Brianna Hill had originally planned to take the Illinois bar exam when she was 28 weeks pregnant, but the test that she was supposed to take in July was pushed to October...super close to her due date.
She made headlines when her water broke during the test and she kept going, took a break to give birth to her son Cassius, and then finished the exam at 12 hours postpartum. Wow.
Then for two months she was kept in suspense waiting to find out if she passed the exam.
"I PASSED," Hill wrote in a recent Facebook update, adding, "I am SO happy I get to be a lawyer officially and am so thankful that I got here. Now, I am going to go celebrate with my cute little family."
She explains: "I took part of the exam sitting on towels because my water had broken and the other part sitting on an ice pack because I had given birth the night before. I was told to medically withdraw after the first day because there would not be a way for me to finish in the hospital. I hemorrhaged after birth and took the second day of the test while anemic. I only slept for 1.5 hours before the second day of the test because my sweet baby was SO grunty. I breastfed my baby in between sessions. I did all of this because I did not see any other option to accomplish both my goals- become a lawyer and a mom."
In October she told CNN her water broke about 30 minutes into the two-day test (in which would-be lawyers have to stay in front of a webcam to ensure no one is cheating). After she finished the first section she called her husband and midwife and headed to the hospital, when're she delivered her son about 5 hours later. The next day the nurses hung a "do not disturb" sign on her hospital door and she finished the exam!
"The whole time my husband and I were talking about how we wanted me to finish the test and my midwife and nurses were so on board. There just wasn't another option in my mind," Hill said.
The results aren't posted for a couple months, so Hill was anxious this whole time, wondering if she passed.
"The past two months I had only been telling myself I had passed because I couldn't let myself go down the road of if I hadn't," Hill tells Today. "Just opening up the email and seeing congratulations, I started crying, my husband started crying, and Cassius was very confused why there was so much yelling."
She already has a job lined up, according to CNN.
"I'm so thankful for the support system I had around me. The midwives and nurses were so invested in helping me not only become a mom but also a lawyer," said Hill.
What a birth story!
[A version of this post was originally published October 12, 2020. It has been updated.]