For some celebrities, pregnancy is a time to retreat from the public eye and be more strategic about what they share online. They guard their personal lives a little closer, and their social media presence gets a little more curated.
But when Amy Schumer announced her pregnancy in October, she didn’t stop sharing. We saw—and heard, in some of her more graphic Insta stories—just how hard this pregnancy and the resulting hyperemesis (an extreme form of morning sickness) have been on Schumer.
Schumer’s humor has always been real, and her new Netflix special, Growing, is one of the realest descriptions of pregnancy I’ve ever seen on my TV.
As a mom who didn’t glow as much as I groaned through my pregnancy, I laughed so hard I cried. And as a mom of a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, I cried tears of relief.
In one hour Amy Schumer simultaneously made me feel seen and helped me see a happy future for my son, and I can’t thank her enough.
[Warning, light spoilers ahead]
Amy Schumer: Growing | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix
The Netflix description for this special describes it as “both raunchy and sincere” and that’s totally accurate. If you’ve seen Schumer’s previous Netflix special, you know you can’t watch this until the kids are in bed.
In Growing Schumer proves that pregnancy didn’t make her a different person or take the curse words out of her vocabulary. She is who she is, she just happens to be becoming a mom, too.
And becoming a mom has not been easy. Schumer’s description of yeast infections, and vomiting and hemorrhoids and all the parts of pregnancy that nobody puts on a felt letter board gave me flashbacks and validation.
In Growing, Schumer is saying that it’s okay not to love being pregnant and that it doesn’t mean you don’t love that baby growing inside you. It’s a message more women need to hear because it’s hard to see photo after photo of smiling mamas sporting cute bumps and wonder if you’re the only woman who doesn’t love feeling someone sit on your bladder.
That feeling (the emotional one, not the bladder one) made me feel alone in my pregnancy, but it’s been three years since I wondered if there was something wrong with me. These days, I’m more worried about whether my son, who is now a preschooler, will grow up to think there’s something wrong with him.
As the mother of a kid on the spectrum, I gasped when Schumer explained that her husband, Chris Fischer, is too. I sobbed when she described some of her husband’s quirks, because I see them everyday in my son.
I don’t want to spoil the special too much, but let me tell you this: In revealing that her husband, the father of her future child, is on the spectrum, Schumer gave me so much hope.
I’m so grateful that Schumer (and Fischer, who must be on board with this) shared that bit of info because sitting there in front of my TV all the versions of my son’s future that got erased when we got our ASD diagnosis came flooding back.
I could see him as a grown man, and he wasn’t alone. He was falling in love with a partner like Schumer. He was becoming a father like Fischer. He was happy (and different, in the way Schumer describes her husband) but he wasn’t alone.
Schumer’s trademark raunch isn’t for everybody, but her authenticity and vulnerability sure is for me. For 60 minutes I watched a woman stand alone on a stage and I felt less alone.