A woman’s Facebook post recently went viral after she snapped a photo of her exhausted twin sister, who works as a nurse, and wrote a heartfelt note that reveals just how much people in the medical field sacrifice to care for their patients.
Caty Nixon, a labor and delivery nurse in McKinny, Texas, had what her sister described as “a particularly hard day” when she showed up at Laura McIntyre’s house in July.
After working 53 hours over the span of four days, Nixon had been one of the nurses on a team delivering a stillborn child. The heartbreaking birth, combined with the exhaustion from her other deliveries, led Nixon to McIntyre’s house for encouragement and support, in need of rest and the comfort of family.
But while she wasn’t looking, the nurse’s twin snapped a photo that would soon spark gratitude and respect from thousands online.
“She’s gonna kill me for this pic,” McIntyre’s Oct. 10 post began. “But can we just give it up for nurses for a minute?”
“[C]aty just wrapped up her fourth shift in a row,” McIntyre wrote. “[S]he usually doesn’t get a chance to eat lunch or even drink much water. (& she has to dress like a blueberry.. i mean, come on).
“She is so good at what she does that she often forgets how to take care of herself while she’s taking care of her patients.”
The picture shows Nixon depleted and emotional, as she finally eats a meal at the end of the long day.
“[H]ave you guys ever really thought about what a labor & delivery nurse sees?” McIntyre wrote. “[T]hey see great joy in smooth deliveries & healthy moms & babies. they see panic & anxiety when a new mom is scared. they see fear when a stat c-section is called. they see peace when the mom has support from her family – bc not all new moms do.
“[T]hey see teenagers giving birth. they see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing. they see cps come. they see funeral homes come. did you know that they have to make arrangements for the funeral home to come pick up the baby?” She added, “I didn’t either.”
The proud sister ended her message with a tribute, thanking Nixon and the others for all that they do each day to provide comfort and care for the patients and families who depend on them.
“Caty (& all other nurses) – you are SPECIAL,” she wrote. “[Y]ou bless your patients & their families more than you will ever know.”
“[T]hank you for all that you do,” the post read.
The heartwarming message quickly went viral, as Facebook users were eager to share their own thanks and stories of the nurses who had been there to help them during their most difficult days.
Nixon was overwhelmed by the response, humbly thankful that her sister had included others from her profession in the tribute, too.
“I don’t like being in the spotlight, and I love that Laura wrote a tribute to not only me – but to all nurses – for our passion and dedication, even through the roughest days,” she told “Good Morning America.”
She said that nurses often come home on nights like the one shown in her sister’s picture, struggling with the weight of all they had seen throughout the day. She said that the hardest part of her job is when a patient’s fate is out of her hands.
Labor and delivery nurses deal with a multitude of emotions, always surrounded by those who are eagerly awaiting the beginning of a new life. And whether those new lives are welcomed into loving families, or brought into difficult and sometimes troubling circumstances, labor nurses are there to witness their precious beginnings.
“We’re not able to change the outcome (for fetal loss, poor prognosis, etc.)” She told “Good Morning America,” adding that as a nurse you are “Always feeling like you have to be strong for your patient – when on the inside, you are falling apart.”
However, Nixon also acknowledged that this is only half of the job. And even on those challenging days, she is glad to be there to support her patients.
“The best part of nursing is making connections with people, being the calm in the storm, being their cheerleader when they need encouragement, and being the shoulder to cry on when they are hurting,” she said.
Here’s to the nurses who work so hard to help bring life into the world every single day. In spite of all the challenges, they work to make families’ dreams come true.
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