July 29, 2011

"Pregnant Woman Takes Bar Exam While in Labor, Delivers Baby Right After!"

David Lat writes:
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.

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).
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.

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.)

59 comments:

TWM said...

Having witnessed three labors as a husband there is no way the other test takers were not distracted. I'd be appealing any bad result because of it that's for sure.

Titus said...

Gross.

traditionalguy said...

Life goes on despite the Law and Bar Exams rituals.

This shows what courage can do. That is a necessary part of being a good Lawyer.

She would get a special reward, except that The Law is an Ass rules.

Mary Beth said...

Taking a bar exam while in labor is good. Flying home from Texas while in labor is bad. I'm sure there's a reason for that but I can't figure out what it is.

Curious George said...

"Better to get it done while you can, especially since the hospital was right across the street."

I guess. But only if she passes.

"she'll be dealing with an out-of-the-womb baby" How "right to life" of you!

chickenlittle said...

I hope she passes the bar and winds up running for office for something one day, even though the busybody bigots would never forgive her for not being incapacitated before and during labor. Unless she's a Dem of course. Then she'd be a hero.

Phil 3:14 said...

Maybe the birth went something like this

ndspinelli said...

Of course, this would probably never happen to a student of the good professor; unless she wandered off the Wisconsin pasture. BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE TO TAKE A BAR EXAM..AND IT SHOWS!

I guess this is the modern version of the pioneer woman, dropping out a kid and then plowing the fields.

David said...

To each her own.

However, she should beware the endless retelling of a tedious and self congratulatory tale. The kid will get especially tired of this story.

Triangle Man said...

Why is northern Wisconsin so gay?

bagoh20 said...

Cheater! That fetus was feeding her answers. You don't usually get to bring your study partner to help you with the test.

Carol_Herman said...

Uh huh.

You know, I wouldn't want to be the person sitting in the chair right in front of hers! As her legs went up with contractions ...

That person should ask for a re-test.

That Labor doesn't hurt? How wide are this woman's hips?

Superdad said...

My wife took a statistics exam while in labor. She kept track of the contracts on her scratch paper.

Superdad said...

Triangle man - because norther Wisconsin is very sparsely populated and those that do live there mind their own business.

SunnyJ said...

All of us that have been through the birth process, know that our brains and bodies go into another universe...all their own...take over and wha la...a girls gotta do what girls gotta do!

Now, what that "gotta do" is, is different for everyone.

This woman was focused on why she needed that license and who was going to be the ultimate beneficiary of her improved ability to earn and care for said beneficiary.

I've done some things for my child that I would never have been able to summon the courage to do for myself.

When the mom gene kicks in, it's an awesome ride. When it fails...it's heartbreaking for everyone.

ndspinelli said...

Triangle, Northern Wisconsin is so gay because cream rises to the top..just ask Titus.

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, let me add ...

When you're in labor ... and you get your significant other to give you a ride to the hospital ... If you're not having contractions on top of one another ... You could be sent home!

The "every five minutes" ... isn't even bringing you halfway close to delivery!

And, now I'll add something racist: Black women who come into New York City's hospitals ... are taken IMMEDIATELY into the labor room. No matter what the gap is in contractions. Because doctors found out ... as a general rule ... they'll deliver in the elevators.

Meanwhile, Hildabeast has the hips that generally make delivery "easy." "Easy" being subjective.

While I thought the pains were so bad, I was going to die.

I was screaming so much I was told a woman in another pre-delivery room pushed her kid out so fast, she gave birth before they transported her to delivery.

In this story? Until you find out the gap in time between the woman's 4PM exit ... and her walk to the hospital across the street ... you don't know if the nursing staff had time to "prep" her. Which includes an enema.

If they had the time? Her contractions weren't inside "the zone."

dbp said...

My wife was in labor at the hospital while I needed to take a final exam for one of my MBA courses.

No problem, the hospital was walking distance away and they gave me a pager just in case anything developed while I was away.

gerry said...

