Even if all the odds are stacked against them, moms really can do anything. It doesn't matter if they're nine months pregnant, or in this case, just a few hours postpartum, you simply can't get in a woman's way when her mind is set on something. And if the world needs just one more example of this, today's headlines proved the point that much more. As the BBC reported, just 30 minutes after an Ethiopian mom gave birth, she took several important exams right from her hospital bed.
Almaz Derese, a 21-year-old woman from Metu, Ethiopia, had hoped to finish her secondary school exams before she went into labor, according to the BBC, but her body had other plans. The exams were postponed for the Ramadan holiday, and Derese gave birth just before her first exam was scheduled to begin, according to The Independent. But it didn't stop this determined new mom from moving forward. As the BBC reported, she ended up taking not one, but three exams, right from her hospital bed only 30 minutes postpartum.
Derese completed her English, Amharic and math exams from the hospital and will finish out the remainder of her tests when she is discharged, according to The Independent. Because she studied diligently through out her pregnancy, she did not want to postpone the tests or her graduation — talk about dedication!
The new mom even credits her smooth delivery to her urgency to take the tests, as she told the BBC: "Because I was rushing to sit the exam, my labor wasn't difficult at all."
So, what's next for Derese? According to the Daily Mail, the new mom plans to prepare for her education at the university level and, hopefully, her inspiring story will encourage other girls and women to pursue their dreams of education.
Ethiopia is one of the most densely populated regions of Africa, but it is also one of the poorest, according to the World Population Review, which means that Derese's accomplishment was no small feat. And other young women in Ethiopia are following suit. According to the Borjen Project, in the past two decades, primary school enrollment among girls has increased from 21 to 49 percent.
While these numbers are promising, 65 percent of school-aged children in Ethiopia do not go to school, according to Islamic Relief Worldwide. But, there are still many factors that prevent Ethiopian girls from pursuing educational goals for themselves. According to the World Health Organization, women remain the target of gender-based violence and there's a high prevalence of early marriage and teen pregnancy.
UNICEF is just one of many organizations stationed in Ethiopia, providing educational courses for families on the dangers of child marriages and how they can affect a girl's trajectory for life, according to the organization.
Derese's child will benefit from her perseverance as well, because research has shown that children of educated mothers are more likely to attend school too, according to Study International.
It's true that every woman's birth story is different. But Derese's is definitely unique, in the best possible way. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And those test were most likely very tough post labor. Congrats on graduation and the new bundle of joy, mama!