“Each morning of that winter, and even sometimes in the twilight, I walked outside to the crab-apple tree and gazed at the cocoon.  Somehow it helped me find the courage to do what God seemed to be asking.  To stay in the circle without escaping, to ‘still myself’  and wait.”  (Sue Monk Kidd, WHEN THE HEART WAITS)



Waiting for a positive pregnancy test. Waiting through each trimester.  Waiting for a successful ultrasound.  Waiting to be “full term.”  Waiting those long 9 months to hold my baby.  Waiting two more weeks...

Waking and waiting to feel my baby move.  

Waiting for the nurse to answer.  Waiting for my husband to arrive. Waiting out the drive to the hospital. Waiting to be brought to a triage room. Waiting for the nurse to walk in.  Waiting for a heartbeat to be found.  Waiting for the doctor.  Waiting for an answer.  Waiting for a priest.  

Waiting to tell our children the unthinkable.  Breaking innocent hearts that are too young to know this pain.  

Waiting for the induction.  Waiting for the epidural.  Waiting for my body to go numb.

Waiting to wake up. For the nightmare to end. For my baby’s heart to start beating again.   For the pain to diminish. For the confusion to resolve.  For it to all work out like I envisioned.


Waiting for my body to progress.  Waiting to be checked.  For my water to break.  To hit ten centimeters. For my baby to crown.  For my body to cooperate. For it to all be “finished.”  Waiting for the unexpected misery to be confined into just one day. For it to end before midnight.  Waiting for the doctor to come back.

Waiting to push. Waiting for the crucifixion to be finalized.  Waiting for an explanation.  Waiting for my baby to come out with the hope that my baby might actually come out alive.  Waiting for the pressure to cease from my doctor manipulating my baby’s body, which became breach.  Waiting to see. Waiting beyond the fear.  Waiting for the unknown.


Waiting to find out the gender. Waiting for her weight. Her length. For her to be placed in my arms.  Waiting for her to wake up.  To open her eyes. To take a breath. To warm up.  To cry.   Waiting for everyone to see her.  Waiting to proclaim, “It’s a girl!”  

Waiting throughout the night. Holding her tightly. Memorizing her features.  Refusing slumber.  For the morning to arrive even though I didn’t want it.  For the sun to come out and break the darkness. To call our children.  For them to arrive.  Waiting for the hour that we would have to choose to walk away.

Waiting to say goodbye.  Waiting for the car. Waiting for the nurse who would push me down the hall...ashamed, with empty arms, completely heartbroken, and without my baby.  Waiting to go home.

Waiting to pass out. To wake up. To make arrangements. To stop hurting. To start breathing. For it to all make sense.   

Waiting three days. For the funeral. The burial. The despair.  Waiting for my milk to dry up.  Waiting for my due date.


Waiting for time to go backwards. For it all to change. For it to not be true.  For my husband to pull me out of bed once again. For the tears to stop drenching my sheets. To wake up with my face unswollen. My eyes not blood shot.  To tend to my children again.  To handle life’s daily tasks.  To regain my appetite. 

Waiting for my body to heal.  For my heart to mend.  To recognize the reflection in the mirror.

Waiting for her to come back.  Waiting for my dreams to become my reality.   For her life to be within me.  For the hollow feeling within my womb to feel full again.  Waiting to feel her kick again. Waiting to hold her again. Waiting to see her again.  For my life to be put back together.  

And now... 

Waiting for acceptance. Waiting for peace. Waiting for redemption.  Waiting for love to take over the pain.

Waiting for joy. Waiting for hope.  Waiting for resurrection.  Waiting to be fearless. Waiting for courage.   

Waiting for healing...mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Waiting for the next wave of grief. Waiting for a “good day.”  Waiting for strength.

Waiting to be understood. Waiting to understand.  Waiting to “feel better.”  For “emotional stability.”  To not be triggered. To not be exhausted. To feel alive again.

Waiting for her.  Waiting for heaven.

How do I “stay still in this circle of waiting?”  I feel trapped. This “cocoon” is suffocating.   All I want to do is escape. I’m TIRED of waiting. I want answers. And control. And for none of this to have ever happened.  I’m at a standstill in this thing called waiting, and it’s agonizing.

But what if I am able to wait?  Perhaps even if it is impatiently?  What will be on the other side of this?  What wings will I gain when I break free from this darkness?  What new life will come from this death? How would she want me to respond? 

For I am tired of dead end outcomes, dissapointments, heartaches, and failures.  So I will try to wait.  Because sprinting to the finish line is getting me nowhere. Racing toward the future isn’t giving me what I want to hold onto.  And I can’t change the past to make a satisfactory outcome. All I have is NOW.  And to be in the now, is to be in the waiting. The long, long waiting.  

The call not only to wait, but to ‘stay’ in my waiting, had arrived.  Gradually I would discover what this dark and mysterious process was all about.”  (Sue Monk Kidd, WHEN THE HEART WAITS)

Emma JamesComment