Sunday, August 22, 2010

Infertility in the Movies

A few months ago we rented the movie "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" I'm a sucker for pretty much any romantic comedy and since this story took place in Wyoming supposedly near where my husband is from, we wanted to watch it. It was mildly entertaining and overflowing with over-exaggerated simple life stereotypes of Wyoming hicks (and hey, it was filmed in New Mexico, not Wyoming).

In a nut shell, you have the two main characters Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Paul (Hugh Grant) who are married but separated. They witness a mob murder and must go into a witness protection program together, forcing them to confront their marital problems. One of the stresses on their marriage is their infertility. They talk about the crazy roller coaster of infertility treatments and how that put a strain on them. They both wanted to adopt but didn't express their feelings to each other about that clearly.

Anyway, like all good romantic comedies, they rediscover each other and fall back in love just in time to defeat the mob who discovered where they were hiding. Movies all end too perfectly, and I knew, just knew, that Meryl was going to get pregnant at the end because love conquers all - even polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, sterility, low motility, low sperm count, and a host of other infertility causers.

Well, I was happily surprised when the ending of the movie showed our main characters arriving in the airport with their newly adopted Chinese daughter. Oh, my heart soared! This movie got it right!!!

For about two minutes.

Then as Meryl slipped off her coat back at the apartment, the beautiful New York skyline silhouetted her swollen, pregnant belly.

Yes, indeed, Hollywood true love does conquer infertility.

I am glad they still followed through with their plans for adoption and showed that. But it made me so angry! Nearly every show that breaches the subject of infertility ends with a magical pregnancy.

"Baby Mama" was the same way. Tina Fey's character Kate is a single woman who is unable to conceive due to a misshapen uterus. She hires Angie (Amy Poehler) as a surrogate, who is just scamming for the money. In the end, Kate finds true love and after a single night of intimacy, is magically pregnant.

If you can think of any other movies with against all odds pregnancies, let me know in the comments.

These two movies left me with a sense of disdain that I really cannot put into words. Hollywood gets blamed for a lot of misleading crap (not saying it's wrongfully blamed) and the pervasive myth of "happily ever after" is a sore spot with many.

So to set the record straight, I know what true love is. My husband and I have it. It was love at first sight for us and we've been swept up in it for almost a decade. We've had tears and laughter and dark times and bright times. I can't think of a truer love out there. And it hasn't magically cured each of our respective bodies of their diseases that limit our fertility. What it has done is given us the foundation, friendship, and strength we needed to get through those dark times. It gave us the faith and insight to look somewhere else - adoption - and open our hearts and home to the most perfect baby girl in the world.

It may not be a magical pregnancy, but our path to parenthood is nothing less than miraculous. And thanks to true love, we have more than a scripted, predictable "happily ever after." We have a "happy now and forever after."


Katherine said...

I like "happy now and forever after" much better than "happily ever after." I'm going to have to use that from now on. Thanks.

Richelle-Lynn Garn said...

Well said lady. Gosh I'm going to miss you tons. Who am I going to share my frustrations on the Government, health care and the total lack of knowledge this condition has? We will educate them all, one at a time. HAA! Take that closed minded folk!

Richelle-Lynn Garn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alisha said...

I love this post!

UK Yankee said...

Came here from Feigning Fertility - great post! I haven't seen either of these movies, but it irritates me that in the 'Morgans' one, the adoption wasn't enough. Like, adoption is great, but WOW, pregnancy is sooo much better! It's also irritating how these movies show adoption to be such a simple matter, especially foreign adoption, when anyone who's been through the process knows that's really not the case!
Anyway, thanks for letting me rant a bit - and belated congratulations on that darling baby girl!

Jewls said...

Poppin' in from Ashley's blog! I love this post...I was soooo annoyed at the end of that movie too! It's inevitable that every time we tell a new person that we've adopted they shoot back some story of a friend who adopted and got pregnant...blah!

Maria said...

Thanks for all your love, you are still one of my bestest friends ever! I miss you! We need to get together soon! I am thinking of coming up in Sept, Rachel will be off-track, and I want to come help my mom during radiation. I can't believe how big Jocelyn is! She is such a DOLL!!! Isn't this age such a fun one? I will call you when I know when I am coming up, oh, I need your new cell #, I accidently deleated that text you sent like a year ago before I saved your #. Will you email it to me? Thanks!
Btw- Sorry I haven't been following your blog, I hadn't added it to my blog roll when you changed it, and I kept forgetting to!

Jamie Boyd said...

Great post, as usual. I didn't see "Did You Hear About the Morgans" because I can't stand Sarah Jessica Parker. I'm glad I read this, because now I definately won't bother with it.

Anonymous said...

Just think of this - had this not all have happened the way it did, we wouldn't have gotten to be in the life of a beautiful, happy baby girl. She is such a fit in all of our lives and I'm blessed to be one of the grandparents of this miracle baby. Thanks!

Grandma Z

Ashley said...

So we watched this last night and found ourselves yelling at the tv.

We had a similar conversation and feeling they did in the movie.... when we got a kitten from the animal shelter.

We honestly felt like they were "Oh... let's go pick up a random baby from the airport.... because it's no big deal...."



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