Yes, I'm still watching Grey's Anatomy. I know, I know: it's not as great as it used to be. But it satisfies my "nearly end of the week, needing something I don't have to think about much" Thursday night dilemma. And I still love Dr. Bailey. So there.
Last night, Meredith and Derek went to a doctor to check out their baby-making potential. (My DVR description of the show says they visited an "obstetrician" - I'm hoping that, given their whole "being doctors" thing, it was an RE, but nobody mentioned any names so it probably doesn't matter.) Meredith had a miscarriage at the end of last season, in the midst of a shooting spree at the hospital, in case you didn't know.
The doctor came in with a somber face and said to them, "well, we have some things to talk about." And all we learned after that is that Meredith has a hostile uterus. Apparent diagnosis: infertility.
Meanwhile, as I was waiting for my hair cut yesterday, flipping through the pages of a recent Entertainment Weekly, I came across a description for this season of How I Met Your Mother, indicating that the married couple in that show are going to start trying to have a baby and experience fertility troubles.
And, as we know, there's always Giuliana and Bill. And the often dubiously-correct (or, flat-out, wildly incorrect) fertility storylines on Private Practice, although those have been in mercifully short supply lately.
I used to wish that infertility got more coverage in the mainstream media. You know, besides things like Octo-Mom and reality shows featuring high order multiple families. And the occasional patronizing article in the New York Times.
But now I'm not so sure. The big advantage of secrecy is that you can keep things accurate and manageable. Okay, nobody understands infertility: but at least they don't go around with half-assed information, trying to act as if they do. Full-on ignorance is sometimes preferable.
I remember reading reviews of Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, which - while acknowledging that they are both remarkable movies in many ways - also pointed out that seeing a movie about something as horrific as the Holocaust, or as traumatic as D-Day, is no substitute for the real thing. That having people come out of a theatre saying, "now I understand what that was like," is truly insulting to those who survived those events. No, you don't understand, said the reviewer (a WWII vet). No movie, visually stunning as it might be, can give you even a glimpse of the reality it portrays.
Believe me, I'm not suggesting that infertility is on par with D-Day and the Holocaust. But there's something similar at work here, in that publicity about something - anything - can lead people to believe that they really understand it, without ever having experienced it for themselves. That gets really aggravating when you've been through it. There are no shortcuts for pain.
But, then again, there's great value in bringing things into the light. Acknowledging that the pain is real. Beginning to educate people who have made all kinds of inaccurate assumptions.
So, is it good or bad if infertility is the new black? What do you think?