by Meredith O’Brien
Ah, Grey’s Anatomy how you befuddle and intrigue me. I’ve watched you from day one, followed the ups and downs of the Meredith Grey-Derek Shepherd love affair, watched beloved cast members depart and suffered through some of your moments of weakness. But when it comes to issues related to pregnancy and child-rearing, you continue to paint a complicated yet fascinating portrait of the subject.
The most recent episode of Grey’s was a perfect example of how the show handles this sometimes twisty topic: In the very first scene, the marquee couple, Meredith and Derek, learned that after months of trying to get pregnant – following Meredith’s miscarriage some six months prior – that Meredith, once again, was not pregnant. The couple had visited a specialist a few episodes beforehand and were told that Meredith has a “hostile uterus,” so they know that getting pregnant again may prove difficult. However in the very last scene of that same episode, there was Callie Torres, who has been talking about her desire to have babies for years, announcing that she was pregnant by her friends-with-benefits lover Mark Sloan, just when her ex-girlfriend was pleading with her to get back together.
Way back in the days when Callie was married to George O’Malley, she said she wanted “a dozen” babies. Upon hearing this, the only working mom on Grey’s Anatomy, Miranda Bailey told Callie, "One’s enough unless you plan to put away that scalpel." Years later, when Callie was dating Arizona Robbins – a pediatric surgeon who said she expressly did NOT want children – Callie asked Bailey, whose husband divorced her because he detested her workaholic ways, when’s the best time to have a child. "The best time to have kids is never," Bailey said, adding that being a mother also provided her with "irrational, unbridled joy." By this time, Bailey herself had decided to take a few steps back from her career, giving up running a free clinic she started, in order to spend more time with her son.
Baby lust hasn’t been confined to just the women. After being dumped by his girlfriend, Mark Sloan jumped into bed with Callie, who’d also been dumped by her lover. Ever since his teen daughter that he never knew existed turned up on his doorstep last season, Mark has been pining away for a baby of his own. He and his baby hungry friend Callie had hoped that maybe they could adopt Mark’s daughter’s child but the daughter put the baby up for adoption, leaving Mark heartbroken yet determined to make a family.