By the way, what about the other test takers in the room? Were they unaware of what was going on?

(Fellow test taker to self) "Why is the damn floor so wet suddenly?"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

(Fellow test taker to self) "Why is the damn floor so wet suddenly?"

LOL You guys act like the term 'water breaking' means that it is equal to Noah's flood. Water gushing everywhere and we'd better make it to high ground.

Hate to disappoint, but usually it is just a dribble.

I played some mean rounds of cribbage with my husband while in labor.

Triangle Man said...

@superdad

Ah, it's the large census tracts.

Tank said...

Took the Bar once.

Once is plenty.

The idea of taking it twice was strong motivation to pass on the first try.

Yay me.

Hagar said...

Don't mess with a woman who's got it in her head that she wants to do something!

Fred4Pres said...

I am sure Dr. Andrew Sullivan, OB/Gyn will have something to say on this subject.

Because we all know Dr. Sullivan is an expert on uterues, coochie/female plumbing, and birthin' babies.

Here is a video of Dr. Sullivan assisting in a birth.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

All of us that have been through the birth process...

Isn't that pretty much everyone?

Bleak House said...

Who remembers Marilyn Quayle? Excoriated for inducing labor so as not to miss her bar exam.

edutcher said...

Small potatoes.

Althouse would have had the baby while taking the bar exam and wetnursing two other students' babies.

(she'd fill out the questions with her feet)

Larry J said...

One of my coworkers went to the hospital with contractions but they sent her home. They returned a little later and while her husband was inside trying to get some help, she delivered her son herself out in the parking lot. A couple years later when she was pregnant with her second child, she refused to let them send her home.

Fred4Pres said...

Althouse would have had the baby while taking the bar exam and wetnursing two other students' babies.

(she'd fill out the questions with her feet)


Ha!

Fred4Pres said...

Does wetnursing count for lawstudents who act like babies? Because I hear there are quite a lot of them out there too.

Carol_Herman said...

Oy. If we're going to be telling birthing stories ... Not just the scene from Gone With The Wind ...

I remember Carl Reiner's autobiography. He said he was born in the Bronx (circa 1922). On his parent's bed, in their apartment. Because Jewish women feared that at the hospital their healthy babies would be grabbed ... and put into adoption mills run by the Catholic Church!)

The woman would be told "her baby died."

So women endured giving birth at home.

Palladian said...

"All of us that have been through the birth process..."

"Isn't that pretty much everyone?"

Not me! Like Macduff, I am a man not born of a woman, but from my mother's womb untimely ripp'd; therefore I possess the ability to slay mad, homicidal Scottish kings. At least I've got that going for me.

Joan said...

Having made the mistake of reading Carol's comment, I can't make another and not bring her up to date on current child birth practices, namely, mothers in labor are no longer given enemas. Nor are they shaved, stuffed into stirrups, and forced to deliver while lying flat.

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.)

jamboree said...

So will Andrew Sullivan shut up about Sarah Palin giving a speech while close to her delivery date now?

Of course you want to fly home. You want to be HOME when you give birth. You want your baby to be born in your state.

Fred4Pres said...

Palladin, thanks for reminding me of that reference. My kids all are in that club too.

Carol_Herman said...

Well, I didn't need an enema. Because I had no trouble taking a shit while I was in pre-delivery.

The enema, today, is called a FLEET. Nobody sticks a bedpan under your ass.

And, if you're going to have a C-Section, they will shave away pubic hairs. Do you know why?

That's where the obstetrician CUTS!

Oh, yeah. During delivery there's gonna be "product" landing on the floor, below a woman's feet.

All sorts of fluids.

Don't expect hard turds.

Palladian said...

"Having made the mistake of reading Carol's comment..."

It's a mistake never made twice.

MnMark said...

For the first time ever, I agree with Titus: gross.

Society seems to get a little coarser every year.

I suppose next women will be changing tampons in public.

I wonder when the pendulum finally reaches the endpoint and people begin to say, "enough - some things actually do not belong in the public space."

chickenlittle said...

