Updated: Jul 23, 2020
First off, I have to give enormous props to Amy Schumer for being willing to show everything she went through during her pregnancy. That is such a vulnerable time to be sharing with the world that most people wouldn’t have even considered it, let alone been honest. One of the consistent complaints that I hear from new mother’s is , “why didn’t anyone tell me this?” As a society, we like to glorify pregnancy as a time of glowing transformation. Anyone who has been pregnant, married to someone who is or just around someone who is knows that this is a load of, well crap. No one tells you that the reason pregnant women “glow” is due to random hot flashes from all the raging hormones. Sorry, its just sweat people! Even if you find someone candid enough to tell you some of the hell they went through they quickly follow it up with, “but it really wasn’t that bad and it was sooooooo worth it!” It is worth it but at the same time, it doesn’t change the fact that it can be hard. We discount our own feelings because we are scared that we will be seen as “bad mom’s” already. Yes, the shaming starts from the day you tell anyone you are pregnant. So, why isn’t it okay for us to complain about the hard parts of pregnancy?
One of the main reasons we feel ashamed to complain is because we as women, we are well aware of all the women out there that desperately would put up with every second of the bad stuff to be pregnant. Personally, I’ve felt guilty complaining but as someone who is now on the side of helping women feel what they feel without judgment, just because you don’t love certain things about pregnancy, doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate the ability to be pregnant. In the first episode, Amy’s business partner asks her if she is resentful, and she has the most candid response. Amy says that she does not resent being pregnant but, “I resent everyone that hasn’t been honest. Like, I resent the culture and how much women have to suck it the F*** up and act like everything is fine.” (Expecting Amy) Amen, sister!!! It's hard not to feel extremely let down when you have seen pregnancy through rose colored glasses because of the way it is portrayed in our culture and our media. It sets one up for massive disappointment and fear. Fear that this isn’t supposed to be this way. Fear that you must be doing something wrong. Fear that you are already a failure as a mother. Fear is a powerful and debilitating emotion and there is enough of it during this time that we don’t need to add to it as a society or as a culture.
Another common lie that we tell is that expectant mom’s should feel connected to their growing baby from the start. Just because the baby is growing in you, doesn’t mean you automatically feel this intense connection to the baby. Why is it perfectly acceptable for men not to feel connected to the baby until it is physically here but if a mom feels that way, we pass judgment?! I won’t get into double standards but this is obviously a big one. I fell for this lie hard when it came to my first two pregnancies. My first pregnancy was pretty spectacular. I didn’t have any major medical issues or horrible morning sickness or anything. I absolutely loved being pregnant. Fast forward a few years to my second pregnancy and it was a completely different story. I was terrified to bond with my growing baby from the start due to some unexplained bleeding that happened before 12 weeks. I was convinced that if I bonded too much early on that I was setting myself up for even more heartbreak. Luckily, she ended up happy, healthy and full term but then I was left playing catchup when it came to bonding. It felt harder to connect with her than my son at first. Combine that with horrible postpartum depression and I was on the hot mess express! I was able to bond with her the way I did my son and there is no sign of permanent damage done from it being a little delayed. If she grows up and writes a book about how much I messed her up, then I may have spoken too soon.. Anyways, Amy makes a point on this subject as well. She talked about how her baby seems so far away even though he is right there. It’s not until she is able to feel him moving around and actually make out body parts that she feels connected to him in that way. It made it feel more real to her and I think all mom’s have had that same feeling, they may not admit it (fear of shaming) but they have.
Once again, I give Amy Schumer extreme credit for keeping it real in this docuseries. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, do it! Like, right now! No, but honestly it is worth watching. This is the first post in a series I will be doing from Expecting Amy. Stay tuned for more and check out HBO Max to watch it for yourself.