Midwives Catching Babies
Aubre Tompkins, CNM, MSN - Clinic Director, Midwife
Greetings Lovely Families! My name is Aubre Tompkins and I am so excited to be a part of the Mountain Midwifery family as a Certified Nurse Midwife. I first started at the birth center, in the very beginning, as an RN, assisting at births and teaching the Newborn Care and Breastfeeding classes. I have been lucky enough to watch the birth center grow and evolve into the remarkable facility that it is today. Thank you for thinking about letting us care for you and your family.
To go even farther back, in 1998, I had my first child (Ethan), who as children do, changed my life in so many ways. Among the many gifts he brought me, one was the joy of pregnancy and birth and the desire to share and assist other women through that amazing journey. So, I started on a very long path….along the way, I was blessed with a great husband (Ted), a wonderful step-son (Devin) and a sweet little daughter (Arwen). Somehow, in the midst of all that, I graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and eventually from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing with a Masters in Midwifery. So, here I am, blessed to be living my dream, with my wonderful family and my amazing job. When I am not at the birth center, I love to be with my family, enjoying the beautiful mountains in our backyard, working in my vegetable garden, attempting to learn knitting and visiting with friends.
Sarah Stone, CNM, MSN - Midwife
Hello lovely ladies and their families and friends. I am glad you’re interested in Mountain Midwifery Center. I can thank my first son for leading me to the birth center. I started as a client during my pregnancy with him and the respect and care I received affected me so much that I was overjoyed to be able to work here. Now I share its security and comfort with other families.
Prior to starting at MMC I attended births for five years in hospitals here in Denver and in Davenport, Iowa. The experience I gained during that time and my education at Yale School of Nursing prepared me well to attend families at the birth center. I believe women should be listened to, and I enjoy sharing stories. It’s a midwife’s job to hold a safe space for a mother and baby to labor, without interfering, but keeping a watchful eye open for complications. Guiding a woman and her family though labor and seeing her emerge into motherhood triumphant brings me great peace and happiness. I am so lucky.
When I’m not working I spend my time with my husband Scott and our sons Matthew and William, sometimes in the garden, sometimes on snowboards (well it’ll be a few years before the little shredders can hit the slopes, but a girl can dream), sometimes just fixing things around the house.
Laura Thielke, CNM, MSN - Midwife
My name is Laura Thielke and I am one of the midwives here at the Mountain Midwifery Center. I recently had the joy of delivering both my first and second daughters at the birth center. It was an experience that impacted me greatly. The atmosphere was calm, relaxing and supportive. You can get a glimpse of the first one from the documentary available on this website through KBDI. Soon after her birth, I started working here as a nurse and I am thrilled to be working with such a great group of people now as a midwife since October 2010.
I did my undergraduate at The University Of Iowa and received my master’s in nursing at The University of Colorado to be a CNM.
On a more personal note, I am married to my wonderful husband, Jason. We have a busy boy and two little girls: Jaden, Willow, and Tegan. I enjoy being with my family, reading, snowboarding, biking and running in my free time.
Molly Dickinson, CNM, MSN - Midwife
Hi, I am Molly. I am so happy to be a part of the Mountain Midwifery family. Like many, I was lead to midwifery by my own births. My first birth in a hospital was just fine by hospital standards, but I experienced complications that were a direct result of unnecessary interventions. I decided to make different choices with my second birth and went to a midwife. It was a powerful and life changing experience to have someone truly listen to me and encourage me to trust my body. I knew that she was watching me closely in labor, and if problems occurred, she would expertly intervene. I felt that no matter what happened, all would be well.
I gave up my career teaching maternal-child nursing and graduated from Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in 1997. Since then I have had the honor of attending women in labor in birth centers, community hospitals and large teaching hospitals, but I believe that no place of birth brings out the midwife in me like a birth center. Women have taught me more about midwifery than any graduate degree ever could, and I am forever grateful to them.
