- In Amy Schumer’s HBO docuseries, “Expecting Amy,” the actress details the struggles she endured throughout her pregnancy with her son, Gene.
- At the centre of it is Schumer’s trials with a rare condition called, hyperemesis gravidarum –which causes persistent vomiting and dehydration.
- The “Trainwreck” star said she didn’t “resent” being pregnant, but resented how society doesn’t allow pregnant women to open up about the common suffering they face.
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In a three-part docuseries, “Expecting Amy,” which airs on HBO on Thursday, viewers get a no-holds-barred view of the struggles comedian Amy Schumer endured throughout her challenging pregnancy, as well as her realisation that so many taboos around having a baby still persist.
In a series of cell-phone videos and professionally shot footage, Schumer and her husband, Chris Fischer, document their pregnancy while she prepares for her Netflix comedy special, “Growing.” At the heart of the docuseries is Schumer’s severe case of hyperemesis gravidarum, a rare pregnancy condition that leads to persistent vomiting, nausea, and dehydration.
Schumer’s case was so serious that, at one point, she vomited for five hours straight. In one scene, she pukes up blood and in another, she popped blood vessels in her eye from heaving so hard. She was hospitalized while on tour and throughout her pregnancy, Schumer was administered about 100 bags of IV fluid.
What was just as, if not more, disconcerting to Schumer was how little she knew about the common pain, discomfort, and complications pregnant women endure in silence, because speaking up about something as natural as pregnancy can still put a woman in a compromising position.
Amy Schumer said she resents how pregnant women often can’t speak up about the struggles they face
“I don’t resent being pregnant,” Schumer said in the first episode. “I resent everyone who hasn’t been honest. I resent the culture of how much women have to suck it the f–k up and act like everything is fine. I really resent that.”
What Schumer hints at is the fact that pregnancy discrimination is still rampant in workplaces in the US, which directly impact how women talk – or don’t talk – about the realities of pregnancy. As Schumer says in her docuseries, she can find ample videos of bubbly experts likening the size of her foetus to various fruits and vegetables as it grows. But the best advice she gets comes in the form of text messages and intimate phone calls with friends who have recently given birth.
That’s how she learns that the actual extraction of the baby during a C-section lasts about 15 minutes and about the “immense relief” she’ll feel once she’s finally not pregnant.
Mums engage in ‘secret parenting’ at work because they fear being viewed as not wholly committed to their jobs
Emily Oster, an economist who focuses on parenting and pregnancy, wrote about the “plague of secret parenting” last year, and how many women hide their pregnancies at work as long as possible. Once they return to work, they rarely mention their kids because they “do not want their bosses to think they are anything other than 100 per cent committed.”
Schumer acknowledges that it’s her privilege that affords her the opportunity to incorporate pregnancy into her work without fear of recourse.
There are lots of raw moments in the series, when Schumer reaches breaking point after breaking point while feeling sick and wonders how women who can’t afford to take time off while pregnant or splurge on the “Beyonce suite” at an upscale Manhattan hospital manage their lives while pregnant.
“I just have all these resources that make me able to function and take care of myself – mostly no one has that. It makes me feel bad,” Schumer said. “If I’m struggling so hard, what are these other b–ches doing?”
- Read more:
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