Joan wrote: It amazed me all 3 times I was in labor (anesthesia-free, too).

I salute you, Joan! My wife did the same twice (no anesthesia). She also maintained that it sped recovery afterwards. She wanted to leave the hospital after our second one and she did, walking out the door a just a few hours later.

____________
wv = "unche" "I say, that new Cuban policy is very unche."

Carol_Herman said...

2 HOURS IN THE HOSPITAL!

Woman gave birth at 6PM.

That's enough time to get examined. And, if you're lucky? Your obstetrician got to be there, as well.

You know, most women are lucky to have their obstetricians arriving in time to "catch the baby."

In her last two hours? She was in no condition to answer Bar Exam questions, either.

While most people who took the test? They could have gone to a bar ... and gotten drunk in that two hour span.

wdnelson93 said...

In 1979 nursing boards were a two-day 16 hour affair. The young, very pregnant woman across from me the first day didn't return for the second. I can empathize with the person who said "I wouldn't want to have to sit for that exam again". Also, Joan is right about the pain completely going away between contractions.

Eugene said...

This account of an escape from a besieged castle in central Japan during the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) is considered historically accurate:

"When we had walked five or six [hundred yards] north of the castle, one of the women suddenly felt a pain in her belly and gave birth to the baby she had been carrying. It was a girl. The adults gave the baby her first bath right there in the paddy water. After they were finished, the father wrapped it in his clothing, swung the mother over his shoulder, and fled to Aonogahara."

Note the "kids these days" conclusion:

"This is how things were in the old days: nothing was easy. We never even dreamed of eating lunch, and when night fell, there was no supper either. Young people today, with their fancy clothes and free-spending ways and fussy palates--it's truly scandalous."

vet66 said...

Extra credit Question: Test taker breaks water and future lawyer subsequently slips and falls in it.

How would that play out?

David Kreutz said...

@jamboree -

There is a difference between being within walking distance of a hospital when you start to go into labor and flying back to a small town in Alaska multiple hours away to give birth to a baby you KNOW is a special needs child and there will likely be complications with. Apples and oranges comparison there.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There is a difference between being within walking distance of a hospital when you start to go into labor and flying back to a small town in Alaska multiple hours away to give birth to a baby you KNOW is a special needs child and there will likely be complications with. Apples and oranges comparison there.

Oh Christ on a crutch.... here we go again with some man who has never given birth pontificating on how a woman who has already given birth multiple times should act.

Here is a deal. We won't tell you how to jack off and you butt out of telling us how to deliver our babies.

edutcher said...

Fred4Pres said...

Does wetnursing count for lawstudents who act like babies? Because I hear there are quite a lot of them out there too.

You'd have to have some topless photos of you know who in the classroom to answer that question.

sesmo said...

Just to chime in, I agree that flying for six hours while in labor (away from ANY option of intervention while in the air) is a damn sight different than being in a room walking distance from a hospital. Especially if you have a special needs pregnancy, which has a significantly higher chance of complications. Had the Bar Taking Mom gone into the hospital when she first felt labor pains, they would have sent her home. You're not supposed to be going in until contractions are 5 minutes apart.

Plus, I know reading comprehension is difficult folks but she had a c-section two hours later. I had a c-section, and two hours before my c-section I had mild labor pains, and was out having lunch with friends. It's not like she was minutes from actually giving birth (first pregnancy labor pains start usually 12 hours or so before the actual birth.) She wasn't screaming, she wasn't disruptive, so you all are just being idiotic about this.

As to the folks who think that labor is gross, you all came out of your mothers. It's not gross, it's natural.

FedkaTheConvict said...

I gotta ask; what exactly are these "higher chance of complications" that a special needs child that is carried to term likely to experience?

You'd also think that a woman who had given birth four times previously would know her body very well.

Fred4Pres said...

My wife is a direct desendent of one of the captives from this raid. Her relative was later redeemed back to New England. So on a winter day the French and Indian forces killed around 56 of the settlers and took 100 captives. They marched those women and children through the snow back to Canada.

