1 in 80,000 Odds - Nafitiri Mills
Physicians: Alissa Conklin, MD; Benjamin Wood, DO
Nafitiri Mills was battling severe stomach pain that ended with a trip to the emergency department. She and her boyfriend, Michael Osler, who live in Benton Harbor, went to Lakeland Medical Center to figure out what was going on. They never expected the cause of the stomach pain to be what it was and were left speechless with the news.
The young couple was pregnant, with twins.
Nafitiri and Michael were shocked and overwhelmed by the news at first but once they had the chance to digest the idea of becoming parents to twins, they were ultimately excited. Nafitiri, age 18, and Michael, age 20, have been together for four years and were excited to embark on the journey to becoming parents together.
Obstetrician, Benjamin Wood, DO, and the InterCare team provided prenatal care to Nafitiri and helped ensure she and the babies were healthy and the couple was prepared for what to expect during labor and delivery. Throughout the following months the babies were developing normally, and it wasn’t until six weeks before the due date that the Mills were told they would need to deliver the babies through cesarean section.
Nafitiri and Michael made their way to the hospital on delivery day and Nafitiri admits her nerves were starting to get to her. The cesarean section would be her first major surgery and as she got closer to the operating room her fears worsened. Michael was by her side before, during, and after the procedure with his primary focus to keep her as calm as possible.
Michael shared, “I played word games with her to try and keep her mind on something other than the surgery.”
Twins Ma’Khai and Malachi were born two minutes apart on February 4, 2019. Obstetrician, Alissa Conklin, MD, delivered Ma’khai first and as she was getting ready to deliver Malachi, something that most physicians don’t get a chance to experience happened.
“The second baby boy had begun delivering himself – his head was already out,” said Dr. Conklin. “Instead of breaking the sac and expediting delivery, I allowed this baby to essentially deliver himself en caul meaning still entirely in the amniotic sac. It was stunning to witness what most babies look like when they are inside the womb. An en caul delivery during a c-section is something that happens in only one out of every 80,000 births.”
As Dr. Conklin realized what was happening, she quickly informed Michael so he could witness it. Michael jumped up from his seat and got the delivery on camera. He recorded the entire occurrence on his cell phone as Dr. Conklin expertly guided the delivery of baby number two.
With both babies in his arms, Michael shared, “I remember their first cry and when I saw them, thinking to myself how much they look like me.”
“All I could keep thinking is, I made these, and how they look so much like their father,” said Nafitiri.
“Every c-section and birth is unique and I make sure to walk through all birthing options and choices within the realm of safety with each new mom,” said Dr. Conklin. “Michael was so attentive to Nafitiri during the entire c-section, the love he has for her and their new family showed through every word and gesture he shared with her.”
Nafitiri and Michael both shared how impressed they were with their birth expertise and the genuine care each member of their care team showed.
“The way they care for the babies is so genuine, and the seriousness they showed in my recovery from the cesarean section was comforting,” said Nafitiri.
Looking ahead, the happy couple is excited to watch their sons grow, hear their voices for the first time, and watch as they develop their own unique personalities.