"If I had her before the walk, I was just going to hold her in my arms and walk across that stage," the 27-year-old mom said.
On May 6, Kelsey Hudie, a first-time mother, approached the stage at Henry Ford College in Michigan while still 38 weeks pregnant and dilated. Hudie didn't let anything as big as going into labor stop her from earning her college degree. "That wasn't going to stop me from walking across the stage. I even said if I had her before the walk, I was just going to hold her in my arms and walk across that stage," the 27-year-old mom told NBC affiliate WDIV-TV. The school informed her that she didn't have to be there in person to receive her degree, but the new mother said, "I said, 'I'm walking,'" according to ABC News.
This graduate didn't let a little thing like being in labor get in her way of receiving her college diploma. 🎓 On May 6, first-time mom Kelsey Hudie walked up to the stage at Henry Ford College in Michigan, even though she was 38 weeks pregnant — and already dilated. pic.twitter.com/AOurUPqkgL— People (@people) May 16, 2023
"[College] was my accomplishment and this is the proof. I was expecting to walk in just like normal, but I was determined," she added as she spoke about the reason behind her step. The new mom was about to give birth but didn’t want to give her big day a miss. On Sunday, May 14, the Michigan mum marked her first Mother's Day with the college degree in her possession.
First-Time Mom in Labor Walks at College Graduation to Get Diploma: 'I Was Determined' https://t.co/htOk0PjfFo— People (@people) May 12, 2023
She persuaded the school to bring her up to the list of beneficiaries so that she could go to the hospital in time to give birth. Since the school was ready to make accommodations for her, the new mother, who gave birth to her daughter, Nylah, on May 9, said she typically doesn't like to "make a big show about things," but she reasoned, "Why not?" Henry Ford College President Russell A. Kavalhuna announced ahead of the commencement ceremony, “I hope you will allow me to quickly move through one degree before we do the rest of you all," per the news outlet.
"When we bring people through Henry Ford College, they've got grit. They've got perseverance. And this student has told me, and us, 'I'm going to walk across that stage despite the fact that I am 38 weeks pregnant. I am dilated, and I can't wait for you, Russ, and your friends to talk for an hour-and-a-half, so I need to graduate quickly,'" Kavalhuna added. "They all were so polite," Hudie spoke to the station, remarking that she could "sit on the stage" as opposed to having to "walk up and down a million sets of stairs." She can be seen triumphantly walking to the side of the stage while holding aloft her hard-earned certificate in the video.
The reaction she received from the crowd made the experience even more poignant, according to PEOPLE. Hudie, who plans on being a teacher said, "That put a big smile on my face. I didn't really realize when I was walking across the stage with her in my belly that I'd be a big inspiration to others."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | ABC News