The point being, yeah people were tougher back then (in general). And if the shit hits the fan, you better get tough fast or you are probably going to die.

The Puritan survivors were more freaked out about their children falling into the hands of Jesuits in Quebec than being held captive by the Indians. Because if they died they would go to heaven, but if they died after becoming Catholics they would surely be going to hell.

Blue@9 said...

Having witnessed three labors as a husband there is no way the other test takers were not distracted. I'd be appealing any bad result because of it that's for sure.

Hmmm, I would think you'd rather not deal with the humiliation if she ends up passing...

You: Failed because lady was in labor.

Lady: Passed despite being in labor.

Carol_Herman said...

You know, the most important thing an obstetrician can have is good shoulders. Sometimes, because the baby is stuck inside by suction ... He has to put one leg up on a woman's thigh ... and slipping his hands around the baby's head. Or using forceps ... He pulls like crazy!

Nope. It's not like a quarterback throwing a football.

Carol_Herman said...

Sesmo, I think you have to improve your reading comprehension skills.

I said I saw that this baby boy was born at 6PM. 2 hours after the woman who took the Bar Exam walked across the street to the hospital.

Then I said ... that I had a C-section. (Following a ten hour ordeal of a Pitocin induction, I might add.)

One topic is about the birth of my son. While the topic, here, is about the birth of a boy when his mother's EARLY LABOR occurred during a Bar Exam.

Do you know how painful labor can be? Try passing a kidney stone.

When you're eyeballs roll back in your head ... you'll know that pain can be excruciating.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do you know how painful labor can be? Try passing a kidney stone.

When you're eyeballs roll back in your head ... you'll know that pain can be excruciating.


Oh, puleeze. Not everyone is you.

I have passed gallstones and I have given birth. The birth was a piece of cake compared to the gallstones.

Until the last 20 minutes of labor the first 14 were nothing. We played cards and I walked around the hospital corridor trying to hurry things along.

No screaming. No eye rolling. Just wishing to hell it was over so I could finally get something to eat.

Not everyone is me either.

:-D

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Fourteen HOURS of labor. Not fourteen minutes.....I wish.

edutcher said...

Fred4Pres said...

My wife is a direct desendent of one of the captives from this raid. Her relative was later redeemed back to New England. So on a winter day the French and Indian forces killed around 56 of the settlers and took 100 captives. They marched those women and children through the snow back to Canada.

The point being, yeah people were tougher back then (in general). And if the shit hits the fan, you better get tough fast or you are probably going to die.


Fascinating stuff, but, yes, no central heating, no safe water, almost no safe preservation of food, no antibiotics. Any child under 5 was always at risk, as was anyone over 40.

The Indians took prisoners because their birth rate was so low and their resistance to disease was lower. The colonists won the real battle in the bedroom. Families having 6 - 12 children were going to overwhelm families having 1 or 2.

A lesson for our own time and why knowing history is so important.

Big Mike said...

If she goes into litigation, I'd hate to be a lawyer lined up against her. This is one focused woman!

Joan said...

Eek! I'm not a doctor. Although every new medical professional I meet asks me if I am. So, thanks for that -- but for now, I'm just a junior high science teacher who has 3 kids and an absolutely pathetic medical history.

Full confession, too: I did get an epidural mid-way through laboring my youngest. I was completely exhausted. Having your third baby is a lot harder in some ways than having your first, because you've got those other babies at home to think about, and one of mine, with a bad cold, had kept me up most of the night before.

mapgirl said...

Just an update: Ms. Nightengale Dawson passed the bar exam that she took while having contractions: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/law_grad_who_went_into_labor_during_bar_exam_passes_the_test/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email

mapgirl said...

Just an update: Woman who was in labor during the bar exam passed the exam, and is just happy she doesn't have to take it again: (not to mention happy about having a healthy baby boy): http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/law_grad_who_went_into_labor_during_bar_exam_passes_the_test/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email