Finally a Family of Three - Michelle Coy
Physicians: Kenneth Kaufmann, MD; Eeka Marshall, MD
Preparing for your first child can be exciting, overwhelming, and a little scary. Imagine adding the stress of moving to a different state on top of that. At three months pregnant, Michelle Coy, 30, and her husband, Steven, were beginning to feel all the stress of their situation.
“I was very apprehensive about having to find a new provider part way through my pregnancy,” said Michelle.
After arriving in Berrien Springs and getting settled, the couple began looking for obstetricians in the area. After a little research, they both agreed that Southwestern Medical Clinic, Center for Women’s Health in Niles was the right fit.
“I was nervous about meeting a new doctor, especially going in by myself to some appointments, but the staff did a great job of introducing me to all of the providers and making sure I was comfortable,” said Michelle.
Michelle had a smooth pregnancy and a very laid-back approach to how she wanted the birth to go.
“I didn’t have an in-depth birth plan, but I did prefer to deliver naturally,” said Michelle.
Michelle and Steven’s baby was just as laid back about his delivery as his parents were. Michelle’s due date of December 20 came and went, and still no baby. At Michelle’s 40-week appointment she was asked to choose a date within that week to get induced. Steven and Michelle ended up deciding on Christmas night since Steven was off work. Steven is a hospitalist at Spectrum Health Lakeland.
The young couple arrived at Lakeland Hospital in Niles on Christmas night and were greeted by obstetrician Kenneth Kaufmann, MD. Dr. Kaufmann started the induction process.
“Dr. Kaufmann was wonderful and so kind,” said Michelle. “You can tell he truly cares about his patients and listens to their input.”
The labor was slow moving and with every hour, Michelle grew more and more weary.
“My nurses were amazing and explained how to push and gave me a game plan,” said Michelle. “But nothing was working.”
There was still not adequate progress after several hours of labor and Dr. Kaufmann’s shift was ending.
“I immediately started crying,” said Michelle. “I didn’t want to switch doctors in the middle of labor.”
Obstetrician, Eeka Marshall, MD, came on and discussed Michelle’s care with Dr. Kaufmann.
“She discussed the possibility of a C-section with Steven and I.” said Michelle. “I was stubborn and told her I wanted to keep trying. After trying for several more hours she said it was no longer safe to wait since it has been over eighteen hours since my water broke. I trusted Dr. Marshall and ultimately wanted to do what was best for the baby.” said Michelle.
Michelle was taken in for an emergency C-section led by Dr. Marshall. Not long after, Steven and Michelle were introduced to their baby boy, Josiah.
“As soon as I saw him I knew why he stubbornly refused to come out,” said Michelle.
Josiah weighed ten pounds, eleven ounces and was twenty-one inches long.
The C-section went well and Michelle had no further complications. However, Josiah developed jaundice. Jaundice is caused by the breakdown of red blood cells and results in yellow coloring in the skin and eyes. Michelle and Steven were told Josiah would need to stay until his bilirubin levels dropped. Unfortunately, his levels continued to rise and he would need the Bili light and Bili blanket, two treatments used to decrease the bilirubin in a baby’s blood.
On top of this, Josiah was not latching well during breastfeeding and needed the guidance of lactation consultant, Jeanette Dolan.
“Jeanette was so wonderful,” said Michelle. “She would stay with me during the feeding to help latch and relatch and was a calming presence during a stressful time.”
Even with the help of Jeanette, Michelle was not producing as much milk as Josiah needed and so she decided to use donor milk.
“I love that Lakeland had donor milk available for mothers like me who needed a little extra help,” said Michelle. “I was able to mix the donor milk with mine to ensure Josiah was getting enough.”
After almost five days in the hospital, Josiah’s jaundice had improved and Michelle and Steven were eager to go home and enjoy being a family of three.
“I am so thankful for the care I received at the Niles BirthPlace,” said Michelle. “They really care about their patients and it shows.”