I have also returned to teaching and teach midwifery for Philadelphia University. My husband Tom and I have four children in various stages of being launched, but most of the time we have an empty nest. We love hiking, yoga, live music and travel. I am learning to quilt, having done one machine pieced quilt. I am now learning the Zen of hand quilting.
Melissa Gordon, CNM, MSN - Midwife
I have been working in nursing since earning my ADN in 1999. Between then and 2011, I had work experiences in labor & delivery, postpartum care, and special care nursery in Iowa and Arizona. Along the way, I decided that I wanted to become a midwife and help to empower women to take control of their health and educate themselves about their bodies. I started at Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing (now Frontier Nursing University) in September of 2007. I will be done soon... this Spring in fact!
In 2011 my daughter, Savannah, and I moved to Colorado for my clinical training and to be with my boyfriend, Ryan. I started my clinical training at MountainView Midwives in Thornton and finished with MMC in January. When Tracy offered me a job at the birth center to work as a nurse, I jumped at the chance! I haven't had much spare time between work and school, but when I do, I intend to do more hiking, learn to ski, and spend more time with Savannah and Ryan.
Tiffany Buss, CNM, MSN - Midwife
Hello Everyone! My name is Tiffany. I am a nurse at Mountain Midwifery Center and excited to be starting as a midwife after just completing my requirements to be a CNM.
My journey to MMC started after the birth of my first daughter in 2004. I had the typical hospital birth with lots of interventions. When I became pregnant with my second daughter I knew there had to be a better way. I started doing my research and found Hypnobabies which helped empower me to have a wonderful intervention-free birth. After her birth I decided that I wanted to help women have the birth they desire in as natural of an environment as possible. I became a Hypnobabies instructor and then started working here at the Birth Center in 2007.
I have found such a wonderful place here at MMC and truly feel blessed to be here and share in so many beautiful births. I look forward to meeting you and wish you all the best.
Nurses and Supporting Midwives
Shawn Johnson, RN - Clinic and Birth Center Nurse
My journey into midwifery and women’s health care began in southern California in 2003. I worked for a birth center in their clinic and also as a birth assistant for home and birth center births. I will never forget attending my first home birth as an assistant to the midwife; it was an incredible experience and it made a profound impact on me. I knew that I had found my true passion.
I am originally from northern Minnesota and that is where I met my husband Kurt who was my high school sweet heart. I earned a BS in Graphic Design and after working as a designer for a few years, I knew that sitting behind a desk was not for me. In 1999 Kurt and I moved to California and after a few great years of golfing, going to the beach and working as a waitress, it was time to go back to school to get my degree in nursing. My nursing background specializes in Post Partum, Transition Nursery and I also spent some time with the “feeders and growers” in the NICU.
I am blessed to have three beautiful children who were all born naturally. Alexia was born in 2004, Jason I in 2006 and Ryder in 2008. I love hiking and mountain biking with my family, photography, antiques and I always have a project going on like knitting, sewing or making jewelry.
I so enjoy forming a relationship with our mamas and their families during their pregnancy and feel so blessed to be a part of their birthing experience. I am grateful and proud to be a part of this amazing team of women at Mountain Midwifery Center. I can honestly say that I love what I do!
Abbey Lamkin, RN - Clinic and Birth Center Nurse
Welcome Mountain Midwifery families! I’m so very excited to be a part of your birthing experience here at the birth center. I am a nurse, and first heard of MMC through my good friend Cassie Hart CNM, who many of you will get to know and love! I grew up in Michigan, and moved to Seattle where I got my degree in Social Work, and then ended up moving to Colorado in 2004. After moving to Colorado, along with some personal discovery, I decided to pursue nursing because of a strong desire to bring health and healing to people in non-traditional settings.
