Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trending now...

There are certain topics that have been pervading the blogosphere lately. For a while, it was the idea of spurning Facebook. Then I noticed a ton of memes, BFP posts, planning posts (I did one of those), and tagging posts with music (I'm a frequent participant in those too). Now, I'm joining the chorus in discussing how much I am despising watching all of my favorite TV shows lately.

I know I willingly subject myself to Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, and 16 and Pregnant. (Don't judge me.) I don't know why those shows don't bother me. Maybe it is that they were so young and stupid. But, with sitcoms and series, I am feeling like a deer in the headlights.

Right now, Parenthood, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, and Fringe (KG's fav - telepathy via IVF!), all have story lines having to do with babies, infertility, or adoption in some shape or form. The other day Smoon even texted me to warn me about HIMYM, before I watched it on DVR.

But this week, it was really the Parenthood/Glee combo that sent me over the edge. Spoilers below.

I love Parenthood. It is by far the best series on TV, in my own humble opinion. The writing is sensitive and witty. The story lines are gripping. It goes without saying that I was also a big fan of the 1989 film of the same name, that the series is based on. I think it was Mel who posted the scene with Grandma, talking about life using the metaphor of a roller coaster. Brilliant film-making, I tell you. The series bases its characters off of the film's cast, but has given them a slightly different flavor. It has just the right mix of humor, sadness, and complexity. Seriously, KG and I look forward to it every single week.

Until this season.

Joel (Sam Jaeger), Sydney (Savannah Page Rae) and Julia (Erika Christensen)

Right now, they are running parallel story lines with two sisters.  One sister (Sarah) is 40 and considering having a child with her young boyfriend. This is relatively benign, and they haven't gotten farther than having her son find ovulation tests in her bathroom.  The other sister (Julia) is experiencing secondary infertility and subsequently decided to pursue adoption. She is an attorney, and a girl who sells coffee in her building (Zoe) offers to give up her unwanted baby to Julia and her husband. Zoe ends up actually living with Julia, because she has no money and the father of the baby left her. Over the last several episodes, Zoe has been pushing Julia away, making her fear that Zoe will change her mind about the baby, despite Zoe's denials. Over and over again, Julia warns her husband that she has a sinking feeling this adoption will not work out. This also gave me a sinking feeling.

In this week's episode, Zoe gives birth. Julia is there for the delivery, as she has been her main support throughout the entire pregnancy. In the middle of labor, Zoe tells Julia that she loves her, and Julia reciprocates. At birth, Zoe refuses to hold the baby, reassuring Julia that everything is going to be okay when the time comes.

Then, the next day, Julia, her husband, and her daughter all come to the hospital to take the baby home. Julia looks for Zoe in her hospital room, finding the nurse changing the sheets, and Zoe nowhere to be seen.

This is where my stomach dropped the first time. I literally felt my ears get tense. Then, it gets worse.

After being told Zoe is taking a walk, Julia goes to the nursery to hold her newly adopted son. Instead, through the window, she sees Zoe holding her baby - crying, cooing, and becoming attached. Zoe and Julia make eye contact, and the look on Zoe's face just screams, "I'm sorry." Julia walks away, locks herself in a hospital room, and bursts into tears, knowing she has spent 9 months bonding with a baby she will never take home.

Not only is this Julia's worst nightmare, but this would be my own worst nightmare, if I decided to adopt. My heart BROKE for her. Her pain was palpable, as she sent her daughter away with her husband, so she could collapse in private.

I don't know what to feel about this story line. There is still a chance it could end well for Julia, but my gut tells me it won't. At the end of the episode, I felt drained, sad, and hopeless. Not exactly what I usually look for from my DVR.

I wonder how some of you bloggers who are in the adoption process feel about this story line. Do you find it to be a positive thing, revealing the difficulties that adoption poses? Do you feel it is manipulative or fear-provoking? Sensationalist?

The fun didn't stop there...

Next, I decided to watch Glee. The show has been pretty annoying recently, when in the last couple of weeks, Sue Sylvester announced her intention to do IVF with donor sperm. For Sue, apparently the laws of physics, biology, and medical protocol don't apply. She was able to complete an entire IVF cycle (which apparently went directly from shots to conception, skipping retrieval and transfer all together) in 3 weeks.

Yup, in the first 10 minutes of this week's episode, she announced she is pregnant. Really? Really?! Isn't she like 45 years old? She got pregnant on the first try?!

I couldn't take it. I stopped the episode and hit delete, right then and there.

Who knew TV would be such a minefield. Maybe this is a sign from the universe that I need to spend my time reading instead.

Photo credit: NBC

Today's song is "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush. This song was featured in a movie called She's Having a Baby. This and Funny About Love were two of the first films that I can remember watching which dealt with infertility. Who knew, years later, that IF would be so trendy in mainstream media?


  1. Ugh! I hate when this happens! I had a similar experience watching an episode of an old sitcom (I can't even remember the name of it now), but they approached a friend and asked him to donate his sperm! TV is usually a place that we can just veg out and not think but that has not been the case lately! So sorry girl!

  2. I definitely thought to myself, "Even Sue Sylvester can get pregnant?" Ugh.

  3. I too, watch Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. My hubby tries to get me to stop but I can't break away from the WT goodness. I agree. It's not too upsetting. But Good God...I keep hearing about Glee. SO glad I didn't watch it.

  4. Ack!!! Spoiler alert! I haven't watched the latest parenthood yet! I got halfway through your post and had to quit - ill be back after I watch!

