True to her blunt, unfiltered brand of comedy, Amy Schumer's Growing special minces no words about her pregnancy experience. Within the first five minutes, she hilariously confronts all the things people don't tell you about about what it's like to be with-child. Spoiler alert: it's not for the faint of heart (or queasy of stomach), but it's certainly honest.
Schumer opens her special by addressing the intrusive and frankly rude questions so many pregnant women receive. Thanks to the eruption of the #bumpdate hashtag on social media, pregnancy bump photos are an expected part of the experience, and everyone wants details as soon as the doctor provides them, even though expecting parents are, of course, not obligated to share.
Schumer explains that she hasn't yet learned the sex of her baby, which is a question she gets asked all the time. "Do you know what you're having?" she mimics, wide-eyed. Then, she answers her own question with: "Hemorrhoids! Any other questions?" According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), hemorrhoids as the result of constipation are very common during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. But who wants to post that on Facebook?
She goes on to lament the bump obsession — that no two bumps are alike, and they're not as perfectly round as people might expect. But that doesn't keep Schumer from lifting her dress to reveal hers. "My belly button is getting so misshapen with this baby inside that I had to put two band-aids over my belly button today," she proclaims, showing off the square patch taped onto her midsection. Women may not often discuss it, but it's pretty normal for them to experience a changing navel as pregnancy progresses, and according to Healthline, it can also sometimes be painful.
Perhaps the most difficult symptom that has challenged Schumer in her pregnancy, though, is a condition called Hyperemesis — one you may have not heard of before. That's because it's not often talked about. According to the APA, Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a complication experienced during pregnancy "characterized by extreme nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance." It's basically an extreme version of morning sickness for which Schumer has been hospitalized multiple times. "If you've ever had food poisoning," Schumer says on stage. "It's that. I've had that for five months."
And she definitely wasn't anticipating such severe symptoms, because firstly, "women don't tell you how hard it is," Schumer says, and secondly, pregnancy is majorly misrepresented in pop culture. In her special, Schumer describes a stereotypical movie scene depicting morning sickness in which a pregnant woman might throw up once "and then in the next scene, she's like in overalls, like, painting a barn." But that hasn't been Schumer's experience, nor is it many women's. She describes how she throws up "an exorcist amount every day" which, when she was hospitalized, requires her to be administered fluids to avoid dehydration.
Schumer says that, overall, she's thrilled to be having a baby, but that excitement doesn't diminish the pain and sickness that it's caused her. And because talking about pregnancy has historically been taboo — 60 years ago, Lucille Ball couldn't even utter the word "pregnant" on I Love Lucy — being able to discuss how hard it can be, especially on such a public platform, is still relatively new. Hopefully, Schumer's special will help to change that — and at the very least, help women watching to be more prepared for everything, good and bad, that can happen when you're expecting.