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Determined Mom Walks the Stage to Graduate College While in Labor

She wanted to set an example for her daughter.

Sarah Black/LSUA

Earlier this month, a 31-year-old mom crossed the stage at her college graduation while in active labor. Anshonarial Greenhouse was experiencing contractions when she received her diploma on December 13 at Louisiana State University of Alexandria before rushing to the hospital.

“It was rough walking across that stage,” said Greenhouse, of attending the commencement ceremony where the college’s baseball coach helped her walk. “In accounting there are only like 10 students. I wanted to be there with them.” One of those 10 students was Greenhouse’s own mother, Elaine Young.

The Marksville mom, who graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in accounting, added that getting her diploma was as much for her 10-year-old daughter Makhia (and her future baby) as it was for herself.

“[Makhia] understands how important education is… If she sees me doing my work, she does hers. It’s showing her versus telling her,” the new graduate explained.

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After she started having early contractions at just 25 weeks into her pregnancy, Greenhouse was forced to complete many of her college courses remotely from the hospital, via Skype and Zoom. But she didn’t let her unique circumstances stop her. She said, “I tried to believe I could do anything if I could be bold enough… I just tried to be a boss (and make it happen).”

And her hard work and patience paid off. Not only did Greenhouse safely get her diploma, but she also gave birth to son Zaire the following week on December 22.