When Will Meredith and Derek Have a Baby?

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Over the years, Derek and Meredith have gone through more than most couples on TV.

But nothing compared to events on the sixth season finale, as Meredith suffered a miscarriage and Derek almost died from a gunshot. The repercussions of both these developments will be felt when the show returns on September 23.

Once Derek learns of the lost child, "he's devastated," Patrick Dempsey tells TV Guide, "because I think he's the one who wants the child more than she does in many ways. [A baby is] life-affirming for him, so I think he would definitely want to have a child and develop his house and things like that."

What a Pretty Face
Derek the Chief

Meredith lost a baby to conclude season six. How will Derek react to this news on season seven? [Photos: ABC]

Ellen Pompeo adds that Meredith and Derek will act in a "more adult way" next season, with the topic of a baby foremost on their minds.

"We'll explore things that real couples go through with the decision to have a child, balancing the child with work and careers, and whose career is more important; however that goes," she said.

So, can fans start picking out items for a McBaby shower? Not so fast, says Dempsey.

"We've got two more seasons," he says. "I think they'll struggle with it, and then probably not this season, but next season they'll maybe have a child. It won't happen that quickly."

Wait... did Dempsey just hint that he's leaving the show after season eight? Both his and Pompeo's contracts are up in 2012 and the topic of how many seasons Grey's Anatomy will/should run for has been a popular one for fans.

Sound off now: Do you want Grey's to continue after Ellen and Patrick leave? Do you want Mer/Der to have a baby before they depart? And what should they name it if so? We have two requests: George if it's a boy; and anything but Izzie if it's a girl.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."