A regular day, that is, if your superpower happens to be delivering babies.
On that particular day, McFarland-Reddick, a midwife of eight years and a mom of two, was on call all weekend. Since it was a relatively quiet day at the hospital, McFarland-Reddick decided to attend a Superhero Mother-Son program at the local YMCA where — you guessed it — everybody dressed up as superheroes.
The midwife’s sister and nephew attended the Superhero program with them, just in case McFarland-Reddick got called into work. And it was a very good thing they did because not even 15 minutes into the evening was she called away to care for a mom in labor. (In case you were wondering, yes, this is exactly how the life of a midwife goes and further proof that they are indeed, real superheroes!)
While still at the YMCA, the midwife was able to talk to the laboring mom on the phone. The mom was in active labor, however, and eventually had to pass the phone to her husband as she breathed through her contractions. The YMCA was a good 45 miles away, and given the mom’s progression, McFarland-Reddick soon became worried she might miss the birth.
There was no time to waste, not even to get changed out of her Superwoman costume. So off she went, without a second thought. After all, with great power comes great responsibility. On her way, she called another CNM, Nicole Shaheen, 35, who lived closer to the hospital, and arranged for her to be the mom’s back-up midwife on the off-chance that she couldn’t make it there on time.
When she finally made it to the hospital, McFarland-Reddick came flying through the doors. Her cape streamed majestically behind her as onlookers started waving and cheering her on with chants of “Supergirl!” She soared into the patient’s room only to find that as remarkable as her “superpowers” were, sometimes babies are lightning fast. Her partner midwife had delivered the baby about five minutes earlier. But that’s didn’t stop the new mom and her family from erupting in laughter when McFarland-Reddick burst on the scene.
“They thought it was hilarious and joked that it should become the new uniform for our practice,” laughs McFarland-Reddick.
At that point, McFarland-Reddick immediately put on a pair of gloves to take over the mom’s postpartum care. It’s no surprise that the family wanted to take a few snaps of Superwoman in action. The midwife definitely notes this birth as one of her most interesting, but is also quick to note that although she was wearing the costume, it’s the mom who was the real superhero in this story.
“Moms really are superheroes,” she says. “They are responsible for teaching, caring for, and instilling values in the generation to come. I feel truly honored to be part of women’s lives in this way. Things we learn from our mothers are carried on for literally hundreds of years as traditions and values are passed down. A mother’s work is often tedious, repetitive, and much of the time thankless. In addition, it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for years on end! If that doesn’t say superhero, I don’t know what does.”
We’ll give you that one. But, let us not forget, it’s the amazing doctors, nurses, and midwives who help us become mothers in the first place.