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

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)