Perfect Moment Monday: My New Hero
January 12, 2009
I haven’t heard anything in the IF blogosphere about the most recent episode of ER. I think I may be the only person who’s still watching after all these years.
Ladies, time to set your TiVo’s — and not just because John Stamos is hunky.
Outspoken stirrup queen Angela Bassett is a regular cast member this year as the new Chief of Emergency Medicine. Her character is fair but tough; the prickly exterior turns out to result from her grief after the death of her young son several years earlier (one flashback episode heartbreakingly portrays his death). It has offered an unusually nuanced portrayal of the loss of a child.
But this past week, the loss storyline became an IF storyline! (Perfect Moment #1)
She and her husband decide that it’s time to rebuild their family. Following one failed cycle with charting (!!) and timed intercourse, Basset’s character considers her advanced maternal age and immediately consults the Chief of Obstetrics (who, frankly, is not the person I would approach for fertility issues — I would go straight to an RE, but the OB is a recurring character). The OB tells her that her estradiol and prolactin are fine, but that her FSH is elevated. I’ve never heard all of the IF lingo in such detail on television before, with acronyms and terms tossed around casually just like on our blogs.
The obstetrician tells her that the odds for IVF with her own eggs approach zero, and that many fertility clinics won’t even attempt IVF on someone with those FSH levels. She lays out alternative options: “adoption, surrogacy, egg donation.”
A realistic portrayal of odds and options! I was shocked. My husband kept exclaiming, “Blog! Blog!”
Bassett’s character decides to take one shot at IVF with her own eggs and then pursue the other options.
As with the second season of Mad Men, I am so excited to see what happens next. This is the last season of the show, so there isn’t a huge amount of time to go through an extended portrayal of multiple routes to family-building, but there is time for her to do an IVF cycle or two.
Perfect Moment #2: What’s particularly exciting about this for me is that Angela Bassett and her husband Courtney B. Vance (who also plays her character’s husband on the show) have talked openly about their 7-year battle with infertility and successful use of a gestational surrogate, resulting in boy-girl twins. It is so gratifying that not only has she been forthcoming about the difficulties she encountered bringing her children into being, but she is drawing on her experiences to bring an intelligent, informed infertility storyline to a network television show.
About 6 or 7 years ago, I saw Angela Bassett in person. I’d always found her to be somewhat pretty on the movie screen, but in person she was absolutely stunning. And, if I do the math, she must have been dealing with infertility at the time I saw her — despite that, she had an aura that drew the eyes of everyone in the room. Many people didn’t even recognize her at first, but just had to keep staring at this unknown woman with magnetic beauty.
She seems to have dealt with her infertility better than I have been dealing lately. Hundreds of turned heads is not what I get when I walk into a room. Most days, I can’t even manage to put on actual pants.
Head to Weebles Wobblog to see more Perfect Moments.