Sometimes students have to contend with a lot going on at graduation time. Getting through finals, packing up a dorm room. Maybe an out-of-state move or getting married. But most don’t have a baby the day before their ceremony and still show up to walk.
However, that’s what Abby Bailiff, 28, did when her first child was due at around the same time as the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s School of Nursing graduation ceremony where she was receiving her Doctorate of Science in Nursing Practice.
Her son’s due date was April 27, so Bailiff had originally thought she’d have some time to recover before the May 4 ceremony. However, she had to be induced on May 2 because of worries for her son’s lungs, according to “Good Morning America.”
Bodie James was born on May 3 at the same hospital, Moses Cone in Greensboro, where Bailiff works. With the help of the nursing staff there, she was headed to graduation just a few hours after being released on May 4.
“BOY…what a week!” Bailiff posted on Facebook that same day. “Gained two new titles- Mama & Dr.”
She gave Bodie James’ birth stats — a good-sized 8 pounds and 11 ounces and 21.5 inches long — adding that he arrived “just in time to watch his mama graduate with her doctorate as a nurse practitioner. We are so excited for this next chapter in our lives!”
Those who have gone through postpartum recovery know that walking comfortably less than a day after giving birth is hard enough without doing so across a stage, in public.
“This is the most badass thing I’ve ever seen. ” wrote TikTok user Leah on a viral video about Bailiff’s story that her sister posted at @hannahpaigern. That comment got more than 12,000 likes and the video now has 1.2 million views.
“I remember walking into the gymnasium for graduation, and everybody’s just cheering and standing and there’s a huge crowd,” Bailiff told Spartan Nurse News. “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 kept working as a nurse, mostly on night shifts, as she spent three years in school for her doctorate, specializing in the adult-gerontological primary care nurse practitioner concentration.
She hopes her story shows other women they can be mothers and still meet their career goals.
Congratulations to the new mom and nurse practitioner!