Ashley Carter
January 2022
Labor and Delivery
University of Virginia Health
United States




Ashley was an angel for me on that day. She stepped in and took my mother's place and became that sweet nurturing person I needed at that moment.
In the middle of the night, I got woken up by contractions. I decided to head to labor and delivery again for the 4th time! This time I decided to call my mother to drive me. Instead of waking up my husband getting our 18th month ready to be dropped off. I didn't want to do this again for the 4th time just to be sent home. I felt so embarrassed heading in because the previous time they just sent me home because I was 38 weeks with contractions and wasn't progressing. I arrived at labor and delivery at 5 am. I was greeted by a nurse (Ashley) who was super sweet and guided me to a room.

Whereas usual they monitor you I was at 4 centimeters just like the previous times. My heart sunk and felt like I would be in pain forever. Ashley quickly told me not to worry. Offered me water. The doctor came in and said I would be monitored for 1 hour to see if I would progress. My pain quickly got worse within 45 minutes I couldn't take it, called the nurse who came in fairly quickly. She got the doctor to come back and check me; I was at 6 centimeters. They told me I would be admitted.

My pain continued to get worse and worse. Within the 15 minutes it took for them to move me to my room I was 8 centimeters dilated! I was in so much pain I lost it. I was crying and screaming. They paged the anesthesiologist to come down. While this was happening my sweet nurse was helping me breathe through contractions calming me down; Ashley had taken my mom's spot. My mom has high blood pressure and began feeling like she was going to faint seeing all the commotion I was causing due to being in pain. My mom was quickly sat down and tended to. The anesthesiologist came down and got my epidural; I was screaming my head off. Ashley was holding me/ hugging me through the whole process reminding me to breathe that it was going to be okay.

1st epidural was a failure. So they asked if I wanted a second one to which I quickly said yes. I was screaming through this whole process squeezing the heck out of Ashley's arms. Telling her I couldn't do anymore felt so defeated! Ashley said, "Hey momma, look at me, look at me, breathe, breathe. You got this it will be okay!" I felt this sense of calmness and I wasn't screaming anymore; I began breathing. I hadn't even realized that the morning shift nurse had come in and was just in the background assisting. The anesthesiologist said to lie me back down. Slowly my contractions faded away. I stopped squeezing Ashley and she held my hand. The morning shift nurse stepped in and Ashley gave report. I remember her saying that she would be back that night and she would check on me.

It was around 8:30 ish in the morning by the time Ashley left. I had my baby at 1:16 pm. Got moved to another unit. Around 7:30 pm Ashley walked into my room to check in on me as she had said. I shedded a few tears; I thought she had forgotten about me, to be honest. Nurses are busy. She came in I gave her an update let her know my baby was in the NICU. She told me everything would be fine that he will be okay. Gave me a hug. I couldn't stop thanking her, I told her I would continue to pray for her and her life. She changed my life. I'm so thankful to have had her with me.

Ashley was an angel for me on that day. She stepped in and took my mother's place and became that sweet nurturing person I needed at that moment. Ashley went above and beyond to make me feel less vulnerable and embarrassed. She made me feel safe! Everyone deserves a nurse Ashley in their lives.

Ashley if you ever see this, thank you so much! I continue to pray for you every night! I'm so so so thankful for you. You're an amazing soul. You changed my life. I hope to embody your kindness through my everyday life.