VII. “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not yet the end.” – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
I tried a third course of IVF treatment and this time the baby was doing fine at the 10-week ultrasound. My graduation gift from the fertility clinic as they passed me on to an OB/GYN for the rest of my care was a perfectly smooth white stone with the word BELIEVE carved into it. It struck me odd that an organization dedicated to the science of medicine and fertility would choose such a gift for its clients, but I appreciated the nod to the mystery of life. Like this quote, the stone seemed to point the way to trusting that everything would be all right in the end, as hard and nerve-racking as that can be.
When I sit down to tell my three and a half-year-old daughter that I have a baby in my tummy and that she’ll be a big sister, she replied, “Right now?” After I spent fifteen minutes explaining that she’ll have to wait six months for her brother to arrive, that he would come in the summer and right now it was spring, plus a side discussion about what seasons are, and all the growing that he was doing in my tummy, she seemed excited about the news and satisfied to wait. Then our friend from pre-school, Beth, had her baby and my daughter said, “They got their baby faster.”
Which made me laugh but also cut a little close to the bone because I’m not great at waiting in life. I’m continually fighting to enjoy the process instead of racing towards the outcome. But I’m finally learning to relax into the cycles in my own life which feel a lot like climbing a mountain. There is the grueling hard work of finding the path and marking the way as you carry everything you need on your back and fight to make ground towards your goal. This phase of the process is so rich with hope – for success, the strength to do it, good weather and that you’ve done the right preparation. It’s gathering, planning, inhaling. Then whether you’ve made it or not, there is the time to head down — the pack is lighter and the way is marked but you and your supplies are exhausted so it takes great care to stay the course you’ve already set. This phase requires so much faith to see you carefully to the bottom. It’s making the climb a round-trip, celebrating and exhaling. Hope and faith. In and out. Planting and reaping. And I find the cycle not only in the mountains but with the waves at the beach and even in the most repetitive things when I blink, breathe and sleep.
So I’ve learned that expectancy is good for me because after laying all the ground work, I get to exhale my way into the next phase of life and my family. I have to wait and believe that this idea that began with a soul whisper, survived doubt, failure and fear, required inspiration and relentless participation will blossom into a healthy and vital life, full of change, surprise and joy for me, my daughter and the baby boy in my tummy. I meditate each morning because believing is hard work and I remember this movie quote from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel whenever I need to be reassured that all my honest efforts and the process of life will take me somewhere worth going.