After delivering an estimated 10,000 babies, a Sioux Falls doctor is retiring.
This will be a memorable moment for Dr. Dean Madison. After nearly 40 years as an OB/GYN, this is his last day on the job.
"It's very hard to give it up," Madison said.
He estimates he's delivered about 10,000 babies since he first stepped into an exam room.
"It's still such a great honor because they are all different. And they are all very special because I get to be the first one to see and touch their baby and be entrusted with that care," Madison said.
He's even delivered multiple generations of some families. That includes the Ust family. Dr. Madison delivered Michelle Ust almost 32 years ago. Just last month, he helped welcome her baby girl, Sayler, into the world.
"Literally, I've known him my whole entire life. Just knowing he's had the extra expertise and is somebody you can be confident in and trust was really nice," Michelle said.
Both Michelle and her mother say they'll always remember the moment Madison introduced them to their baby girls.
"I do remember that day very well. I had gone in the night before and I had Michelle (via) c-section," Doris Ust said.
"You make conversation right after delivery, and I'm always amazed that parents will come back 20 years later and remember exactly what I said," Madison said.
In the almost 40 years, Dr. Madison has delivered babies a lot has changed, especially technology.
"The early ultrasounds were quite primitive. They would just take still pictures, like an old-fashioned photograph," Madison said.
Technology now allows doctors to often determine a baby's gender, whether the mother is expecting more than one baby, and whether the baby may have birth defects. Madison admits that sometimes it feels as though he's had two patients instead of one.
"The baby wasn't as much of a patient as it is now because we couldn't see it. All we could do is feel it and listen to it," Madison said.
While Madison predicts technology will continue to improve long after he's no longer delivering babies, he's certain that one aspect of the practice will never change -- the feeling of welcoming a new baby into the world.
"This is a great opportunity for me to say thank you to the thousands of patients who have allowed me to be part of their life," Madison said.