For much of her career, comedian Amy Schumer has been known for her raunchy bits and foul-mouthed takes on womanhood. Her new HBO Max docuseries, Expecting Amy, however, gives viewers an inside look at a more intimate part of her life, from the day she found out she was pregnant, through the first days of new motherhood.
The three-episode series, which premiered July 9, documents Amy’s journey through an extremely difficult pregnancy, in which she was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a pregnancy complication characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration, which Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, famously experienced with all three of her pregnancies. How that translates into the series: Puking. Lots and lots and lots of puking. In cars, backstage right before she performs, and even while recording her podcast, Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith.
The story of the star’s painful journey is told with extreme honesty, which is refreshing for a pregnancy docuseries. But with Amy, of course, everything’s incredibly raw. In the first episode, she’s asked if she resents anything, like touring while pregnant. “I don’t resent being pregnant, I resent everyone who hasn’t been honest. I resent the culture and how much women have to … act like everything’s fine. I really resent that.”
In an exclusive interview, Amy opened up about how her experience changed her view of how women are treated by society.
“Women just have to suck it up and carry on,” Amy said. “We just aren’t believed by doctors, and with hyperemesis, there isn’t a lot of research on the topic. Women of color are treated so much worse [than white women], too, and maternal death rates for women of color are astonishing.”
The Trainwreck actress said her onerous pregnancy taught her something useful for all women: “Listen to your bodies and your instincts.”
The series, directed and edited by Alexander Hammer, known for Grammy-winning Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, followed Amy through her doula experience (which she loved, by the way), her hubby, Chris Fischer’s, autism spectrum diagnosis, her difficulty nursing baby Gene and more, all while trailing Amy on her standup comedy tour.
When asked if she had any advice for moms balancing their families and their careers, in true Amy fashion, she candidly admitted she had none. “I have no advice, I need advice. Guilt shoots through me constantly, and I’m only 14 months into motherhood. I try to comfort my friends through it, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I totally look to other moms for their help and advice.”
We’ve all been there, Mama. Check out Expecting Amy, exclusively on HBO Max, for a look at the comedian’s blunt introduction to motherhood. You might need a doggie bag, but the series might just show society what pregnancy actually looks like. And for that, we’re grateful.