being able to inform choice Like that's like, where did that I know go. Like, where, why does, does this even have to be a conversation? Yeah. Why does this have to be a hype? Well, in the, the funny stuff lately, like, You know, uh, article in the Atlantic, I'm sure it caught your eye. It's like, let's just have amnesty, you know, all of us employers that fired people for not taking their vaccine and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And let's just, let's just not, let's just, let's just all get along again. Yeah. Let's just, and it's like, well, not you were terrible. Yeah. To me and too many, you know. Well, and it's so sad because, you know, the medical system, there's a lot of people in the medical system didn't wanna do that. Right. And I was one of the only centers that didn't require that. Yeah. Even across the nation, you know, there were so many people. Well, and all these nurses that got sick, recovered, serving the, keeping the country going frankly, or whatever, keeping the hospitals from being overrun. And then it's like, Hey, you wanna. Too bad. Here's your jab. J you know, when do you want your appointment? Mm-hmm. Anyway, I digress. We can get off that bus. Um, we have the, the closing segment as always, the loco experience, and that's the craziest experience that you're willing to share mm-hmm. with our listeners. Um, and I wonder if you've thought about what, what you'd like to share in that. My craziest experience in my life. In your life. Mm. A moment, a week, a month. I don't know. Um, I, I mean, I don't know honestly. I mean, you, you know, that's some crazy experiences. You, I have a little bit, but I, I think that this experiment, if you will, of my whole, this birth center, like this birth center has probably been the craziest, um, craziest thing of my life. It feels like God's providence, just kind of pulling this sleigh along for it. Yeah. In my new building, you know, the event space. Oh, right. We didn't even talk about the socials place. Yeah. Yeah. So that, you know, that's a new community. It's an adjacent business We haven't really mentioned yet. Mm-hmm. do you wanna give a quick commercial for the social place? It, uh, social place? Is it I, a social place? Sorry. It's okay. It's okay. Um, it's right next to Cece's Flowers, which Cece's Flowers is awesome too, but agreed. Um, and Joseph Farms and I opened it, um, in order for it to be, uh, like a teaching space mm-hmm. for people to come in and teach classes and do different things. Um, but it's an event space to rent. We've had already fun birthday parties, birthday parties, 50th birthday parties. And, um, my next thing I think we're baby showers. Probably baby showers, football games cuz it's a big screen tv. Oh, nice. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, and yoga, we've got all kinds of fun things down there, so. Cool. Um, but, uh, my, my goal for that, my big goal for that originally was to do, um, I'm planning to do, um, group prenatal for underserved. Mm. And that is my goal to, of, you know, getting the space. Yeah. So, really cool. It feels like your model could really use a, uh, Like almost a nonprofit arm or something. Mm-hmm. Cause it's such a lower cost way of having Right. Babies instead of being, I guess it's Medicaid, right? Is is what kind of a, a poverty level income person and they would just go through the regular hospital environment and soak that thing up. Right. Right. And then they get treated as such too. Right. So that is our goal. So we are Medicaid certified for the building, but they won't cover CPMs in Colorado. Yeah. So that's my next goal. Fair is to get us through, to be able to be covered and be accessible. Yeah. Because we're not accessible. Be a better solution for, they're like, oh, you low income, you get to go to the hospital. Right. What right here have this Yeah. Expensive witness, necessary stuff. Right. Um, I feel like, like it has been a local experience, but mm-hmm. I'm gonna give you another swing at it. What's a, what's a crazy experience that, that, uh, you've had with your family or your mom? Hmm. Well, I mean, I guess with my, my mom, we. you know, we had a very different bring raising, you know, bringing up. Um, and I think, uh, we actually lived on the beach for two, uh, two, two weeks or two or three weeks. One time. That was right. Cause you were homeless basically. Um, yeah, my mom was just, it was kinda like, what are we gonna do? We're we're gonna go do something different. Um, when they separated Yeah. You know, when parents separated and, um, I think that, I don't know, I just remember so, so distinctly. Um, I'm not, I guess it wasn't crazy, but it was like a bond between, you know. Yeah. My, I think that's crazy. Yeah. I don't know. I think that's, that's whatever it is. It's, that's kind of a crazy experience. But I also And you were how old? I don't know. Uh, 10 at the time. Yeah. Yeah. So I can think that, that jolted me off into like, and how did she possibly acquire that property in. she was resourceful. That woman she always has been. Now she, she's the general contractor and she has property. She rented or she somehow bought this big house that she could put in elder car. I, she ended up, I think she ended up renting it and then I bet she robbed a banker. Something. Yeah. To make this whole, she was wild. I doubt it actually. She seems pretty amazing. So, um, but I mean, I guess the craziest thing about me, I was a bit of a scrapper. Yeah, for sure. Oh, fighter. Oh yeah. Do you think you could beat me up? Probably. I believe it. I, and enjoyed it. Well, I would not enjoy either winning or losing against you in a scrap. Uh, I don't know, right after this. Five minutes outside the local office. Okay, let's do it. Okay. Well I really just think that in life like our, I feel like you gotta be a scrapper. Yeah. And you know, anymore it would be great. I actually had this conversation with my office manager today. I was like, you know, it would be really great like in the old days, like you just gotta work something out. You gotta beef with someone, just go out back and it not be a problem. Can we sign something? Sing? I'll take a jiujitsu lessons at a social place and you can bring your whole staff over there. Oh, that'd big freight. You can go one on three or something like that. Yeah. Cause I'm assuming you can take at least. To most people. I enjoy it but I've calmed down so well. I enjoy you. I think this has been a fun conversation. I hope you feel the same. Mm-hmm. And, uh, thanks for listening out there. Do Oh, where do people find you? Um, do you wanna say any social things or, um, well, tender gift's, birth, Google it or Brave It or Duck Duck Go. Or, we do lots of I Instagram stuff. Okay. So, you know, a, a social place, uh, is our other business and, uh, at, at Tender Gifts. Okay, cool. Yeah, that's all. Alright, got speed. Thanks. Have a great evening. Thanks, you too.