Jen Hamilton recently went on TikTok to describe her life-changing encounter with a labor and delivery nurse. She was preparing to welcome her son into the world when he was born stillborn at 39 weeks. She had just gotten her nails and toes done so she could feel beautiful for the delivery. That’s when she noticed that she hadn’t felt her son move all day.
Hamilton went to the closest hospital where they told her they couldn’t find a heartbeat. She said her son was essentially “pronounced dead” on the scene.
The doctors told her she would have to go to her regularly scheduled delivery hospital to give birth. Her husband is a pilot and was in the air at the time, so she waited a few hours for him to land.
After they got to the hospital, they were cared for by a labor and delivery nurse named Jill, who stayed with them the entire time.
“Sunday came around and it was about time for me to start pushing,” Hamilton explains, “and Jill was technically clocked out, but she stayed with us the entire time.”
The nurse held her hand during the epidural. She cried with her as if they were going through the experience together. Hamilton said she had her husband on one side holding her hand and Jill on the other.
When she finally delivered the child, Jill used Hamilton’s phone to take photos of her, her husband, and her child. “The photos Jill took that day are the only photos I have of my son.”
Hamilton goes on to explain how much that moment meant to her.
“She’s not a photographer. She’s a nurse, but you can tell she was really trying,” Hamilton explains through the tears.
The nurse put his hands and feet in “cute positions” to capture their brief moments together on camera.
“She went and picked out a quilt that was made by volunteers at the hospital,” Hamilton adds. When the nurse gave Hamilton the quilt, she broke down in tears. “The quilt had a hot air balloon with mountains and an airplane.”
The family already had their first trip planned for December and were planning to go to the mountains, which made the whole feel that much more serendipitous. The baby’s entire nursery was airplane themed and there was even a framed picture of a hot air balloon hung over the baby’s crib at home. But the nurse didn’t know any of that when she commissioned the quilt.
“There’s nothing quite like sending your child to the morgue instead of going home with him,” she adds in the video. “But I know Jill did her best to make us feel as comfortable as possible.”
It just shows what a difference a great nurse can make.
“I always say I couldn’t have done it without my husband, but I know I couldn’t have done it without Jill.”
Hamilton even credits her with saving her life. She started hemorrhaging shortly after giving birth. Everything was a blur, but she remembers seeing Jill frantically doing everything she could to keep Hamilton alive.
#stitch with @_jen_hamilton_ my l&d nurse was a light during the worst day of my life & I believe they are super heros that deserve all the love #stillborn #stillbornawarness #angelson #laboranddelivery #landdnurse
The video has already been liked over 2 million times with tens of thousands of comments.
One person commenting told her to nominate the nurse for a DAISY Award, which is reserved for extraordinary nurses.
“There needs to be so many more Jill’s in the medical world and in the world in general,” wrote another commenter. “I know they are burnt out but more doctors and nurses need to do this.”
“I can tell you this, Jill will never forget you or your son,” reads another comment. “So sorry. Hopefully TikTok will find Jill. Your words will mean so much to her.”
“As a mortician, I can say wholeheartedly that whomever had the privilege of carrying your son out of that hospital did so with so much care and love,” wrote another person.
Lots of women and nurses shared their own experiences in the labor and delivery department.
“I’m a cardiac nurse, but I cared for a young woman who lost her baby during delivery. I cried with her most of my shift. I’ll never forget her,” said someone else.
“My son’s primary NICU nurse was off on the morning that he passed away… I looked over while holding him and there she was standing in her PJ’s 🥺,” wrote another.
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