Making it through college is hard enough on its own. But add in swelling ankles, pregnancy brain, and crippling exhaustion, and you have your work cut out for you. However, the struggles can make finishing your degree all the more rewarding. This mom walked at her college graduation while in active labor, proving that nothing can stop a determined mom on a mission.
31-year-old Anshonarial Greenhouse of Marksville, Louisiana wasn't going to letter a little active labor stop her from achieving her goals. As People reported, Greenhouse began having contractions when she was only 25 weeks along in her pregnancy. But after receiving some medication to stop her early contractions, she walked across the stage at the Louisiana State University of Alexandria’s fall commencement ceremony on Dec. 13.
Greenhouse, with a little bit of help from the college's basketball coach, was able to attend the ceremony and receive her bachelor's degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, according to The LaFayette Daily Advertiser. “I knew it was a possibility I couldn’t walk (at graduation), but I really pushed to be able to go,” Greenhouse said. “In accounting, there are only like 10 students. I wanted to be there with them.”
Greenhouse wasn't the only mother in the graduating class, though. In fact, the her own mother, Elain Young, was also graduating with a degree in accounting, according to USA Today.
While Greenhouse was glad to be walking with her classmates and participating in the ceremony, she wasn't exactly on Cloud Nine at the time. As you may imagine, she was a bit uncomfortable. “It was rough walking across that stage,” Greenhouse told The LaFayette Daily Advertiser. Prior to participating in the ceremony, the expectant-mom warned the school staff about her situation and had an Acadian Ambulance on site throughout.
Immediately after walking across the stage, Greenhouse headed to the hospital — still wearing her gap and gown, but perhaps with the tassel on the other side — where she delivered a healthy baby boy named Zaire. His birthday, and her graduation, came just a day before Greenhouse's own birthday, TIME reported. She is also the mom of a little girl, Makhia, who I would imagine is incredibly proud of her mom for a variety of reasons.
It's not surprising at all that Greenhouse would describe herself as "uncomfortable" during active labor. According to The Bump, that's when things "really get going," and your labor gets a bit harder to ignore:
The next phase of labor is active labor. You’ll know when your body shifts into active labor: Your contractions will suddenly require more of your attention. If you could walk and talk through your contraction before, you probably can’t now.
Active labor is known for being intense and many women opt for pain relief at that point — I know I did. Contractions move from feeling like menstrual cramps or gas pain to something a bit closer to an explosion between your legs. During active labor, regular, strong contractions will dilate the cervix from four centimeters to seven or so. And during all of this, Greenhouse managed to make it across the stage to receive her diploma.
The LSUA Phi Upsilon Zetas, Greenhouse's sorority, shared a photo of her and another graduate at the commencement ceremony to its official Facebook page. In the comments section, her sorority sisters shared their congratulations with Greenhouse on the huge accomplishment of not only receiving her degree, but doing so with her little babe in tow. Moms are notoriously resilient and it seems that there is nothing that they can't do when they put their minds to it. Congratulations, momma! You earned it.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.