Waiting

Lime Kiln Point, San Juan Island

Today’s guest post is from Robin, who graduated from BYU in Broadcast Journalism and worked in TV news in Washington DC where she fell in love, literally and figuratively. Her Virginia-born husband tricked her into a life on the opposite side of the country in the Pacific Northwest. Robin is an Arizonan at heart who craves flip flops year round, taco stands and lime Cokes. She blogs at lovingcake.wordpress.com

There is a spot on San Juan Island boasting the best odds in the world to see a whale from land. That’s where we found ourselves Labor Day Weekend. We visited The Whale Museum to prepare ourselves. We read up on marine mammals, ooooed and awed over the newest orca babies, learned how to differentiate between dolphins and  porpoises, saw the genealogy of J, K and L pods, read about the harsh reality of tracking and tried to unlearn about the unfortunate existence of whale parasites.

Standing under a giant whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling I did what anyone would do – I imagined Jonah inside its belly. Before exiting the museum we brushed up on our whale calls.

My expectations at the beginning of the weekend in the whale spotting department had been pretty low. I was just excited to explore a part of the Northwest I had not yet been to. But after paying our $10 park fee and walking along the rocky cliff shoreline, the lapping waves did something to me. I was determined to see a baby calf with its mom or a pod. Squinting into the sun, I began scanning the water with a concentration reminiscent of my life-guarding days.

And then we waited.

We had the desire, ability and time, but this would be a game of patience. Much like another wait.

Our new house has five bedrooms, we have no children; two facts that don’t seem correlated. Yet somehow it is emphasized by neighbors, friends, even strangers. I have begun to examine off-handed comments I make. I probably wouldn’t have realized something like, “Gee whiz, FIVE bedrooms? You better get started on filling them up!” would be hurtful. I know better now.

July makes me anxious. I don’t have a very good history with Julys.

Last July, in my non-stop, all day zombie sickness I tried to survive and a part of me hoped. But I didn’t let myself get excited. The night before my second doctor’s appointment, the anxiety began. In the waiting room I shook uncontrollably. Something did not feel right. I was scared as the doctor searched and searched for the heartbeat and then, i just stared at the ceiling. Despite her attempts to nervously say, “These are sometimes hard to find.” I knew it wouldn’t be found. And so, last July eerily repeated the July before with little heartbeats missing.

And so we wait.

We didn’t see any whales that day but the following weekend our friends, standing by the same lighthouse, would see dozens. an unbelievable, slightly miraculous thing. Sometimes I am happy for my friends. Sometimes I am jealous. Other times I am completely sad over their good fortune.

Recently, after talking for 40 minutes to a new doctor, he gently said, “If you and your husband pray, I would suggest now is a time to pray.” Something about his suggestion, unexpected, uttered in a sterile room, pierced me. We will wait on the lord.

“…And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.” Ether 1:43

16 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. I had, what I assume to be, a similar experience 7 years ago. My first pregnancy ended in heartache at 12 weeks when there was no heartbeat at my first prenatal appointment. My second ended the same way several months later. I promised myself then that I wouldn’t keep quiet if I learned of others going through the same thing. I felt so alone and had practically no one to talk to about it – I lived in Provo and was 26, almost everyone I knew was pregnant or had just had a baby. At my first appointment for my third pregnancy the doctor couldn’t find the heartbeat because my own was beating so fast (from anxiety and fear) that he first mistook it to be the baby’s. He immediately sent me in for an ultrasound ( and a thyroid check). Miraculously, there was a heartbeat. And despite my constant worry for the rest of my pregnancy, I had a healthy baby girl. I had another healthy girl 2.5 years later, and then another “missed miscarriage” a year after that. None of my doctors had been sure of the reason for this ( I had had 3 by this point, doctors and miscarriages) but my most recent Dr suggested progesterone supplementation for all future pregnancies. I now have a healthy 6 month old baby boy. I know this waiting is hard. It was the saddest time of my life. Prayer helps, so does crying, and remember it IS a big deal. I only write all this here in hopes that my experience might help you, and others who might read it, to have hope while you wait.

  2. This post speaks so much to my heart right at this moment. Though not in the exact same situation, the past years have been similar ones of waiting for my husband and I. It is heartbreaking. And when your friends see the dozens of whales, well, that is heartbreaking as well.

    Thanks for sharing this story. I think you’re a lot braver than I am. ;) And for what it’s worth, I’ll send some prayers North for you.

  3. This is beautiful. And heartbreaking. I know how it feels to wait; it is just so hard. Prayers and love for you, your husband, and everyone else who is waiting on the Lord.

  4. I think all your feelings are completely normal; I went through a miscarriage nearly three years ago and cycled through all sorts of scary, uncontrollable feelings.

