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The Saturday Night Live Natural Childbirth Video Sketch

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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.

Not in Velma’s stack of books and videosThis 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.









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Reader Comments (9)

"the baby is Cuban, making that coffee a required prenatal supplement." LMAO! :P

"my copy of How Everything You Ingest While Pregnant Makes Your Fetus Sad: A Week-by-Week Guide"...that is killer!

Also, the next time I doula for a friend I'm going to point out my years of experience with hair-holding. It could give rise to a new doula marketing catchphrase: "If I can get you through the aftermath of six tequila shots in an hour, I can get you through anything!"

"If I can get you through the aftermath of six tequila shots in an hour, I can get you through anything!"

Rebecca, have you been stalking us?

May 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterJill

Oh moon sister Jill, I thank Hay-sus that you aren't pregnant as well because I'm not sure if I could handle the double birthing. I do have one request that will certainly make my birthing experience "pretty bad-ass"... instead of tequila shots the Cuban baby is requesting some Ron Bacardi. Maybe even a couple "Cuba Libres" if you don't mind cutting up some lime? Is that taking it too far?

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVelma

Velma, what doulas do is anoint your chakras with rum. I'm so sorry that I didn't explain that to you guys! Have to run... I'm working on your custom yoni portrait.

May 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterJill

"Rebecca, have you been stalking us?"

Yep! In fact, I was the mysterious figure who appeared one evening in a questionable pub bathroom, coached you through an unpleasant episode ("you're doing great...make whatever noise you need to...just take a deep breath in between..."), and then disappeared again... but don't worry, I'm still watching and waiting...there whenever needed.

I finally watched and I'm glad I did (I was worried I might fall into the offended camp and have to be enraged for a few hours). It was pretty funny. I love Maya Rudolph, and the weed whacker comment. Good luck, Velma!

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Rachel

I'm generally more of a lurker than a commenter around these parts, but I had to say that I lol-ed at the Cuban coffee part. My kid will be half Cuban; does that mean I can safely consume a cafecito a day?

May 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Amanda, thanks for delurking. Don't forget the pan con marmelada and congrats on your pregnancy. :)

May 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterJill
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