Shonda Rimes Reveals Why Cristina Changed Her Attitude Towards Motherhood
If you can remember back to the Paleozoic Era — you know, around the time of Grey's Anatomy's first season — you might remember that Cristina (Sandra Oh) was pregnant once before, carrying a child conceived with her then-beau, Dr. Preston Burke. Even though she scheduled an abortion that time, too, she never went through with it. And when she miscarried, she cried real tears of grief. So why was Cristina such a naysayer about her recent pregnancy and not so much before?
Shonda explained to New York magazine that she was planning on having Cristina have an abortion during the first season, but the idea of giving her a ectopic pregnancy was a storyline that she couldn't miss.
"I went into the writers’ room and somebody pitched what would then be the medical reality of Cristina having the ectopic pregnancy and collapsing in the O.R. and that’s how Burke finds out that she’s pregnant," Shonda tells the magazine. "That was so much more interesting to me, story-wise, that I let go of what we were going to do and did that."
However, Shonda does reveal that it was a "big battle" to even have Cristina consider having an abortion back when she first started Grey's.
Our take: She's older and, in many ways, more mature than she was back then. She's more attuned to her wants and desires in this life, and a child plays no role in the future she imagines for herself and Owen (Kevin McKidd). When she was just a lowly intern, she was still getting to know herself and her chosen career. And maybe, with her youthful hubris, she thought she could have it all: A prestigious career, a loving husband, and a happy family. Now she's one of the best surgeons in the hospital, she's more realistic in her outlook in life, and she wants nothing holding her back from her ambition. And remember, she stayed with Owen even though doing so meant that he couldn't pick her as Chief Resident. So she already sacrificed her job prospects out of love for Owen; she understandably doesn't want anything else taking priority.
Besides, any time she feels pangs of maternal instinct, she can always go baby-talk Zola or Sofia or any of the other Seattle Grace spawn!