For the record

One line in particular from Tina Fey’s memoir (autobiography? autobimemoirphy?), Bossypants, has stuck with me for months. She’s describing the process of cajoling Alec Baldwin to star in 30 Rock.

“I met with several excellent actors about playing the role of Jack Donaghy, and with each meeting it became increasingly clear that the part was meant for Alec Baldwin. But I didn’t have to work up the nerve to talk to him about it yet, because now I was pregnant and the shooting of the pilot was postponed.

In September, my daughter was born. (For the record: epidural, vaginal delivery, did not poop on the table). Around Christmastime, I was back at work at Saturday Night Live and Alec was hosting. The show was good that week and Alec was having a good time…”

The line that struck me, obviously, was the one about her baby. Firstly, because the word ‘poop’ is funny. It just is.

But her compulsion to include an offhand run-down of how she got her baby from her womb into the world is what really gets me. This whole extract actually has very little to do with her being pregnant, with her becoming a mom. It’s about work and it’s about her show.

But she still felt it necessary to put on record the kind of delivery she went through – a reminder for me of how much pressure there is on women to give birth ‘the right way’. Of how pretty much everyone who knows a pregnant woman feels they have the right to know exactly how their baby comes into the world, and to comment on it.

And I know that if she’d left that whole parenthetical sentence out, I’d wonder. And if she didn’t tell us about the poop, I’d wonder about that, too. What’s up with that? I don’t care about any of her other biological processes, so why does the way she pushed out her baby (and the way the women I know who have recently become moms pushed out their babies)  interest me so much?

[Note: if you don’t who Tina Fey is, or what 30 Rock is, you’re a chop missing out on some amazing dance moves.]

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4 Comments

  1. vicki26

     /  October 16, 2011

    I’m a bit of a chop – but i LOVE your blog!

    Reply
    • I changed it, Vick – I crossed out the chop bit. So now you not only love my blog, you are also not a chop! 🙂 xxxx

      Reply
  2. I LOVE your blog too (and thankfully am not a chop). Rather freakily, apparently we have a mutual friend (Mr M. Ogle), who directed me to your blog – and more freakily, we have a few other things in common: I’m 11 weeks knocked up, first try too (was expecting much of the same fertility and miscarriage agony that you did), and currently being moered by night-sickness. And I wailed for 40mins after the wallabies game. I can’t believe it!

    Reply
    • Hooray! Another fellow gestational sufferer! 🙂 So lovely to hear that you like my blog, Shane. Good luck with the last three weeks of your 1st trimester – I thought it would be over after 12 weeks, but, alas, it’s 14. Sigh.

      Reply

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