    I’m so sorry for your losses.

  5. thank you for the lovely comments. your prayers and sentiments are much appreciated. i believe we have commonality as women since many of us have righteous desires that may not yet be realized.

    i was shocked by my first miscarriage, thinking i was alone in this. when i opened up and shared that part of me i found so many women who had been down the same path. i am grateful for others who have shared their story, and i have been strengthened by them!

  6. While I have not had the same trial of waiting for children to come that you have, I have had miscarriages and had to wait for other things and know that it is HARD. My heart goes out to you.

  7. After 2 miscarriages, progesterone supplements helped me too. Some drs don’t seem to know about it.

    At 26 I felt that difficult sting of sitting in church childless among families after 3 years of trying, hoping this month would be different. But now at 45 I have 5 children: 19, 15, 12, 5 and 3.

    Blessings to you. My heart breaks for you and I pray your waiting will bring fruit.

  8. Thank you for this beautiful, heart wrenching post. I too have waited on the Lord for my children, years and years. You are not alone. Much love being sent your way.

  9. I think one of the hardest parts of infertility of any kind is that you just don’t know when the waiting will end. It could be tomorrow, it could be next year, it could be never. I hated that–not knowing how long I needed to steel myself for.

    For me, it was 15 long months until I got that positive pregnancy test. Some people wait longer. I am so grateful for my sweet baby girl, but I’ve noticed I’m subconsciously preparing myself for a long wait for number two. Even though we’re not even thinking about adding to our family yet.

    It is hard. Hang in there. Hope you have lots of friends and family to fill your five rooms with love and laughter.

  10. Two things come to mind.

    First, I was struck by Viktor Frankl’s tale near the end of his book Man’s Search for Meaning. He recounts how the most difficult part of living through a concentration camp was not the poor treatment, horrific living conditions or the intense daily labor–it was not knowing when it might come to an end. Even as rumors and news came that the camps would be closed those prisoners were hard-pressed to hope for an end to their suffering because the timing was so unknown. (I have not done his words justice, but could not find the exact quote through my quick search, but I believe that was the gist of it.)

    Secondly, in reference to your beautifully written words, I think upon the talk, And a Little Child shall Lead Them. President Packer relays:

    “Another young couple tearfully told me they had just come from a doctor where they were told they would be unable to have children of their own. They were brokenhearted with the news. They were surprised when I told them that they were actually quite fortunate. They wondered why I would say such a thing. I told them their state was infinitely better than that of other couples who were capable of being parents but who rejected and selfishly avoided that responsibility.

    “I told them, ‘At least you want children, and that desire will weigh heavily in your favor in your earthly lives and beyond because it will provide spiritual and emotional stability. Ultimately, you will be much better off because you wanted children and could not have them, as compared to those who could but would not have children.’”

    I pray for you in your waiting. Certainly factoring in time is one the hardest unknowns to wade through.

  11. After eight years of waiting for motherhood, I reached a point of discouragement that brought me to my knees with this prayer: I know one day, I will look back on this and see thy perfection in the timing. Give me a taste of that right now so I can make it through today.

    10 years, one adorable boy, and thousands of unfulfilled expectations later, I am still uttering the same prayer.

    What I know now that I didn’t then is that the kryptonite the Lord gives us is a gift we need even more than the thing we want. If it brings me to my knees, it leads to Him. Even though I still want what I want, I’ll take what I can get.

  12. My heart goes out to you. We had one child when we were waiting. People would say, “She’s your only one?” As if she weren’t enough of a person to take the world by storm.

    While my wait for children is over (and yours will be over one day too) I wait on the Lord for many other things – answers, patience, healing, strength, resources, perspective, and flat out miracles. We all share waiting. If we could only crack open our hearts more often to pass the time, then the wait could find meaning beyond the clock ticks. Time is the space between birth and death, a finite measure. To make even the waiting valuable would be pay homage to our birth, to the births we wait for.

    I have a family member with demetia, seemingly waiting to die. I wonder what could make her waiting a crowning glory to her life instead of the embarrassing decline it appears.

    This waiting… it whispers something important about us, about our time.

  13. Jendoop, that is lovely. It reminds me that it’s only because we live in time that we wait. Like Kel, I am a poor waiter. But all things are present to God. AND to our own spirits, because we are of God. I am trying to more often see with spiritual eyes and when I do, there is absolute Peace.

    Robin, we wait with you in faith and love.

  14. @jendoop i love how you said we all share waiting. i really feel the same way. i think we share more than we realize no matter our demons in this life.

    @lisa g @lindsay @lisa and everyone else for your very kind thoughts and sentiments. it is wonderful to feel the power of each other.

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