Amy Schumer Talks About Severe Endometriosis and Her C-section Delivery

On a recent podcast, the actress shared details of her "scary" birthing experience in 2019 while delivering her son Gene.

Anyone who thinks a cesarean delivery is the "easy" option needs to listen to Amy Schumer's birth story. The actress welcomed her first child, son Gene, into the world in May 2019. She shared details about the harrowing experience with Elliot Berlin, a prenatal chiropractor, childbirth educator, and labor doula who hosts the Informed Pregnancy and Parenting podcast.

Schumer's Birth Story

Originally, Schumer wanted to have a doula-assisted delivery at a birthing center. But as her pregnancy progressed—and her hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a pregnancy complication characterized by severe nausea and vomiting—worsened, she decided to have a hospital C-section at 39 weeks.

"It was a rainy Sunday and I woke up vomiting and was like the sickest I'd been the whole time," she told Berlin. "And I was like, 'I can't do this anymore.' I was so big and I was so miserable and couldn't keep anything down."

But her HG wasn't the only issue, In fact, Schumer said her docs were "amazed" that she had been able to carry a baby at all, due to her severe endometriosis. They had "no question" she would need a C-section.

When it came to the actual surgery, having endometriosis made things even tougher. "I was throwing up through the first hour of my C-section. It's supposed to take about an hour and a half—mine took over three hours because of my endometriosis," revealed Schumer, "and that was really scary."

During the birth, she said she began to grow "worried" at how long it was taking, but she took comfort from having her husband, Chris Fischer, by her side through the worst of it. "It was kind of brutal," she said. "…But Chris was so great—we just stared into each other's eyes and he just held me there. Then they let me hold Gene for a good amount of time. I got to see him and hold him."

The miracle of birth worked its magic, and like most mothers, Schumer said the day she gave birth was the best day of her life. In fact, baby Gene's arrival made the months of severe illness worthwhile, even though the HG was so bad she was forced to cancel her comedy tour.

"This has been by far the best year of my life and I spent half of it vomiting every day," Schumer captioned a snap of the new family of three on Instagram.

What Is Severe Endometriosis 

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, endometriosis is when the endometrial tissue lining the uterus grows or implants outside of the uterus. Often it will affect areas like the ovaries and fallopian tubes, but can also appear in other areas of the pelvic region like the bladder and colon.

Endometriosis can be categorized by stages depending on the uterine tissue's growth, density, and implantation. It is also important to note that this disease can be widespread from the start and is not a progressive disease.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)—classifies severe endometriosis as stage four. The ASRM is one of several rating or scoring platforms for endo. During the severe stage, the tissue adhesions are dense and the disease is widespread. Also, during stage four, infertility is "very unlikely" says the ASRM.

Endometriosis symptoms include painful and heavy periods, long periods, pain during sex, nausea, fatigue, and pain during urination or bowel movements. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA), between 30% to 50% of those with endometriosis experience some issues with fertility.

Depending on the number, location, and density of implants, surgeries—such as c-sections—can become more complicated.

Recovery After C-section

Of course, actually having a c-section is only one part of the process. Many women find recovery difficult, and Schumer was no exception. She told the podcast that recovery was "torture." But at the same time, she felt an enormous amount of relief that she was no longer ill—her HG symptoms disappeared as soon as Gene was born.

"I had a fresh c-section which had complications [but] I was just so happy," the Trainwreck star said. "I mean, other than just having a baby, which a couple of people told me the day you give birth is the best day of your life, and that was true for me, but that relief."

More of Schumer's pregnancy and birth experience will be shared in an "unfiltered" documentary, Expecting Amy on HBO Max, WarnerMedia's forthcoming streaming service.

"Women are warriors, every one of us. And I hope sharing my story brings more awareness to the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth," Schumer said in a statement.

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