Mom delivers her doctorate dissertation—just hours after delivering her baby


For most people, delivering a baby is enough of a day’s work. Get that task checked off your to-do list, and you’ve probably earned the rest of the day off. For Tamiah Brevard-Rodriguez, though? She delivered her baby on the same day she was scheduled to deliver her doctoral dissertation, and the show had to go on.

She had a plan. She called it “Operation Dissertation Before Baby,” and it involved delivering her dissertation, having her baby on or near her April 24th due date, then celebrating her graduation and spending summer with her family — in that order. But, uh, life finds a way, and Tamiah’s water broke on March 25.

“I’ve witnessed her work so hard, tirelessly working on the presentation, a six-year program, a two-year study. I’m just like, ‘don’t let today be the day,’” her wife, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez, told CNN. “I walk into the bathroom and I look at her and she is just shaking in tears. As much as I knew that this was a happy moment for the both of us, I can see the sadness on her that you know her day was possibly going to be ruined.”

While the pair had plans to deliver their baby at a birthing center, their doula told them to get to the hospital ASAP. While in the car, they began to wonder if they were going to make it in time. Spoiler alert: They didn’t. Tamiah gave birth en route.

“When I looked over, she had the baby in her left hand and the umbilical cord in her right,” Alyza said.

They arrived at the hospital with baby Enzo having already made his entrance. Doctors and nurses checked him out and cut the umbilical cord, joking that Tamiah “did all the hard work for us.” Everyone was healthy and fine and Tamiah could have rested, but she only had one thing on her mind: her dissertation.

“As I was laying there, I was just thinking to myself, ‘I can do it,’” she said. “The baby’s here. Let’s just get this over with.”

So Alyza went home to get her clothes, makeup, and laptop.

“I took a nap, ate a meal and then I was ready to rock and roll,” Tamiah said. 

During her presentation, the only person who knew what had happened was Tamiah’s mentor. But he didn’t want her to get sympathy, so he didn’t reveal her secret. At the end of a “stellar” presentation, she removed the Rutgers virtual background she was using on Zoom, revealing her hospital room and stunning the panel.

“Everyone was in complete shock,” she said.

Obviously, Tamiah finished her doctorate. She had her graduation ceremony on Mother’s Day — a very fitting end to this story.

“It’s incredible to uplift women and show how incredibly powerful they are,” Alyza said. “I hope that people really take away from this that women are strong and resilient, tenacious, ambitious grit and they can do anything.”

They sure can.





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