The last 7 years have been a great adventure for me. I found out that what I wanted most out of nursing was to help mamas bring their babies into the world. I began attending all of my friends’ births while in nursing school, and got to witness first-hand the beauty of natural births, but also the hardships many of my friends underwent in hospitals. I went on to work in acute care, on a Medical-Surgical floor in Colorado Springs, until I got hired on at MMC. I’m so very excited to be a witness to extraordinary moments in your lives and help you usher your babies into the world!
In my free time I love to hike, and be outside in beautiful Colorado. I also love spending time with my friends, reading, cooking and traveling to see my family. Oh, and I love my job!! Pictured here with me is my best friend’s beautiful newborn baby.
Heather Scott, RN, CLD, CCCE - Clinic and Birth Center Nurse
Greetings! My name is Heather Scott. I have been working at MMC since 2008 or 'back in the day' when all MMC happenings occurred in what is now the birthing space. Over the years I have assisted with various duties, including teaching the Preparation For Natural Childbirth classes and coordinating an ongoing doula program for MMC families through a business I co-run, Cocoon Birth.
Over the years I have walked out my journey of giving birth and parenting 4 lively children. Through my personal experiences, a calling awakened within me as I realized my passion for birth and began looking for ways to work hands-on with women and their families during the childbearing year. As a casual “hobby” I was sharing my experiential knowledge with friends in my community and was invited along to births. I quickly began to find my way as both a childbirth educator and labor doula. I completed my training and certification through CAPPA in 2003 and 2004 respectively and began my training as a nurse in 2007. I have done all of this with a supportive husband by my side and 4 home schooled in children in our cabin home in the foothills!
Julianne Wais, RN - Clinic and Birth Center Nurse
Hello! I am so happy and honored to be a part of the amazing team at Mountain Midwifery Center! I can’t say exactly when the ‘birth bug’ bit me but it has been something I have always been passionate about and fascinated by. I lived for my OB rotations in nursing school and couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful than to support a woman as she navigated through the birth process. After witnessing my sister give birth to my niece and reading Ina May Gaskin’s “Spiritual Midwifery” I knew I had found my calling. Upon graduation I spent some time on a very busy medical/surgical floor where I learned so much, but everyday had the itch to be around moms and their babes. I was then able to transfer into postpartum and neonatal care, where I have been up until working at MMC. I believe whole-heartedly in the midwifery model of care and feel proud to be a part of a team implementing it.
I grew up in Colorado but attended nursing school at Seattle Pacific University in Washington. I was able to have an invaluable experience my senior year travelling to rural Vietnam with a small group where I completed my pediatric and community health clinicals. It was an eye-opening experience where I was able to witness first-hand the importance of prenatal education and care, something we often take for granted. Seattle also holds a special place in my heart (not only for the delicious fresh seafood) but because this is where I met my amazing husband, Dalton. We have moved back to Colorado where we belong to be near sunshine and family. In my free time I love hanging out with my husband and family, anything to do with music, thrifting for vintage goodies, and putting together our new home. I look forward to meeting you!
Our administrative staff is a real asset to MMC. In addition to working hard on your schedule, insurance eligiblity, referrals, etc., all our ladies in the office really support the clinic. Don't be surprised if you call thinking you need to speak with a midwife and instead get a full & complete answer from one of the ladies listed below. Their bios help explain why...
Heather Prestridge - Practice Manager
Welcome Mountain Midwifery families!
My journey started in Seattle in 1989, with the planned home-birth of my oldest son CJ. Things didn't quite go as planned, and we ended up with a hospital delivery of a healthy baby. My midwives were amazing! I decided then and there that my calling was among them. I attended the Utah School of Midwifery in 1990, where I apprenticed to be a direct entry midwife. I moved to Colorado when I was pregnant with my second son Corey in 1992, and I was lucky enough to find a CNM doing home-birth. We teamed up and worked together while I began my nursing program. My own pregnancies with my daughters Rhiannon in 1994 and Morgana in 2001 (who was premature), put my medical classes on hold. I discovered another talent along the way in administration! I've since changed my major to business management, and have had the chance to work with Midwife groups as well as large OB/GYN groups in the Denver area. I am so excited to come back to my roots, and work with other women who respect and understand the process of natural birth the way these midwives do.
