Before the start of the afternoon session on day two of the Illinois bar exam (Wednesday), the very pregnant [“Mother Bar Exam,” AKA “MBE"] mentioned to the proctors the possibility that she might give birth during the test. She asked if she could leave early in the event that she went into labor; they agreed.Impressive! But I can understand the determination to finish the exam. After all the preparation and getting through the first day, to have to wait and take the exam months later would be a huge setback. And in the months ahead, she'll be dealing with an out-of-the-womb baby, keeping her up at night, making all sorts of babyish demands. Better to get it done while you can, especially since the hospital was right across the street.
So Mother Bar Exam sat down for the afternoon session of the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”). Not long after, she started going into labor — not a little discomfort, but full-on labor....
She continued to answer MBE questions, while in labor. She then finished the exam early, at 4 p.m....
Upon completing the exam, Mother Bar Exam notified the proctors that she was done and needed to leave, seeing as she was, you know, in the middle of giving birth and all. Normally candidates are not allowed to leave the room early, but in this case the proctors accommodated her (especially since she had mentioned the issue to them beforehand).
By the way, what about the other test takers in the room? Were they unaware of what was going on? Were they distracted?
IN THE COMMENTS: Joan, who is a doctor, says:
I think taking an exam would be a great way to get through labor. The thing about contractions is that they hurt while they're happening, but when the contraction stops, so does the pain -- completely. It's like a light switch: off, on. It amazed me all 3 times I was in labor (anesthesia-free, too). It's terrific to have something to occupy your mind during this time. If you're distracted your body can just do its thing, whereas if you're stressed, you'll interfere with those things happening.
This woman does not sound like the type to make a disturbance to those around her. I was furious during my last state licensing exam when the guy in front of me had a chronic, severe cough. Every 30, 45, 60 seconds or so he'd cough hard enough to shake my desk. I spoke to the proctor about it but there wasn't anything he could do. But the 30 or so of us in that room (a high school classroom) were definitely disadvantaged. (One thing that made it so bad was knowing he was going to cough again but not knowing when it was going to happen -- I was distracted by anticipating the next cough. At least with labor contractions, they come at regular intervals.)