The Saturday Night Live Natural Childbirth Video Sketch
By Jill Arnold
I briefly considered posting this earlier in the week but found it ill-fitting considering the nature of the week’s posts. After days of hearing about this SNL sketch, including a text from a friend that the video TOTALLY reminded her of me (For the love of all things holy, what specifically made you think of me?), I’m posting it.
The sketch has everything: merkins, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, a papasan chair and a creepy make-out session of sorts with Bill Hader. If you enjoyed this Facebook thread about the Bradley book guy being the original hipster, you’ll enjoy this, too.
A few years ago, I watched the video of the people wading into the Black Sea to give birth or labor or whatever was going on there (“In Soviet Russia, baby pushes YOU!”). I remember digging it, which I think was because I was still wondering what giving birth out of a hospital bed looked like.
This sketch is timely because I just gave one of my best friends (to whom I’m going to assign a good name, like Velma) a stack of pregnancy and birth books. Velma’s favorite was Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth, followed closely by Your Best Birth. There was a DVD on my shelf that I’d never seen and I must have told her three times while passing it on to her that I haven’t seen it yet and have NO idea what’s on there. Now I’m kind of worried that there was a big papasan chair and some nasal licking involved.
Unfortunately, I had already pawned off my copy of How Everything You Ingest While Pregnant Makes Your Fetus Sad: A Week-by-Week Guide on this friend a few years ago. Velma didn’t really need it, as she already got stared down while sipping some coffee well into her second trimester by a woman who asked her if she felt that coffee was worth it. Ms. Coffee Patrol has no idea that it’s definitely not worth it to ask Velma obnoxious questions like that (trust me) and that the baby is Cuban, making that coffee a required prenatal supplement.
It’s really an honor to be Velma’s friend/doula through this whole process. It’s a natural role for me, since I already have 15 years of experience holding back her hair while she pukes. It’s been interesting to listen to Velma talk about her fears, preferences and values about pregnancy and upcoming motherhood. My main goal is to love the crap out of her and help her have bad-ass experience (and hopefully not a bad ass-experience) as she defines it. If she needs help advocating for her preferences (“What do you mean I can’t wear my own merkin at the hospital?! That is, like, totally sexist or something.”), I hope I can give her and Mr. Velma some tools to do so effectively.
Love you, Velma. You’re the Maya Rudolph to my Kristen Wiig.