When not celebrating my amazing job at Mountain Midwifery, I love to garden and cook with my kids. I play cello and write and perform music with my spouse, Kelly.
Mattie Tezak - Client Services
Hello Families! I am excited to meet you! My journey began in 2005 with the birth of my son, Brecken. My hospital birth experience coupled with Brecken's health challenges inspired me to seek out natural and complementary health and living.Working at Whole Foods Market and Vitamin Cottage in the vitamin department gave me the opportunity to learn and teach others about herbs, supplements, natural/organic diet and lifestyle.
In 2010 I became pregnant with my daughter Freya and sought out Mountain Midwifery Center. After experiencing excellent care and a wonderful birth, I continued on my educational path with the hope of educating others about the joys of natural living, from birth and beyond. I found the Holistic Health and Reflexology certification programs at Red Rocks Community College, and graduated in the Spring of 2012.
As luck would have it, MMC hired me! I am so grateful to share everything we have to offer in creating a happy, healthy birth and look forward to welcoming you at the front desk!
Danielle Johns Preston - Client Services
Hello MMC families! My name is Danielle Johns Preston and you’ll meet me at the front desk of Mountain Midwifery Center. I’m thrilled to be a part of this amazing team and to get to know you on your journey to parenthood – it’s quite a ride! My passion for birth started way back in 2001 when I was pregnant with our first daughter. We were planning a hospital birth in Virginia when our insurance suddenly began covering the local freestanding birth center (very much like Mountain Midwifery!). We did our tour with the midwives and jumped at the chance to have an “out of the box” birth experience. After Lucy was born, I felt like Wonder Woman and told anyone who would listen that unmedicated birth is the most empowering thing I’d ever done.
Three years later and in a different state, a freestanding birth center was not an option. So, we opted for homebirth and welcomed our second daughter, Campbell, in 2004. I vowed to not give birth again until we made it back home, to Colorado. That dream came true four years later and we were lucky to birth our third daughter, Jules, surrounded by family in 2009. I’m grateful every day to live here in Colorado where we (me, my partner Curt, and our girls) love to cook together, camp together, hike together, and just be together in the many days of sunshine this great state enjoys. I divide my time between my busy family, fulfilling part-time work at MMC, and teaching childbirth classes on the side, and I love it all. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Katie Schneider, CPC - Billing Manager, Certified Biller-Coder
Hello! With my certification as a Certified Professional Coder, I do the insurance and patient billing at MMC. My journey with MMC started when I first found out I was pregnant. I came to MMC for all my prenatal care and my son was born in the spring of 2009 in the blue room. At the beginning of 2010, I joined the team at MMC and now feel incredibly blessed to work with such amazing people.
My non-work time is spent having fun with my little boy, Sawyer, and husband. I am a native of Colorado and very close with my family here, so a lot of time is spent with them too. I enjoy traveling, camping, gardening and visiting with friends.
Alison Gubser, BA - Client Services
Hi! My name is Alison Gubser and I’m excited that you’re here getting to know us! This is a fantastic group of people dedicated to allowing the woman’s body to function as it is meant to.
Here’s my story…
I first learned about birth while watching a 20/20 special about water birth in the 90’s. It sounded fantastic! When I became pregnant in mid-2006, we were planning a natural hospital birth with a doula and then decided to do a home birth instead. My doula was teaching childbirth preparation classes at MMC. So, I first walked through the birth center doors in late 2006.