  5. I love Parenthood and just knew something wouldn't work out with Julia. I'm dealing with 2IF also and have really been drawn to her storyline. It was awful to watch and I thought to myself, yep - I've cried those tears too. And, by the way- I have always loved the song This Woman's Work.. I can picture exactly what was happening in the movie as that song was playing.

  6. I watch Glee too and freaked out with the irresponsible nature of the producers. Do they not do ANY research? I have a small feeling however that either Sue may have done IUI or isn't pregnant at all.
    Second, I watch Private Practice and one of the main characters is a MFM doc who is infertile herself. She had that whole adoption thing happen to her as well. And her IVF failed. At least they are portraying it correctly!

  7. You definitely are a writer. You just very succinctly summarized all of Parenthood. :) You should write movie reviews or book covers.

    Gosh, I know! Infertility popping up everywhere on my shows. I kind of love it, but haaate it when they don't portray it accurately. Parenthood was a tearjerker for sure. For Julia, and Zoe. I'm glad they did a good job of showing all the emotions so our peers that say "just adopt" can see how heart wrenching it can be.

    On the HIMYM, I was surprised they did another infertility story line after Lily had trouble TTC. But what's up with Robyn? What type of test or exam did they do that makes her completely infertile? It's just not true to life. I want to know what her condition is!

  8. Aussie follower here.. Don't watch any of those shows. But here we have our own take. 'Neighbours' have just male factor IF, and I absolutely recommend anyone googling an Aussie show 'Offspring', who didn't realistically tackle IF, but nailed miscarriage! Damn it was good. Dinner scene of a whining new mum across from a event mc woman grieving. She lost it and was so blunt I wish I had her front.

    Great topic!

  9. I rolled my eyes so hard when watching Glee I'm surprised that they are still in my head. Just another fail for the television community about what REALLY goes on with infertility.

  10. Ok, finally watched parenthood. Stupid drugs and IF had me a big mess. I bawled from the very start when Julia said "our son is coming!". Adoption is scary and hard, I would be terrified. My brother in law adopted in Washington state and the mother has (get this) 6 MONTHS to change her mind! Can you imagine worrying for 6 months that you might lose your baby? How can you bond when you are so scared of losing them?

  11. I used to watch 16 and pregnant and the teen mom shows. I stopped a few months ago. I just can't do it anymore. The only other I watch that has to do with IF is HIMYM and I have no problem with it. I would rather watch those shows than watch teenagers get pregnant so easily.

  12. I actually don't watch those shows though I have heard good things about them. Of late its just been Grimm, Once Upon A Time, House and Downton Abbey for me.

  13. I stopped watching Glee this season because they aren't singing and dancing enough for my taste anymore. And I'm glad I read this, because now I'm NEVER watching it again. I would have been absolutely stunned if I had seen that, and then I would have gotten totally pissed.

    I used to watch Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant until my husband literally begged me to stop. It was like self-flagellation or something. We never knew if I was going to happily enjoy my mindless tv or start crying because someone went to an OB appointment.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Happy ICLW!

  14. Being in Australia, we are well behind on Parenthood/Glee, but I know what you mean. 2 of our well known TV Shows had the same IVF storyline, with perfect 1st cycle conceptions. One at the moment, has the storyline of a couple looking for help after TTC for 3mths.

    When I was TTC, I found I could watch those baby shows on the health network, but the drama storylines about IF were too hard.

    Stopping by from ICLW.

  15. Glee is so ridiculous that I'm able to watch it without feeling stung by the storyline. Yes, it was stupid, but so are most of the storylines on that show. For all we know, Sue just thinks she's pregnant and it isn't even true (although I guess they already did that storyline in season one).

    But you know what got me really upset? (And I'm seriously embarrassed by this fact.) The latest Twilight movie. I mean, it was a terrible movie, no doubt about it. But...but...she got pregnant! The first time! With a VAMPIRE who DOESN"T EVEN HAVE SPERM! And then she had a baby like weeks later. I was so mad and upset after watching that movie.

    1. LOL I'm a Twilight fan - I won't lie. The Breaking Dawn story is so off the wall nuts that it didn't bother me. It's almost like Teen Vampire Mom or 16 and Pregnant with a Vampire Baby.

  16. I had to stop watching Glee after Quinn started making plans to steal back her daughter. It angered me that the producers would be so irresponsible to suggest this was even a possibility, as it make adoption seem like a temporary solution.

    This post broke my heart. I use to follow a blogger who went through a similar situation, ultimately choosing to adopt internationally because of that trauma. It's really too bad because not all adoptions end like this and in a lot of states the grace period is very short to prevent this from happening. One thing this story does do is highlight for the rest of the world that adoption isn't like purchasing a new car or household item. There really isn't a guarantee until after the state makes things official. And even then, with a lot of adoptions being open, there still this person who will forever connected to your family is some way (whether that be through sending photos or one day explaining to your child how they came into your family).

    Anyway, I have the same fear. But I also look at my friends and co-workers who have gone through the adoption process and their children are so amazing! You said so yourself, one way or another, our babies are on their way. And I'll be here supporting you as we journey together to find them.

  17. I don't watch Parenthood b/c I heard that it had a bad adoption storyline in it. One show that I do watch is Once Upon a Time. I like it, but I do cringe when they play up the "wicked queen is the adoptive mother who can't bond with the son like his birthmother."

  18. I don't mind watching my favorite shows when they have issues of pregnancy or infertility because I know what is REAL....and the shows are just for entertainment. It is unfortunate that there are others out there who believe it because they saw it on tv.

    I did find Guiliana and Bill (reality show on E) to be very moving when she m/c after an IVF.


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