Graduating whilst 35 weeks pregnant had never been part of the plan. The nerves felt before waddling on stage to collect my degree were like nothing I had ever felt. Sweat dripping from places I didn’t know could sweat, I have never been so scared to be judged by a room full of hundreds of academics staring at the pregnant girl. The support of baby daddy and my parents in the audience gave me the slightest bit of comfort. However, being unable to see them through a sea of people took that away instantly.
As the standard stilettos and tight fitting dress were clearly not an option for myself, I opted to go for what felt most comfortable and in fact what I tend to wear most days. Doc martens paired with anything black. This was a great hit with my family and friends who found it hilarious that on this special day I had in fact made little more effort than ever before. However, I thought it best to feel comfortable to minimize the risk of falling on stage or passing out due to nerves.
Besides the original nerves, I can safely say this was one of the proudest moments of my life to date (soon to be followed by one bigger and better I hope). I had done it. I had finished and achieved my degree. I found out I was pregnant whilst writing my dissertation, which caused a great deal of disruption and meant the achievement meant so much more now. I was going to finish the year with a degree and a baby. Judgment or no judgment, it’s certainly a great achievement.