ATLANTA — A woman took a quick restroom break at a Fulton County McDonald's and walked out with a newborn! Yes, you read that right.
Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Alandria Worthy started getting contractions but held off on going to the hospital.
"I read to not go to the hospital as soon as you start feeling them because they were still 15 to 20 minutes apart, so I didn't want to be in the hospital pushing hours and hours," she recalled.
Then around 7:30 a.m. that same day, her contractions started to pick up, to about a minute and a half apart.
Her fiancé, Deandre Phillips, helped put everything in the car to rush to the hospital. The couple had just moved to Georgia on Saturday and stayed in an Airbnb about 45 minutes from the hospital.
"I immediately felt like I had to use the bathroom," Worthy explained. "So we stopped by McDonald's to use the bathroom."
They stopped at the McDonald's on Fulton Industrial Boulevard for what they expected would be a quick stop, but the visit turned into a speedy delivery.
"I went into the bathroom and my water broke immediately," she said. "It was an experience because it happened so fast."
Worthy said she started screaming, and a woman came in to help.
"She was like, 'Are you okay?' and I was like, 'No, I'm in labor,'" Worthy said. "I said, 'Somebody get the man in the car - I need him!'"
The lady who walked in the bathroom was Tunisia Woodward, General Manager for the McDonald's on Fulton Industrial Boulevard.
"I thought they was joking, and I open this door, didn’t see anyone, but I saw feet [under the door]," Woodward said. "I opened, and she was on this toilet lying back, screaming. Then I knew to tell my crew; we’re having a baby today."
Woodward and her two colleagues, Sha’querria Kaigler and Keisha Blue-Murray, quickly sprung into action.
"Sha'querria grabbed the phone, dialed 911. Keisha ran, looking at the door," Woodward said.
Meanwhile, Phillips started to realize this "quick" bathroom break was taking longer than expected and ran inside.
"He ran into them at the same time and said, 'Babe, are you alright?' and I said, 'No, she's coming. She's coming," Worthy added. "I was like, we're about to have a baby, and his instincts kicked in immediately."
Everyone quickly got to work.
"She was on the toilet screaming," Phillips remembered. "I was trying to calm her down because she was frantic. I was like just breathe. I got her on the floor, and I took off my clothes. The ladies at McDonald's were at her front side, holding her hands, I had her feet propped up on my knees. We told her to push three pushes. She was a fighter."
Three pushes and less than fifteen minutes later, Nandi Ariyah Moremi Phillips was born.
"I see her head! I see her head," Phillips acted out the experience. "Push, push, push."
"Oh my God, it's still crazy that it happened," Worthy replied.
"Yes, she popped out onto my hand," Phillips said.
Looking back, they both believe Nandi was just moments away from being a highway baby.
"I was on the phone with emergency dispatch so they were telling us what to do through the phone. That was the good thing that we had many people there – because I wouldn’t be able to multitask, if I was in the highway in the car and the traffic," Phillips said.
They say it was "divine intervention" that brought them to McDonald's to get help from the three women.
"We all are mothers and so we put our heads together and all we needed daddy to do was catch the baby. And he did," Woodward said. "It’s a day I’ll never forget. I’m going to tell this story from here on out."
Although the baby's birth certificate reads "Nandi Ariyah Moremi Phillips," the McDonald's heroes have given the baby girl their own nickname.
"I said, we're going to name her Little Nugget. That's her nickname: McDonald's Little Nugget," Woodward said.
That nickname has already been a hit with the whole family.
"She's definitely a nugget," Phillips agreed. "My parents loved the name, too. We were like, okay, it fits her. My little nugget."
Steve Akinboro, local McDonald’s owner of the restaurant, awarded the employees with $250 gift cards to help with their Thanksgiving dinner celebrations.
But Woodward has other plans in store. She said she'll be using all the money on Nandi.
"This was my reward but I’m going to spend it all on Lil' Nugget. It’s all going to her. Clothes and pampers, some onesies, some socks. Everything is going to her," Woodward said.
To her, the moment and this memory were more rewarding than the recognition.
"It gave me a new look, a new awe; it woke me up. Just helping bring a life in! It was just amazing," Woodward added.
She said Little Nugget also inspired her to fulfill her dream of going into culinary school.
"I’ve been on a high ever since," she added. "Even today, cooking, it put a spark in me to just go for one of my dreams and that’s to go to culinary school so that’s what I be doing after Little Nugget sparked me up!"
As for Phillips and Worthy, who just moved to Georgia on Saturday, they plan on heading back to the McDonald's soon to show their appreciation.
"We want to wish them a happy Thanksgiving and thank them for helping deliver our beautiful Nugget," Phillips said.
"Yes, our Thanksgiving blessing," Worthy added.