She finished the rest of her exam from the hospital and nursed her newborn baby in between sessions.
Going into labor after 9 months of pregnancy and giving birth to another human is a grueling task on its own. When 28-year-old Brianna Hill went into labor for the first time in her life, she had to do it right in the middle of taking one of the most important exams of her life.
The woman from Illinois had planned to take her bar exam in the month of July earlier this year, but because of the pandemic, the bar exam was pushed to the month of October. Not only was her exam pushed for later but her baby also arrived a few days, making both momentous occasions clash together in an unexpected way.
"I thought I would only be 28 weeks pregnant when I took the bar," Brianna told CNN. "However, due to the pandemic, the test was pushed to October and I was going to be 38 weeks. I joked about taking the test from my hospital bed. Lesson learned!"
Since she was taking the exam remotely, Brianna had to sit through the entire exam without taking a break in between the sections. The exam rules require candidates to sit facing their computer for the entirety of the test, which meant that there was no way Brianna could get up from her spot when she was in the middle of a section in the exam.
On October 5, Brianna sat down to finish the first two sections that were scheduled for the first day. "I thought I felt something about 30 minutes into the test and actually thought, 'I really hope my water didn't just break,'" said Brianna. "But I couldn't go check and so I finished the first section. As soon as I stood up when I finished, I knew my water had broken."
Law Grad Goes Into Labor While Taking the Bar Exam, Has Her Baby and Finishes Her Test https://t.co/cbw3Sez5o3— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) October 13, 2020
Despite everything, Brianna continued on with her test until she got a break before the next section. "I took my break, got myself cleaned up, called my husband, midwife, and mom, cried because I was a little panicked, then sat down to take the second part because my midwife told me I had time before I needed to go to the hospital," said Brianna.
By this point, there was no doubt that the baby was on his way and Brianna told Good Morning America, "I started the second section and 15 to 20 minutes in, I started having contractions. I had already asked for an accommodation to get up and go to the bathroom because I was 38 weeks pregnant and they said I'd get flagged for cheating. I couldn't leave the view of the camera."
The recent graduate from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago went on to say, "I was determined. Also, I've never been pregnant before, so I was [thinking], 'I don't know what this feels like.'"
Once the sections for day one of the exam was over, Brianna finally made it to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois with her husband, Cameron Andrew.
Less than five hours after they arrived at the hospital, Brianna and Cameron welcomed their baby boy, Cassius Phillip Andrew. What was awaiting the new mom the next day was the second day of her bar exam. Brianna attending the remaining sections from the hospital with the help of her supportive midwife and nurses. The mother finished the bar exam from an empty room, set aside just for her with a sign on the door that said "Do Not Disturb."
"I took the rest of the test in there and was even able to nurse the baby in between sessions! Obviously, I really hope I passed but I’m mostly just proud that I pushed through and finished," Brianna told Above the Law.
While the new mama is glad she could finish the exam, her baby boy, Cassius is also doing well. The original due date was October 19 but Cassius arrived early, weighing 6 pounds and 5 ounces.
Grateful to the people who helped her "not only become a mom but also a lawyer," Brianna told CNN, "My husband and law school friends provided me with so much encouragement so I could push through the finish line even under less than ideal circumstances. And my family, especially my sister, just kept reminding me how I could do it even when I wasn't so sure myself."
After this (cursed?) post, sis finished 1st part of the Bar aaand her water broke! She took the 2nd part, went to hospital, had baby last night (in a mask!), & took the rest of the exam from a hospital bed today bc WOMEN ARE STRONG AS HAIL. The new lawyer-mom we don’t deserve!!! https://t.co/PMxonaPVrQ pic.twitter.com/CqGK34xM5q— Kaitlyn Hill (@thekaitlynhill) October 6, 2020
She also told Good Morning America, "I'm really thankful. Life throws curve balls at you but when I have a goal, I'm going to see it through."
As she waits for her results, Brianna can enjoy her first steps into parenthood knowing that she has a job lined up already.