Midwives celebrate 50 years of service at Hennepin Healthcare

There aren’t many workplaces where coworkers can say they’ve helped deliver each other’s babies, but Hennepin Healthcare is one, and on Saturday Minnesota’s first certified midwife service celebrated 50 years of delivering babies.

It can be one of the most difficult and one of the happiest moments in a family’s life, whether it takes hours or days, to welcome a newborn baby into this world.

"You talk to women who are 85 years old and they can tell you about their labor and their birth because it’s such a powerful experience," midwife Maggie Pastarr told FOX 9.

After 50 years of those experiences, Saturday was a day for midwives in the Twin Cities to reunite with many of the families they’ve cared for - five decades and 30,500 babies later.

"I’ve been present for probably close to 2,000 births," Pastarr said. "It’s just this magical privilege of being with women and with families at this incredible time of their life."

Pastarr has been on both ends of the experience as well. She helped deliver her colleague Rita O’Reilly’s child, sparking a lifelong friendship with Reilly Goodwin.

"Maggie has been there literally since day one," Goodwin said. "She’s been there at my wedding and birthday parties, she’s been a steadfast force in my life."

Rita returned the favor, helping deliver Maggie’s child. "I was at Maggie’s birth of her children and she was at the birth of my children," O’Reilly explained.

Bonded for life, by the gift of life, the relationship between the midwives has only deepened over the years.

"We took it to the next generation, and I was at the birth of her grandchildren and she attended the birth of my grandchildren," O’Reilly said.