These are the words that Meredith Grey said over and over again during last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy.
I knew I'd hate how they would handle their bandwagon-jumping infertility subplot. I knew it before this season began. In the final episode of last season, Meredith finds out she's pregnant, then promptly miscarries while Derek undergoes a life-saving surgery after he is shot by a disgruntled widower of a former patient. Did you follow that? In equally dramatic fashion, someone in the OR says, "Meredith, you're bleeding." Because, uh, you know miscarrying always means gushing blood out of your vagina for all to see. Meredith replies, calmly, "I'm having a miscarriage." Because, also, you would know you are having one immediately. And you'd be calm about it. That was that. The season ended.
Obviously, the topic continued into this season, and I told several people after the premiere that I "wouldn't be surprised" if they used the miscarriage as a way to work infertility into the storyline. After all, I'd read somewhere that one of the show's creators experienced IF. Not to mention the fact that IF has become an incredibly popular topic as of late in popular media - books, TV, and movies. So, imagine my lack of surprise when the preview for last week's show displayed Meredith and Derek sitting in an OB's office. Despite the two weeks plus of shows building on my DVR, I skipped right to Grey's, curious to see how they would handle this situation.
At the beginning of the show, we sit inside of Meredith's OB's office when she and Derek learn that she suffers from a hostile uterus. She then parades around the hospital repeating this phrase throughout the episode. The closing scene shows Mere and Derek in bed at the end of the day, and Derek gives a "poetic" speech:
"Here's what we're gonna do. No more doctors, no more labs. You and I, we have a lot of sex. Maybe we make a baby, maybe we don't. Maybe you get Alzheimer's, maybe you don't. Just screw the odds, screw science. Let's just live. Whatever happens, happens. Me and you. Okay?"
Seriously? Let's rewind:
Issue #1: No doctor in his or her right fucking mind would ever tell a patient that she has a hostile uterus. That's not a diagnosis. Hostile cervical mucus, maybe. But not uterus. I'm going to give the writers of this show the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were referring to natural killer cells. Maybe?
Issue #2: If in fact the writers were referring to natural killer cells, this diagnosis would not 1) come at an OB's office or 2) come several months after suffering only one miscarriage. Either the writers skipped a few steps (like, uh, years and other losses) or they have no clue how this process works. I think I'm leaning toward option two.
Issue #3: Who walks around saying, "I have a hostile uterus" as if it's like having a migraine or a backache? Meredith is incredibly blase about the entire thing, and so are the rest of the characters. As if it's no big deal. As if it's a joke. Okay, so maybe some people act this way when they are diagnosed. But no one I know. Did any of you react this way?
Issue #4: Derek's monologue at the end has multiple issues. First, this sounds like something a person would say after YEARS of doctor's visits and labs. Not after one appointment earlier that day! It's not a "snap your fingers and it's over" thing. It's a "let's sit down and discuss this and come to a conclusion over some time" thing. Also, can we please NOT stereotype the "whatever happens, happens" bit? I fear how this will end: they let go of the baby dream and magically get pregnant. I get enough of that bullshit fairytale in my personal life. Can Grey's not make it any worse? The last thing any of us in this community need is, "Well, it happened for Meredith and Derek . . ."
Wake up and smell the roses, writers. This isn't how infertility works, and you clearly didn't do your research. What you are doing is perpetuating rumors and putting new, false information into the world about the ALI community - as if we didn't have enough of that going around. Rather than pulling shit out of your ass, perhaps you could have done a little Web browsing, read some blogs, and talked to a fertility doctor. Find out what it's like to go through something like this.
Instead, you've just made your show even more of a joke than it already is for a community of people who are tired of being the punchline.