Nurse's Sister Captures Aftermath Of An Emotional Shift In One Photo

Kelsey Borresen

Nurses are getting some much-deserved praise right now, thanks to one woman’s viral Facebook post.

On Oct. 10, Laura McIntyre posted a photo she took of twin sister Caty Nixon, a labor and delivery nurse, who was exhausted and in tears after a particularly grueling string of shifts. The emotional photo and the accompanying caption have been shared more than 110,000 times since then. 

“[Caty] 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,” McIntyre wrote.

McIntyre — who lives in Forney, Texas — captured the powerful moment back in July when Nixon came to her house after having delivered a stillborn baby. 

“Have you guys ever really thought about what a labor & delivery nurse sees?” McIntyre wrote. “They see great joy in smooth deliveries & healthy moms & babies. they see panic and anxiety when a new mom is scared. they see fear when a stat c-section is called.”

McIntyre had been holding onto the photo for months, waiting for the right time to post it, she told HuffPost. Last week, she finally wrote the tribute honoring her sister’s courage and resilience and shared it online. 

“It’s hard for her to accept a compliment, so I thought maybe she’d accept it through social media,” McIntyre said. 

Laura McIntyre (left) with twin sister Caty Nixon. (Photo: Laura McIntyre)

In the post, McIntyre also highlighted some of the most challenging moments that Nixon and other labor and delivery nurses face on the job.

“They see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing,” McIntyre wrote. “They see cps [Child Protective Services] 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? i didn’t either.”

Nixon has no idea “what an incredible nurse she is,” her sister told HuffPost. 

“She feels everything her patients feel — excitement, joy, love, fear, anxiety, heartbreak,” McIntyre said. “She’s with them physically, mentally and emotionally. And she has to celebrate and mourn with them.”

McIntyre said she never thought the tribute would blow up the way it has. One of the most gratifying aspects has been the many people “sharing their most vulnerable experiences and tagging their favorite nurses” in the post, she said.

“The best comments are the ones where Caty’s past patients recognize her from the photo and praise her. It’s so special!” McIntyre added. “I hope everyone takes away how easy it is to just simply have a heart of gratitude and truly how far a simple ‘thank you’ can go!”

Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.

Related Coverage

22 Gorgeous Birth Photos That Celebrate Labor And Delivery Nurses

'When I Tell People My Wife Is An Emergency Room Nurse They Are Amazed'

10 Things Nurses Would Never Keep In Their Medicine Cabinets

Also on HuffPost

"As a doula and birth photographer I always want the best care for my clients. Nurses can play a huge role in a women's birthing experience. Sarah Deitrich, an R.N. at Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center in Santa Cruz Ca, goes above and beyond with every patient she cares for her. Her kindness and expertise is like no other in her field. I know when my birthing mamas are in her care they will feel loved, supported, and respected. It is always a privilege when I get to work alongside her."
"And she turned around presenting the most beautiful creature they had ever laid eyes on!"
"Student midwife Kathy labored for over twenty hours, and L&D nurse Jen stayed by her side for hours. During the course of labor, they chatted and found out they were actually neighbors and are now great friends. What a wonderful way to start to a friendship!"
"Mom was having a difficult time effectively pushing. The midwife and L&D nurse decided that the towel pull technique would be the best thing to try. This nurse was amazing! She not only stabilized the mom's foot, she also pulled with the incredible strength, helping her successfully deliver her nine pound, five ounce son."
"This was actually the nurse's step grandson. Her husband passed away a couple of years prior to the birth, so it was very emotional."
"This amazing mama welcomed two sweet boys. Each with a their own nurse."
"This image shows a nurse comforting a mother after the sudden loss of her baby. It’s a sad story but sheds light on a very caring nurse, who is shown here gifting this mom with a silver heart charm (in her hand)."
"This mama had a great birth team. Here, the nurse is attaching a mobile fetal monitor so the mama could move around. She welcomed her second baby boy to the world shortly after this photo was taken."
"This tiny baby was born via C-section at 25 weeks, and cared for diligently by her amazing team of nurses. You can tell they love their job!"
"Mom had been in prodromal labor for two days, but this nurse managed to reassure her that everything was fine. She had such a loving way to talk and add a bit of humor to her presence. And she she spoke, mom started to cry healing cathartic tears."
"The midwife in the image was so calm and centered on KS at all times. She calmed her when it was all getting too much and bought her back to a calm and focused state."
"Knowing that their baby would be born very sick, this family's nurse stayed with them and supported them through the entire labor and delivery. She rejoiced with them as their baby was born and cried with them as he passed. This family will never forget her kindness and support on their hardest day."
"The support they shared for the infants, parents and doctors was invaluable."
"Walking the L&D ward accompanied by a loving, emphatic and supportive nurse."
"This mom had not one but two amazing nurses who stood by her at every step, making sure she could be as comfortable as possible despite her long labor."
"For a labor and delivery nurse, the extraordinary miracle of birth can become ordinary. Even after a decade supporting babies, Sarah still radiates joy as she stands next to a miracle being born."
"As the laboring mother struggled to figure out the most effective way to push, this nurse decided to get creative and grab a bed sheet. She made a knot at one end then held the other and told the mother to just pull like a game tug of war. She cared for both parents throughout the labor and delivery and celebrated with them as they welcomed their first son into the world."
"After a C-section, this nurse helped this stunned dad understand that it was time for him to take the scissors and cut the cord."
"Nurse Katrina was amazing! Mama had a little girl who was sunny side up. Nurse Katrina was there for all 4 HOURS of pushing to make sure that both mom and baby were ok."
"Danielle is a longtime L&D nurse and a personal friend of Heather, the mama in this image. Danielle ended up not being on shift for the births of Heather's first two children.The two were thrilled when Heather's third labor and Danielle's scheduled shift aligned for Cohen's birth and Danielle was able to support and care for her friend through her all-natural labor and delivery."
"Tristan (RN) introduces Keilan to his mother Danielle for the first time in the ICU, almost 48 hours after his birth via crash C-section. Danielle narrowly survived HELLP syndrome, which caused her liver to rupture in early labor. This image was taken just after she first regained consciousness after the C-section and surgery to repair her liver and was able to meet her baby (and learn it was a boy). There was not a dry eye on that entire floor."
"This nurse made an effort to be in the room with this mama as much as she needed but still giving her the freedom she wanted, even though there were about 6 other mamas giving birth that day! She was always so sweet every time she came in, and let mama labor the way she wanted to!"

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.