First-time mom gives birth then walks at doctorate graduation ceremony less than 24 hours later

First-time mom gives birth then walks at doctorate graduation ceremony less than 24 hours later

One universal truth we can all agree with is that mothers are superheroes.

Abby Bailiff, 28, was set to graduate from UNC Greensboro School of Nursing May 4, just a few days after she was due with her first child. But when her due date, April 27, came and went, she became nervous.

“Every day past 40 weeks I was like, ‘Oh gosh. This is getting closer and closer,'” she told Good Morning America.

She was induced on May 2, and on May 3 at 3:08 p.m. her son Bodie was born.

“It was not the original plan to be that close to graduation … but Bodie had other plans.”

After spending the night in the hospital, she realized there was still time to make it to her graduation. Even though she had just given birth less than 24 hours ago, Bailiff said she was “still debating on whether I was going [to graduation] or not, because I didn’t want to be, like, a bad mom and just up and leave him right when I got home.”

“I don’t know if it was still adrenaline pumping in my system from delivery, but I was like ‘I think I can do this,’” Bailiff told UNC Greensboro. “And my husband and my family were here, and they were like ‘You know what. If you feel like going, do it. You deserve it. We’ll go. We’ll support you.’ And my husband was like ‘I’ll stay home with the baby.’”

The new mom made it to the graduation ceremony just in time.

“I remember walking into the gymnasium for graduation, and everybody’s just cheering and standing and there’s a huge crowd,” she said. “I don’t know if it was a mix of the hormones or just how overwhelmed I was feeling, but I just started crying. It was just an overwhelming feeling of I just accomplished so much within the last couple of days. It just felt really good.”

Bailiff, whose mother, grandmother, and husband are nurses, began the doctor of nursing program in Fall 2020. She was inspired to earn her DNP in adult-gerontological primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) concentration after working in the neurotrauma intensive care unit and seeing the effects people who weren’t educated about their health.

As if attending school and working as a nurse full time during a pandemic wasn’t hard enough, during the final weeks of her program Bailiff passed her clinicals and her board exam.

“I want other women to know, especially people that are in school and they get pregnant and they want to do this or they want to do that, we can do anything we want to do,” the new mother said. “We just have to set our minds to it. I know that sounds cliché, but that whole video kind of just put it into perspective.”

Moms are superheroes! There’s no other way to describe them.

Congratulations, Abby. You have such a bright future ahead of you.