In Memory of Nichole
Nichole Jarvis was born on Valentines Day and her birthdays were always a celebration of love. Love was abundant in Nichole’s life, most especially with her dad. She was a daddy’s girl and the two shared a special bond. He taught her many things but most especially showed her how a man should treat a woman.
In her junior year of high school, Nichole, a cheerleader, found those same qualities in Chris, a senior, and star football player. Chris graduated in 2001 and enlisted in the Navy a few months later in August. Nichole started her senior year that fall. They got married after Nichole graduated high school on August 17th, 2002. Soon, they were relocated to Norfolk, Virginia.
Nichole was incredibly proud of her husband’s bravery and commitment to protecting our country’s freedom. While he was away, she busied herself with friends and attended school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. She deeply enjoyed working at the local family medical practice in Norfolk, Virginia.
Married for 4 years, Nichole and Chris cherished their time together but knew they wanted to start a family. Nichole’s first pregnancy ended in a molar pregnancy and they had to wait a year to try again. In July of 2007, they were blessed with their first daughter, MaKayla. Nichole doted on her daughter and spent many months parenting alone while Chris was away. Shortly before another deployment, Nichole met another mom, Amber. They hit if off right away and two became inseparable. Their girls, both 18 months, also became the best of friends. They spent many weeks and weekends in each others company while Chris was away.
A few years later, a job took Amber to Texas but their friendship endured though daily phone calls, video chats and regular visits. They vacationed together and visited each other about every 6 months. As their girls grew bigger, both Nichole and Amber wanted to grow their families. Amber became pregnant with her son and shortly thereafter Nichole became pregnant with her second daughter. The two of them were so excited to share some of their pregnancy together and also began to make plans for Chris and Nichole to move to Texas. Amber delivered her son after many episodes of preterm labor and experienced severe postpartum depression. Nichole was an amazing friend and supported Amber through such a difficult time. Amber describes their friendship as more of a sisterhood. Amber, a doula, planned to coach Nichole and Chris over the phone during labor. Nichole was given a green light to do vaginal birth after her previous c-section.
Sadly, that day would be their last phone call. Early labor began for Nichole days before she was admitted to the hospital. She was admitted after her water broke at home. Once admitted, and after laboring most of the day, her progression slowed and Chris and Nichole decided it was best to proceed with a c-section. Back in Texas, Amber and Nichole and Chris chatted throughout the course of the day about every hour. Amber offered suggestions and comfort and reassurance to Chris and Nichole. In the early hours of January 30, 2013 baby Paityn was born. Just 4 minutes after Paityn was delivered, Nichole suffered a cardiac arrest while having her tubes tied. The physicians worked on her for nearly 2 hours employing everything they could to save her life. She only briefly had a sustained heart rate and arrested again. A cardiothoracic surgeon was consulted for possible cardiac bypass but the efforts to save her were futile and she passed away at 6:10am with Chris by her side and Amber on the phone. Nichole was 27 years old.
Chris was left to raise his two beautiful daughters alone. Although his military training helped him become strong, resolute, and stoic, nothing could or had prepared him for this devastating loss.
Determined to raise MaKayla and Paityn the way Nichole wanted, Chris continued their plans to move to Texas and be near Amber and her family. Wanting to honor Nichole’s memory, both Chris and Amber are working with the AFE Foundation to establish the Nichole Jarvis Shiflett Memorial Scholarship Fund. Nichole had planned to return to school to receive her RN and always wanted to work in Labor and Delivery (L&D). Scholarships in her honor will be offered to current L&D nurses desiring greater training and continuing education in amniotic fluid embolism.