Labor of Love: A Nurse’s Story

Labor and delivery nurse

Cecily Johnson (Albuquerque, NM) has been a Labor and Delivery nurse for thirty-four years. As a young single mother, she’d been working as a nurse’s aide when she saw the importance and value of being a nurse. “It’s a truly wonderful profession,” she said, “And it paid well enough to support me and my son.”

She chose to focus on Labor & Delivery early on. “It’s just so amazing–you work with someone all day, watching them work and struggle to bring the baby into the world and suddenly, the baby is there and perfect and fine and the parents are just so happy and excited. It’s such a great joy.”

It’s not always happy; sometimes tragedy strikes and a baby is lost. “As horrible as it is, and as sad as it makes me, there is something really holy about being able to help a family when they’ve lost a child. Being there for both birth and death is a rare privilege only a nurse can enjoy.”

After many years as a staff nurse, Cecily decided to accept a position as a teaching nurse manager. But she still loves working with families when they deliver their babies. “Nursing is hard work,” she says. “But being there, being that nursing hand, makes it worthwhile.”