Something those close to me know is that I love “Grey’s Anatomy.” It is one of a few television shows I watch. I have a borderline irrational relationship with “Grey’s.” The problem is it’s real to me. The characters, all of whom are surgeons, are so well developed and the stories so well written that I occasionally find myself almost confusing fiction with reality.
One of my coworkers and I were recently chatting about Jillian Michaels’ plans to adopt a child. “Derek and Meredith are adopting!” I chirped. My coworker’s perplexed reply was a simple, “Who?” I tried reasoning with her: “Oh, you know, ‘Grey’s Anantomy’?” No luck. I looked like a crazy person.
The most recent season that ended in May concluded with an incredibly troubling episode. One of the main characters – Cristina Yang, who has long made it known to her husband and her friends that she does not want children – discovered she was pregnant and made an appointment to “terminate the pregnancy.”
Cristina’s best friend is Meredith Grey, the narrator of most episodes and namesake of the show. Meredith calls Cristina her “person.” They have a unique friendship that even their husbands don’t understand.
At the end of the 2009-2010 season, Meredith suffered a miscarriage and has since been told she has “a hostile uterus.” We saw her undergoing fertility treatments during this last season, desperately trying and yearning for a baby. When one of her doctor colleagues, Callie, became pregnant “on accident,” Meredith acted cordially and even attended the baby shower hosted by coworkers at the hospital. Meredith and her hubby Derek eventually decided to pursue adoption when an African baby girl in need of a family became one of their patients.
In case you’re not sure where this is going, I identify with Meredith. Deep down I know she is not real, but I empathize with her.
I know what it is like to have the everyone-is-pregnant-but-me feeling.
OK, OK, I know I’m exaggerating. But, it seems as though almost every woman I know who is of child-bearing age is pregnant.
The week after I had a miscarriage, my sister-in-law called to tell me she is expecting. A few weeks later, my other sister-in-law announced her baby news. Follow that with learning that two co-workers, several church friends and countless Facebook pals are carrying bundles of joy, and I started having daily pity parties for myself. Sometimes I simply feel sad, while other days I feel angry, jealous or depressed. I am selfishly consumed by my own worries, fears and anxieties.
The reason this is such sensitive territory is because I would never want any of the aforementioned moms-to-be to think I’m angry at them. Let me be clear: I am not angry at those women, and I would never wish anything bad for them. In fact, I wish them all uncomplicated pregnancies followed by healthy babies. It’s just that sometimes I wish I didn’t have to hear about it all or see their baby bumps.
When Callie’s pregnancy became part of the “Grey’s” storyline, I said to one of my friends, “Even the fictional people in my life are getting pregnant! I’m surrounded by it.”
Then, Callie and her baby almost died as the result of a car crash. After surgery saved Callie and the baby was delivered prematurely, Meredith said these words to Derek in the elevator: “Yesterday at that baby shower, I was jealous of Callie because she got pregnant without trying. And, we try. I get shots. I take my temperature. I put my legs in the air. And, nothing. The universe says, ‘Screw you, Meredith’ and gives Callie a kid and then puts Callie through a windshield. I mean, what the hell is going on? What’s the point? Is there a reason for this? Because if you can think of a reason, any reason at all, why the universe is so screwed up and random and mean, now would be an amazingly good time to tell me because I really need some answers.”
At that moment, Meredith became my “person” – well, one of them anyway. Granted, I disagree with her use of the term “universe” as if there’s some obscure force inflicting pain and suffering on the world. But, I related to her jealousy, anger and confusion. I do not know why my last pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I do not know why my hormones have been completely out of whack since then.
We do not always understand why bad things happen.
But, I do believe that God will bring good out of trying times. And, I have prayed for patience to get through this particular trying time in my life. I think God is using all the pregnant women in my life, maybe even the “Grey’s” girls, to teach me that patience.
At the very end of the season seven finale, Cristina told Meredith about her pregnancy and also her plan to end that life. Overwhelmed by the adopted child living in her house, Meredith chose not to process Cristina’s decision and instead asked her best friend to help her with the baby.
As the show ended, I wondered if Meredith would like to have me as her new “person.” Hey, there are still three months until the new season starts.