Nurses React To Sibling's Post Honoring Her Twin’s Job As An RN
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Laura McIntyre was just trying to do what sisters do when she posted a picture of her identical twin, Caty Nixon, a labor and delivery nurse: give her sibling a sweet shout-out on social media.
But her post quickly went viral, gaining traction as over 92,000 people shared her words and 15,000 comments poured in praising her sister alongside her. And just what was all the fuss about?
Well, McIntyre was honoring the work that her sister does as a Registered Nurse.
Clearly, the post hit an emotional note, garnering support from many others who are recognizing the tremendous effort and sacrifice that nurses give every single shift, day or night.
A Picture That Says a Thousand Words
In the post, McIntyre shared a picture of her sister Nixon in a chair, still dressed in her scrubs, uneaten food on her lab, as she sobs into her hand. Her sister reveals that she was inspired to write her October 10th post after realizing Nixon had just finished her 4th day of working shifts in a row, a total of 53 hours in four days, not including commuting.
The picture she posted was the aftermath of a day back in July when the hardworking nurse had delivered a stillborn baby—an unimaginable tragedy for the family members and incredibly difficult experience to navigate as a caregiver.
As McIntyre goes on to point out, the fact that her sister is a labor and delivery nurse means that many people mistakenly think that her job only entails all the happy moments of smooth deliveries and healthy babies; however, in reality, her job means navigating the very beginnings and ends of life in some of the tensest, most emotional situations conceivable. She pointed out all of the difficult things her sister has had to deal with:
“They see panic & anxiety when a new mom is scared,” Nixon’s twin wrote. “They see fear when a stat C-section is called. They see peace when the mom has support from her family—because not all new moms do. They see teenagers giving birth. They see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing. They see CPS come.”
And sadly, in cases of infant loss, it is the nurse who steps up to care for the grieving mother. “Did you know that they have to make arrangements for the funeral home to come pick up the baby?” she asks in one sobering sentence. “I didn't either.”
Many bereaved parents left comments in the post, especially with October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, detailing their own experiences with nurses who had made a difference throughout their difficult losses.
“We could not have had more compassionate nurses when our son was stillborn,” Megan Forti wrote. “And to think they grieved with us. Amazing.”
More Than A Job
Nixon told Good Morning America that the raw emotion she felt that day clearly came through in the picture her sister posted, and she believes that’s what people responded to the most. Her sister’s tribute, along with the touching photo, truly exemplified how nursing goes beyond anything that is “just” a job.
While Nixon believes the best part of nursing is the connections you can make with other people, she also shared that the hardest part is realizing that even the closest connection can’t change a heartbreaking situation.
“The worst part is knowing that even when you've done everything you can for someone, we're not able to change the outcome (for fetal loss, poor prognosis, etc.); always feeling like you have to be strong for your patient — when on the inside, you are falling apart," she explained.
Both Nixon and McIntyre have admitted that they're shocked to see how much attention the post received — with Nixon especially shying away from the spotlight (typical nurse, right?) — but they are glad to see nurses getting the recognition that they deserve in any way. Even if, as McIntyre laughingly described, they have to dress “like a blueberry” as her sister does.
Nurses deserve all the thanks, because as McIntyre summed up in her post, addressing both her twin and all the nurses out there: “You are SPECIAL. You bless your patients and their families more than you will ever know. Thank you for all that you do.”
Spoken like a true sister.