To bring a standalone birth center to Colorado Springs that is available for use by anyone. A place where doctors, midwives, nurses, mothers, fathers and even children are welcome.
My name is Ron Stauffer. Originally from California, I live in Colorado Springs. I'm an entrepreneur, husband and father. I have a wife and five children (four of them were born at home with a midwife).
I come from a family tradition of institutional medicine: my Grandpa is a pharmacist; my Mom is a Registered Nurse (RN) who worked in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and is a Legal Nurse Consultant and Medical Billing Specialist; my Dad worked for twenty years as a medical salesman selling hospital beds, IV-therapy supplies and medical equipment to hospitals; my only Aunt is a Surgeon; and right after high school, I went to EMT school and became a certified Emergency Medical Technician.
I was born via C-Section, as were all eight of my siblings (if you're counting, that's nine C-Sections in all).
For years, I believed in the mechanical method and approach of medical organizations and hospitals, until I moved out on my own and started doing research and asking questions. When I got married and my wife was pregnant, we wanted to try a natural childbirth, but since there were no birth centers in Colorado Springs, we reluctantly signed up for what we believed was our only option: a hospital birth. Our baby was born safely at the hospital, but I was so frustrated by our experience there that I decided we would try a homebirth for our next child.
Needless to say, when I told my friends and family that my wife was going to try giving birth in our home without the assistance of drugs or interventions, they were not pleased at all. Some people were scared for us, some told us we were being irresponsible, some said having a homebirth would be "gross," and some even told us that we were being dangerous and that I would be endangering not only my baby's life but my wife's as well.
Nevertheless, I was determined that we would try birth outside of a hospital. And I'm certainly glad we did—we have now had four successful births at home with a wonderful midwife. All of them have been relaxed, gentle, and very safe.
Since I have seen childbirth both inside and outside a hospital, I like to think that I have a unique perspective on birth. In addition, I've also found that simply being a father who has an opinion on the matter is somewhat unusual in itself, and most people I meet are pleasantly surprised to hear that I am equally as passionate about homebirth as my wife (after all, she's the one actually giving birth!). In this sense, I am quite comfortable being the only man in the room, and I firmly believe that, sadly, the father's role in childbirth in the 21st century has been reduced to almost nothing by modern medicine.
In contrast, I am extremely passionate, extremely proud, and find it extremely fulfilling to be able to say that I have helped deliver four of my own children in my own home.
When my wife and I started our family, we were nearly the only ones we knew giving birth at home. In 2012, as our friends have started marrying and having children, they have begun asking questions about our experience and are seeking an alternative to a hospital birth. However, most of them find homebirth a little too "hard core" for their taste, which begs the question: "is there a third option?" As it stands, the answer is no: there is no realistic third option for most families in the Pikes Peak Region. Actually, there is only one standalone birth center in the entire State of Colorado and it's located in Englewood, which is just too far away for most Colorado Springs families.
My vision is to create a birth center in Downtown Colorado Springs to serve our growing community. This birth center would be a place where anyone can have a quiet and gentle birth experience, supported by a courteous team that empowers mothers to make their own decisions and take control of their births. A place with all the amenities you could want: labor and birth pools, excercise balls, massage tables, and more. A place where mothers are not treated as sick patients, but as incredible women who deserve respect and should be given what they want during their labor and birth, whether that's low lighting, music, aromatherapy, food, a massage, privacy, or even the ability to bring in friends and family members. A place where fathers can be a part of the experience and participate as much—or as little—as they want.
The opportunity is great: El Paso County has a population of more than 635,000 people1 and 227,000 families2, and we're still growing. I believe there is more than enough demand to support at least one birth center, if not more.
I envision this happening in the next 2-5 years, and I'm going to need a lot of help. I am looking for people to join me! If you are interested, please email me and let me know so we can work together to bring a viable third option to the families in our area.