Amy Schumer Births a Baby and a Comedy Special in Revealing Docuseries ‘Expecting Amy’
Amy Schumer, a comedian who is known for never holding back during her performances, especially when it comes to sex and female bodily functions, completely lets down her walls in “Expecting Amy,” a three-part HBO docuseries chronicling the birth of her first child. Schumer, along with her husband, Chris Fischer, offers more than a glimpse into her personal life, sharing revealing interviews and intimate home videos shot by the couple themselves.
The first episode, “Conception,” begins with Schumer just days into her pregnancy, overjoyed. However, the comic’s emotions become more conflicted as she finds herself dealing with extreme “morning sickness,” a misnomer, as Amy, like many women in her condition, experiences symptoms at all hours. So severe is her nausea that she is forced to cancel a scheduled taping of her Netflix special to go to the emergency room. She is diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that hasn’t been understood well until recent years (Kate Middleton famously dealt with it). As recently as the 1950s, we learn, afflicted women were accused by medical professionals of being attention-seekers.
Schumer’s “discomforts” are on full display here, as we see her repeatedly vomit, openly discuss constipation, and struggle to urinate on a hospital toilet. Although there is bravery in her allowing viewers to see her at her most vulnerable, Schumer is the first to point out that what she experiences is something that so many other women have had to endure, often silently. She poignantly sheds light on how discussing the most unpleasant aspects of pregnancy is taboo, even today. “I resent the culture of how much women have to suck it the fuck up and act like everything’s fine,” she say at one point, her voice thick with emotion.
The comic bares all, literally. As a proponent of body acceptance, it’s no surprise to see her stage a nude maternity shoot, running freely in a nature setting. However, her commitment to showing what pregnancy and birth looks like goes beyond that, as we see her naked body post-baby, exposing her cesarean scar. It says something about our society that such images are considered groundbreaking in 2020, but they are, and Schumer uses her usual humor to get through her physical pain and changes. At the end of it all, when she has her baby son in her arms, she reveals that he is worth everything she went through and more.
But the heart of “Expecting Amy” is her relationship with Fischer. Like so many comics, being cynical about romance has been a part of Schumer’s performer persona, but she appears to have found something real and meaningful with her husband. In the middle of the pregnancy, Fischer is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As Schumer looks at, his “brain works differently,” and one cannot help but be moved when she reveals that all his qualities that come from his Autism, such as inability to lie, are what made her fall in love with him. But no marriage is perfect, and the pair argue over material in Amy’s special in which she finds humor in some of his quirks and their relationship.
Another birth is chronicled in “Expecting Amy,” and that is Schumer’s most recent Netflix special, “Growing.” Those interested in comedy will get a lot out of witnessing the development and execution of a comedy special of this caliber. Comedy buffs will also get a kick out of the familiar faces that pop up, including Colin Quinn, Dave Attell, and Jerry Seinfeld. Schumer seems to be friends with every celebrity in New York. Even her doula, Domino Kirke, has showbiz connections, being the sister of Jemima and Lola.
“Expecting Amy” begins streaming July 9 on HBO Max.