A law school graduate has given the term “supermom” a whole new meaning after completing the Illinois State Bar exam during labor and after delivery.
Brianna Hill, 28, was taking part one of the two-part test on Oct. 5 when her water broke. The test was administered remotely this year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Hill told “Good Morning America.”
“I started the second section and 15 to 20 minutes in, I started having contractions,” Hill said. “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.”
“I was determined,” Hill added as to why she didn’t stop the exam after showing signs of labor. “Also, I’ve never been pregnant before, so I was [thinking], ‘I don’t know what this feels like.'”
Hill’s original due date was Oct. 19. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law in May, and was initially set to take the Bar July 28 and 29, though the exam was postponed due to COVID-19.
After Hill finished day one of the exam, she and her husband, Cameron Andrew, eventually left for West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois.
A few hours later, Hill and Andrew’s first child, a boy named Cassius Phillip Andrew, arrived, weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces.
Meanwhile, Hill was still scheduled to finish part two of the Bar the following day, on Oct. 6.
Hill said her midwife and hospital staff reserved a private room for her on the labor and delivery floor so she could complete the exam. They even put a “do not disturb” sign on the door, Hill said.
The hospital confirmed to “GMA” that Hill finished her exam after giving birth.
“There were all these professional women supporting me and my professional goals, even though I just became a mother and it was their job to support me in that,” Hill said of the medical staff.
“My biggest takeaway is that I have an incredible support system from my mom … I called my husband to tell him my water broke and he said, ‘OK, we’re going to figure out how you’re going to finish this test’ and all my law school friends texting saying, ‘You got this,'” Hill said.
“I’m really thankful,” she added. “Life throws curve balls at you but when I have a goal, I’m going to see it through.”
One of Hill’s professors, Miranda Johnson, recently sang her praises on LinkedIn, writing, “My former student/advisee Brianna Hill (now a Loyola Law and Civitas ChildLaw Center graduate) and brand new mom is a superhero!”
In January, Hill will start a job as a legal aid organizer in Chicago doing housing work associated with eviction defense, subsidized housing and landlord-tenant issues in low-income communities.
As for baby Cassius, Hill said he’s doing great and loves snuggling with mom and dad.