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This viral photo reminds us all how hard labor and delivery nurses work

Caty Nixon had just finished an exhausting workweek when she broke down at her sister's house.
/ Source: TODAY

As a labor and delivery nurse, Caty Nixon cares for families in joy and sorrow.

“The good times are so good, and the bad times are heartbreaking,” Nixon, from Forney, Texas, told TODAY. “I’m here for all of it.”

Last summer, Nixon ended a 53-hour, four-day workweek by delivering a stillborn baby. The 29-year-old kept it together until she got to her twin sister's house. Then, the tears started flowing.

"I was overwhelmed and exhausted," Nixon said. "I just needed that release."

Unbeknownst to Nixon, her sister, Laura McIntyre, snapped a picture of the emotional aftermath. Last week, McIntyre shared it on Facebook, where it has since gone viral, getting more than 13,000 comments.

Still clad in hospital scrubs, Nixon is seen slumped in an armchair with a glass of water in one hand, and a plate of food on her lap.

“She is so good at what she does she often forgets how to take care of herself while she’s taking care of her patients,” McIntyre wrote in her post.

Caty Nixon has been a labor and delivery nurse at Medical City of McKinney in McKinney, Texas, for six years. Courtesy of Laura McIntyre

She then pulled back the curtain on a day in the life of a labor and delivery nurse.

“They see teenagers giving birth," McIntyre wrote. "They see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing. They see CPS come. They see funeral homes come.”

McIntyre has been inundated with messages since posting her sister's photo. One woman reached out to share how Nixon danced with her 2-year-old daughter while she was in labor. Another recalled how Nixon stayed two hours after her shift had ended to watch her give birth.

“Labor and delivery nurses are physically, mentally and emotionally there for their patients every single day,” McIntyre told TODAY. “The amount of love coming from this post is outrageous.”