Thursday, June 23, 2011

Infertility in the media: I want your help!

Last night while I was falling asleep, Julie & Julia was playing. I loved this movie because it combined blogging (something I love) with cooking (something my husband loves) while also so perfectly including infertility and living life as a tall woman. Only her being an athlete would have made this movie more fitting for me.

I had written previously about this movie on my blog here. And while I could not find a copy of the exact two infertility clips that really moved me in Julie & Julia, I was able to find a video on youtube that did have the clip, albeit no dialouge can be hard.

On the video below, check out the fourth and sixth scenes that come up in the montage. The fourth scene shows Julia and her husband, married many years, receiving news that Julia's sister, who had just married, was expecting a baby. Julia Childs (played by Meryl Streep) so perfectly demonstartes how it feels to be not have children and watch those around you receive that gift. I don't know who wrote this scene or how Meryl did it, but I felt someone had been spying in my own living room when I received pregnancy news over and over again while our own womb stayed empty. Julia is happy for her sister but finds herself crying out of sadness. An incredible mixture of emotions done unbelievably well.

In the sixth scene, Julia and her husband are walking down the sidewalk. They pass a baby carriage, and she glances back and then tries to compose herself. Her husband pats her hand without a word shared between them. Again, the movie portrayed the feeling of infertility perfectly.

After watching these scenes again last night, I realized how beneficial they were to the cause of childlessness. These scenes educate the public on how infertility feels. I decided that I wanted to try and compile a list of positive media sources for infertility and adoption. This can be "famous" people who struggled with infertility or shared their journey. This can be books or movies that portrayed this part of life positively. I really don't want to put up limits as to what I am hoping to compile. Adoption can be included as well -- although I would really like to focus more on the infertility aspect as it is a lot easier to find positive adoption language and concepts than it is infertility.

Can you help? Please leave a comment, or, if you feel more comfortable, you can email me at Thanks everyone! I look forward to developing this list with help from you and research of my own.


  • UP: Recommended by many readers for the opening montage about life without children.
  • Baby Mama: Has many references to infertility although there is a surprise pregnancy at the end that can be difficult for those in the midst of infertility
  • Meet the Robinsons: Older child adoption
  • Immediate Family: Some harsh language but an infertility movie
  • Maybe Baby:
  • Funny about Love:
  • Serious Moonlight: Dark comedy with frustrating ending but good infertility plotline.
  • Did You Hear About the Morgans:
  • Facing the Giants: Infertility storyline, although ending was a little bothersome.
TV Shows
  • Giuliana and Bill: features E host Guliana and Apprentice winner Bill's journey through IVF including their subsequent miscarriage.
  • The Little Couple: Chronicles fertility journey including IVF and surrogacy. Click here or here or here for video clips of their struggle.
  • Grey's Anatomy: About 4.5 minutes into this scene, you see Meredith have a conversation with her husband in the elevator showing, quite accurately, the feelings of jealousy that often accompany infertility.
  • Friends: Chandler and Monica's infertility and adoption
  • King of Queens: Infertility
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Brothers and Sisters: Contains an IF storyline
  • Celion Dion
  • Nicole Kidman: "I had tried and failed and failed," she said. "Every woman who has been through all those ups and downs knows the depression that comes with it. So the way it just happened with Sunday was like, 'What?' The percentages were so low. It is the miracle in my life."
  • Nia Vardalos
  • Renee Elise Goldsberry: She wins a TONY and discusses infertility in her acceptance speech. You can view the video here. 


Deniz Bevan said...

Will look around and let you know if I find something! Something real, that is (there was a Kids in the Hall skit about a woman who wanted a baby so badly she kept stealing from other mothers' strollers...).

mommacommaphd said...

Have you been able to see the reality show "Giuliana and Bill"

Giuliana is a host of E and her husband Bill was the first winner of Donald Trump's Apprentice.

The show follows their lives- and in the past season, a large part of it was trying to conceive.

Unfortunately, it also included a miscarriage.

I think it did a great job showing their hopes and struggles, their pain and loss. My heart broke for them.

It seems a silly, frivolous, reality show, but I think it also gave a glimpse into the emotions and lives of couples struggling with infertility.

Anonymous said...

This may not be exactly what you're looking for but 'Baby Mama' deals with infertility. (there are spoilers in this post) While it's a comedy there are some very true-to-life moments in the beginning. Tina Fey's character wants to have a baby (she's not married and is in her upper 30's). At one point in the beginning she is walking through the city and notices every pregnant belly and baby on the street. There's also a scene where Tina is at her sister's house. Her sister has at least 3 kids and the kids are running wild. Tina expresses her desire to have children too and her sister minimizes those feelings. Tina's reaction was one of sadness (although the reaction may not have been as strong as someone in real life). There is also a failed (scammed) surrogacy attempt and then a surprise pregnancy (which is why many women struggling with infertility won't watch the movie). I cried several times throughout the movie because some of the scenes seemed so real.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot about the movie UP. While it only happens in the beginning of the movie, the main character and his wife can't have babies. I cried during that part too. I know there are more that I've seen, but can't think of them right now.


Jennifer said...

The last few seasons of Friends dealt with Monica and Chandler's infertility and then adoption. Also, King of Queens dealt with infertility at the end of the series. Both shows don't show it in the best light and not "real life", but still somewhat examples Also, I second the Up! movie. I think that did a very good representation, though it took some explaining to my 4 year old at the time about what was happening.

Anonymous said...

Adoption moives/cartoons - Meet the Robinsons (great for an older child adoption), Kung Fu Panda (it's touched upon - you'll miss it if your not paying attention), Kung Fu Panda 2, Miss Spider's Sunny Patch


Anonymous said...

Celine Dion has talked openly in people magazine about her fertility struggles.

Flakymn said...

I haven't emailed or commented in quite a while but I wanted to share with you a movie that touched my heart from an infertility & adoption standpoint.

It is called "Immediate Family" and stars Glenn Close & James Woods. It had many scenes that I felt I could have written myself both from my years of infertility and from my open adoption experience. I think you would like it too. Let me know if you end up watching it and what you think.

Jen said...

Country Singer Kelly Coffee sang about her IF:

Also, One Tree Hill did an IF story line. It included a failed adoption. It ended in a miracle pregnancy, but I think they did do a decent job with it. It covered the last 2 seasons.

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