An infertile girl in the waiting room: What to read while on hold listening to elevator music

Couples struggling with infertility live their lives on hold–stuck in the waiting room of the in between, palms open to the unseen–never knowing when the collect call to conception will go through.

Most couples, the lucky ones, receive the wonderful news that in nine months they will be parents. And so they fill their time with parenting and motherhood magazines, buying items for the baby’s room, and registering for their baby shower. They have plenty of reading material to pass their hours. Many of them have not even visited the waiting room where we mark our time.

For us however, at first we read every book in the room–all about infertility, about our specific diagnosis, about the things we need to do to change the things we need to change–hoping that knowledge will help us to finally depart from the waiting room. Yet when we find ourselves still there, and simply not able to re-read the pages that keep unfolding the same story again and again, what do we reach for? How do we keep ourselves busy while stuck to the hard, plastic, orange chairs of a dusky, stale waiting room?

We stop reading and we begin to write our own story.

We begin to throw out the magazines full of labels, of limitations, of failures. And we learn to dream bigger dreams, hope grander hopes, and to envision a reality devoid of the stagnated air and dirty yellow walls of a waiting room that we’ve inhabited for far too long. We set ourselves free by opening the door and walking out. 

You see, when lingering in the in between of infertility, we have a choice. We can sit, wait, and read the same old magazines, or we can step out into the unseen and begin writing a new chapter in our lives.

While we cannot force our collect call to conception to be accepted, we can choose how we spend our time while on hold. We can choose to live a vibrant life, breathe the fresh air of a new day’s possibilities, and savor every delight our five senses brings us outside of the four-walled waiting room of on hold.

So what should we read while on hold listening to elevator music? Perhaps nothing; put the books of what’s wrong down and begin writing your own story of what’s right. A story that not only has the happy ending of parenthood, but that also contains many savory adventures in the proceeding chapters.

Hang up the phone and live. Because really, who wants to listen to elevator music when they could be composing their own symphony?


  1. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Elizabeth. I hope the symphony you are composing today makes you sing to the mountain tops. No doubt it’s a beauty!

  2. Such a good point – so hard to put into practice. I’m glad you’re able to take this perspective, as I know it doesn’t come quickly or easily. I wrote something along similar lines nearly a year ago. Waiting can be so hard, but it is what we do with that time we are given (gifted?) that really matters. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Well said, time is a gift–should we choose to use it as such!

  3. I love this. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on myself.

    1. Hi Daryl, best to you as you work on writing your own glorious story. I’m sure it is going to be a beautiful one–with a happy ending!

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