I loved the feeling of walking through that door! So peaceful and woman-centered. My first son was born in 2007 at home with a midwife and my doula. It was the best decision I’ve ever made! Fast forward to 2011 when my second son was born. This time we lived in California and I chose a home birth again. It was so nice to have my baby at home… in fact, it was the only time that he was ever at home. Eventually he was transported to a hospital and after ten days of ups and downs, intensive and the highest medical interventions available, and sleeping in waiting rooms, the Ronald McDonald House, and post-partum rooms, we made the decision to remove our son from all life support. He died in our arms less than an hour later in the post-partum room we were borrowing. He was later diagnosed by autopsy with an extremely rare genetic disorder called Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia (ACD) which is incompatible with life. However, I read that a baby was saved with a lung transplant in July 2012! Great news!
I’m Colorado born and raised. I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated with a BA in Sociology. I’ve lived in California twice; in San Diego and in Monterey. But now we are here to stay in Colorado! I also earned my Special Education teaching credential, am passionate about health, and am vegetarian. My husband and I were approved as an adoptive home by Denver County in July 2012 and we can’t wait to meet our future adoptive children!
Sydney Kirchner, CNA - Administrative Assistant
Hey Families! I started volunteering at Mountain Midwifery Center during the summer of 2009 while still in high school. Natural medicine and the ability of our bodies to take care of itself without extensive interventions has always fascinated me! I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn and work here at MMC and to see all of the beautiful mamas and babies that come through here.
I was born and raised in Littleton, two houses down from the five Ryan boys! It's a lot of fun to recall all the old neighborhood stories. I am currently a student in college hoping to get an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and eventually go to law school. Or go a different route and go into Business Administration and then maybe someday become a midwife. I am also a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with experience in retirement homes which seems worlds away from working at a place that welcomes new, vivacious life! It is so wonderful to see all of the families with their own little people chuttering about enjoying all that this wonderful earth has to offer! I also enjoy reading good books; drinking tea and coffee; discussing philosophy, political movements and reason with close friends; being with my enormous family; going on walks, runs and bike rides; and doing anything that has to do with summer and the mountains.
Heather Thompson, PhD, CPD, CLE - Client Services, Research Director, Postpartum Doula
Welcome to Mountain Midwifery Center! My name is Heather Thompson and I work in the office, teach Newborn Care and offer postpartum doula support services to our Mountain Midwifery clients. As a Research Director, I lead and coordinate studies that contribute to the understanding of waterbirth, breastfeeding and midwifery care. Like many women who pursue both a career and motherhood, my journey to my current work with birthing families was not a direct route, but filled with twists and turns.
In my early 20s, I felt a gentle pull to become a midwife, but for various reasons decided to pursue graduate studies in Physiology instead. During these years in graduate school, I executed experiments in the lab by day, but during the rest of my time, I found myself using every excuse possible to support both birthing parents and families with new babies. In 2002, I received my doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts and taught at Smith College for several years. Then, in 2004, I realized the dream of returning my home state of Colorado and, while working at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, discovered I was pregnant.
The journey to the amazing home birth of my daughter in the fall of 2005 changed my life in many ways. My daughter's birth reminded me of my passion for natural birth and the demands of being a mom led me to shift my position at the Health Sciences Center to a Project Manager position. My son was born at MMC in the spring of 2008 and by our 6 wk postpartum visit, I had begun steps to pursue my passion for working with birthing and postpartum families. That fall, I pursued certification through CAPPA as a postpartum doula (CPD) and lactation educator (CLE) and started my own business (Beyond Birth) providing postpartum doula, lactation and babywearing support to new and growing families. At the end of 2008, I joined the team at MMC and feel blessed to work with so many talented people who share my passion for providing a place for Coloradoans to birth naturally and holistically. For me, the process of tapping into my inner voice and strength through childbirth and parenting has been transformative. I always feel honored to support new families in this amazing time of change and growth.
Colleen Flowers, BA, HRHP - Client Services, Fertility Awareness Educator
I have been so honored and blessed to work beside and learn from the very strong, wise, and passionate women here at Mountain Midwifery Center! While my job is focused mainly on the administrative aspects of office work and patient billing, I love working in an environment that supports and values holistic health.
