Anshonarial Greenhouse was determined to receive her college diploma – and being in active labor wasn’t going to stop her. On December 13, 2018, the 31-year-old mom walked across the stage as her contractions grew worse at the fall commencement ceremony at the Louisiana State University of Alexandria.
Greenhouse started having early contractions as 25 weeks – too soon to deliver – and was given medicine to stop the contractions. She spent a lot of time at the hospital at that point, but still managed to take and pass her final exams. She even used a webcam to live-stream a presentation that she gave while in a hospital gown. “I knew it was a possibility I couldn’t walk (at graduation), but I really pushed to be able to go,” she told USA Today.
She said she endured the ceremony as she went into labor in order to show her 10-year-old daughter, Makhia, the reward at the end of four years of hard work. “She understands how important education is. If she sees me doing my work, she does hers. It’s showing her versus telling her,” Greenhouse said. She was assisted across the stage by a university staffer and immediately after receiving her diploma, she was put in a wheelchair and taken to ambulances that were waiting to take her to the hospital.
Greenhouse received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. The following Saturday – ahead of her due date – she gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Zaire.