Ebony Blanton
August 2020
Labor and Delivery
Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
Virginia Beach
United States




My wife and I met Ebony in the labor and delivery department. Ebony was amazing, a total Godsend to be with us for the delivery of our baby. Before I get into the details of what Ebony did that was extraordinary, allow me to set the stage for our delivery. My wife went through 21 hours of labor with our first child and had her heart set on having a natural birth. However, things didn't work out that way, she ended up needing medication to help her along. In the end, our baby's head got stuck and she had to have a C-section. She was determined to have a natural VBACS birth with this pregnancy. We hired doulas, which was a tremendous financial strain, to be with us to help coach her through delivery and provide her a sense of comfort of having a health professional she knew and had a rapport with in the room.

Then the Coronavirus pandemic hit the country. We were still hopeful that the virus would calm down enough to allow our doulas to be with us for the delivery. Finding out that this was not an option was a huge emotional blow to my wife. Additionally, I fell at work on the day before delivery which aggravated my back. I fought through back spasms during most of my wife's labor and delivery which at times made it a challenge for me to be her lone support person. But very quickly after getting settled into the delivery room our worries and concerns dwindled away. The room cleared out after the initial set up and we got a chance to get to know Ebony. Our prayers had been answered, not how we expected in achieving permission to have our doula with us, but in the kind, caring, and honest nurse, Ebony.

Ebony not only had to deal with a mother attempting a natural VBAC, but also a husband who was dealing with a tremendous level of back pain. She more than rose to the occasion. Ebony never skipped a beat in her care of my wife. She was by her side the entire time. Not only did she take great care of my wife and our baby, working to make a debut, but she also took great care of me as well. Any time she saw me grimace from a back spasm, she was quick to bring me a stool or a chair. The last thing I wanted was for my back pain to detract from the care my wife was receiving or for me to become a distraction. With Ebony in the room, this was never an issue. She effortlessly took care of both of us.

There were so many tender keepsake moments in our labor and delivery experience with Ebony caring for us that I could write a short book about all the little things she did that made us feel like we were the most important people in the world. But there are a few that really stand out to my wife and me. We created a music playlist for our birthing experience and at one point our wedding song came on. Ebony heard me mention that this was our song when it came on and needed to move my wife into a different position to help her with her pain. About 15 seconds into the song she had us slow dancing and swaying to our wedding song. There were a couple of contractions that came on while we were dancing which forced us to squat down. This was not only difficult for my wife but also hard on my back. Ebony was squatting with us helping to support my wife but also supporting my back at the same time.

Most of our playlist consisted of Christian worship music. Ebony keyed in on the fact that we shared a common faith and when the contractions were pushing my wife to the breaking point, Ebony laid hands on her and her belly and prayed the most beautiful prayer for strength, courage, and safety over my wife and the baby. I'm not a super emotional guy but I couldn't keep the tears from flowing. We hired Christian doulas to be our support for moments like this, to have someone who believed in the power of prayer to support and encourage us. We didn't have our doulas in the room with us but our prayers were answered in full with Ebony. She prayed with us, she sang and worshiped with us when labor got extremely difficult. It was absolutely beautiful.

There were a few periods of time during the transition, where the pain was unbearable for my wife and she was losing her hope, motivation, focus, and composure to keep going on. Ebony blew me away in these moments, she was able to be stern with my wife in a way that helped her to regain her composure and focus and bare down for her baby.

At 9 cm, the pain was more than my wife could bare and transition was taking a very long time. We elected to have the OB break her water to speed things up. The intensity that followed was more than my wife thought she could handle. She was getting tired and decided she wanted an epidural. When they came to administer the epidural, the contractions were coming hard and fast. I wasn't sure if they would even be able to do it because she couldn't stay still with the contractions. Ebony wrapped my wife up in her arms in a big bear hug and spoke to her sternly but with so much compassion that she was able to coach her on breathing through the contractions, keeping her still long enough for the epidural to be administered. Ebony never let go through the whole administrating of the epidural. She encouraged my wife to squeeze into her with each contraction and to breathe through it while she prayed for her and coached her through both the contractions and the epidural.

The epidural didn't have enough time to really do much for my wife as she quickly felt the urge to push after receiving the epidural. Ebony pushed her to stay focused, to not give up, and focus on her baby even though all she wanted to focus on was why she was still feeling everything. With Ebony's guidance, compassion, faithfulness, and extraordinary care, my wife was able to push our baby out basically naturally before the epidural really took effect. It was amazing to see Ebony work with my wife and get her to reach down deep and push through the tremendous pain she was feeling. Ebony truly was an angel and had our birthing plan at the forefront of her mind. My wife achieved a successful delivery thanks to the amazing care and support from Ebony. Our doulas were able to video chat in from time to time and they could not have been more complimentary of how Ebony cared for us. This would have been the first time these doulas assisted a birth at SPA and after observing Ebony in action they cannot wait for future birthing opportunities here.

We will never forget all the tender moments we experienced thanks to Ebony and her drive to help my wife achieve her birthing plan goals. We cannot say enough to express the gratitude and appreciation we have for the angel God gave us in the delivery room. Ebony is a phenomenal nurse and was absolutely amazing to me at the most important part of my life, my wife, and our growing family.