I am a Fertility Awareness Educator and a Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner (HRHP). I love teaching girls and women (ages 10-100) about their bodies. I offer a variety of classes and one-on-one consultations through my business, Flowers Fertility, at Blossom Wellness Center.
I'm originally from Southeastern Pennsylvania. After I graduated college, I transplanted myself to the mountains of Colorado where I was a white-water raft guide for 4 summers. We moved to Denver so that my husband and I could better pursue our lifework; however, you'll still find us in the mountains every chance we can get hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, hotspring-ing, and visiting family and friends.
Officers and Ownership
Tracy Ryan, CNM, MS - Co-Owner, Part-Time Midwife
Thank you for your interest in the Mountain Midwifery Center, my “baby” and a dream-in-the-making for over a decade. I discovered my passion for midwifery while in nursing school when I had my first son. His birth was typical for most American women–stuck in bed with monitors and IVs, epidural, episiotomy, mom/babe separation, postpartum depression…. I didn’t understand our maternity system was designed to treat all pregnant women as sick and as a young, healthy woman, I was not prepared to tackle a model that would “deliver” my child when what I wanted was to “give birth.” Thus, my dream of training as a Certified Nurse-Midwife and opening a free-standing birth center took flight (and followed our growing family as we moved from Texas, Ohio, and Virginia with the military).
I am a 1996 Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. I worked for three years in various hospitals on the Labor and Delivery floor. In 2002 I received my Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, KY. Also in 2002 I completed my MS in Midwifery from Philadelphia University where my thesis concentrated on nutrition/supplementation and it’s role in preeclampsia. Through all of this, I had four more sons with Joel (our Business Manager). The last three were born at home with the help of midwives.
After 4 years as the only Nurse-Midwife to attend births at home, I was able to open the birth center. Now the midwifery model of care will be available to many more women in the Denver area and we are able to expand into holistic well-woman care as well. Our entire staff is looking forward to nurturing you and your family through your pregnancy/birth process and beyond!
The Ryan boys then...
The Ryan boys now...
Joel Ryan, MS - Co-Owner, Business Manager
Hi. I’m Joel, the birth center guy. Opening a birth center became a dream for me over the course of the birth of my five sons. The first two were born in the early 90s in hospitals that provided little to no staff to support natural birth. Our last 3 were born at home. First in Ohio with Nurse-Midwives that had to attend for free (illegal to attend homebirth for pay in OH at that time). Our fourth in Virginia with direct entry midwives that also had to attend for free. Our fifth son was born in Colorado and we could finally pay we could finally pay the midwife without fear.
With opening a birth center as one of my long term goals, I left the Air Force in 2002 and settled in Colorado. My then-wife Tracy became the one-and-only Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Colorado attending home births. Being the only one, it was hard for her to team with hospital-based midwives or doctors, or with other homebirth midwives, all registered midwives. She ran her homebirth practice for four years, then in late 2005 we decided to go for it. After lots of hard work and credit card debt, the birth center opened its doors for clinic visits in April 2006 and for births in September 2006.
The birth center grew and so did the workload. I had moved to Ball Aerospace in January 2006 and the commute kept me away from home far too much, all while Tracy’s load at the birth center was leading to longer and longer hours. The center also suffered some terrible billing errors by a small billing service. So in mid-2006 I decided to leave Ball and work at the birth center full-time. It's been a real adventure ever since.
I truly hope that Mountain Midwifery Center can be a viable alternative for families for years to come. The birth center was built by many people as a place we wished we had for the births of our children. My particular passion is to see midwifery care and supporting services (like breastfeeding) be a sustainable business model serving thousands of families every year. My vision is that affordable, high value, evidence-based midwifery care will become a viable option for women who want to practice midwifery AND support their family.
If you ever have any questions about our care, policies, experiences, etc., you can find my contact info on the Contact Us page.
Mountain Midwifery Center, Inc. © 2012 All rights reserved.