Amy Poehler on What It Was Like to Tape Saturday Night Live While Pregnant

You can pretend to be a serious individual, but the giant hat gives you away. I’ve spent an inordinate level of time on camera being pregnant. Frequently it was genuine & often it was not. When I shot the filmBaby MamaI wore a fake belly.

It was shaped like a watermelon cut in half & it was strapped onto my body with flesh-colored Velcro. I would adjust it to where it felt comfortable after which giggle at the sight of it below my clothes. I would rip my belly off at lunch plus the gratifying Velcro rip would announce that my pregnancy was over. Countless times I patted my sweaty & firm stomach and thought about how cool it was going to be when I really was pregnant.

Genuine pregnancy is distinctive. When I was first pregnant with my son Archie, I didnt tell anybody, as you’re supposed to keep it secret. Its a honestly magical time, those first few weeks. It pretty much makes you wish you didnt have to tell any individual, ever.

You could just watch your belly grow bigger, and no 1 would be allowed to ask you about it, & you would have your baby as well as a year later you would allow visitors to finally come & meet your little miracle. I was halfway by way of my seventh season atSNL, & no one really acknowledged my nausea or extreme tiredness. That was par for the course at a work that made you remain up all night long & eat cold mozzarella sticks you had to get yourself. My ob-gyn was a wonderfully old Italian man I will call Dr.

G. Dr. G had delivered Sophia Lorens kids. I know this because everyone from his receptionist to the other physicians in his practice liked to tell me this fact.

I was pleased to hear that Dr. G was comfy with attractive & famous vaginas. I dont have a look at myself awesome or well known, but my vagina certainly is. Everyone knows this.

Dr. G was European & old-fashioned in all the right techniques. He reassured me I didnt need an amniocentesis by reminding me that Italian ladies dont worry about that kind of factor. I imagined Sophia Loren laughing off the concept of a needle being driven into her pregnant belly as she sipped an espresso.

Dr. G dressed in stylish suits and moved particularly gently, squirting cold gel on my tummy while whistling a slow tune. He didnt have a 3-D imaging machine. He had a utilitarian black-&-white deal that showed you a blurry picture of what looked like a vast-headed frog.

Your baby is particularly wise, he would say to me & my husband, Will Arnett. You are doing everything right. Please drink one or 2 glasses of red wine a night. The last week of SNL before Archie arrived was specifically thrilling.

The 2008 presidential race was in reality a dead heat and the whole year leading up to the election had been a magical time to work on a live satirical sketch comedy show. Everything felt electric. The audience knew the ins & outs of every political story, and a considerable amount of it had to do with what Saturday Night Live was doing. We could barely keep up with the daily goodies and produced 4 prime-time Weekend Update Thursday specials in the course of September & October.

I was 8 months pregnant and did fifteen live shows in thirteen weeks. Everyone came on. I met then presidential candidate Barack Obama while I was dressed as Dennis Kucinich. Maya was dressed as Barack Obama at the time, so the introduction may have already been slightly more embarrassing for her.

We were doing a sketch about how hot Kucinichs wife was. Thats how much America was paying attention! Then Tina played Sarah Palin for the very first time & blew the roof off the joint. The anticipation of Tina playing Palin was so fun to witness, and she explains it well in her book Fifty Shades of Grey. She totally took on what was expected of her & it was astounding to stand next to her as she killed.

The sketch that night addressed Hillary Clinton coming to terms with the possibility of a Vice President Sarah Palin. It handled fierce competitiveness in politics. It covered energy & entitlement. It covered the way society forces girls to define themselves and compete against each other.

It tackled old theories about Madonna vs. Whore and Slut vs. Shrew. Yet most importantly, it was honestly funny.

That sketch was written by Seth Meyers. Tina & I added jokes. SNL and now Late Show with Seth Meyers producer Mike Shoemaker wrote the legendary line I can see Russia from my home. I keep in mind standing onstage & it being one of the couple of times that something felt perfectly whole.

Archie did flips in my stomach each time the audience clapped. It was the closest to what I think about it feels to write a hit song. Archie was due on a Saturday. The show that night would be Jon Hamms first time hosting.

The musical guest was Coldplay. The Friday before the show, I was in the middle of rehearsing a Mad Men parody, and I named to confirm my 3 P.M. appointment with Dr. G.

The receptionist answered the phone crying. She told me Dr. G had passed away from a heart attack in his sleep. I burst into tears so loudly & violently that I think water was squirting out of my eyes like in a Cathy cartoon.

Nothing is more horrifying than a giant pregnant lady sobbing. Everyone got particularly quiet. I hung up the phone & told Jon and the hair and makeup people that my physician had just DIED. & I was DUE TOMORROW.

And that I knew it seemed like a weird punch line, nonetheless my beloved and dear Italian grandpa was not going to be in a position to help me. I felt so terrible concerning the truth that all I was thinking was What about meeeeeee! I cried and cried in my Mad Men dress. Jon Hamm held me by the shoulders and acknowledged me & said, I know this really is rather sad, however this is a really critical show for me, so Im going to need you to get your shit together. This made me laugh so hard I think I peed.

Going from crying to laughing that quick and difficult happens possibly five times inside your life & that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive. I think it extends our life by a good deal of years. I told everybody at dress rehearsal. It freaked them out.

At three P.M. I went to Dr. Gs office & was met by his grieving colleagues who had worked with him for decades. One of them, the breathtaking Dr.

B, examined me & told me I shouldnt worry. Nothing was happening & I would likely deliver a few days late. He had already treated and met with Dr. Gs other patients and would spend the next twenty-four hours delivering 5 babies.

He was kind & professional, however it was extremely weird. I went back to SNL, where I stayed till 2 A.M. Maya and Fred Armisen were doing bits on the primary stage pretending to be robot versions of themselves, & I laughed and laughed & for the millionth time thought about how lucky I was. Eddie the security guard walked me to the automobile & asked me how I was doing.

Im tired, I said. I went home and got in bed. It was 3 thirty in the morning & I put on my preferred Television show, Law Order, to go to sleep. I heard the bam bam sound effect in the opening credits & my water broke.

Archie was born Saturday, October 25, at six:09 P.M., just about when we would have already been getting ready to do our first run-by means of for Weekend Update. He was, & remains, perfect. My entire world cracked open and has fortunately never been the same since. I watched Saturday Night Live that night, drugged to the gills.

I watched scenes that I had rehearsed hours before. I watched Maya and Kenan sing a song to me, & Seth tap my spot at the Update desk and tell me they loved me. I cried and cried after which laughed and laughed. I added a few more years to my life.

I kissed Archies giant head, which was shaped like a exquisite balloon. Today we wear the same size sombrero. He is six. From the book YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler.