Rewind :: A Lesson in Patience and Conversational Spanish

This is a post I wrote as a guest blogger back in April 2011.

I came across it recently, and thought it was worth sharing here… even if just to compare life then to life now.

Normal then, and the new normal.


Like many of you reading this article, my husband and I have been working on starting a family for some time now.

…Which is what we tell our friends and family members when they ask.  …And boy do they ask.

The honest-to-Jeebus truth is that my whole life revolves around getting knocked up.  I might be a rookie in online infertility circles, but in my life, I know more about my uterus than a roomful of Ob-Gyns.  I’ve been feeding my husband vitamin supplements and controlling the style of underwear he sports for two years, all while subjecting myself to a never-ending line of doctors and nurses who put on headlamps and look into my vagina like gold miners searching for the mother lode (pun intended).

I take my temperature daily, and have learned to designate what type of cervical mucus I have at any given time with disturbing accuracy.  I’ve had enough blood drawn for testing that it makes me feel guilty whenever I see blood drives asking to help replenish their dwindling emergency supplies.  I’ve taken ovulation-inducing medications that make me have acid-trippy nightmares and hot flashes that leave me soggy.  I use my smart phone for fertility charting, Facebook, email, Twitter, and phone calls–in that order.  I’ve had my legs in the air more in the past two years than I did my entire college career.  I’ve peed on more sticks than I could even begin to count, and I’m honestly starting to feel like sex is only just a vehicle to get to motherhood.

All of that, and still no baby.  It can be depressing, and isolating, and hard on a marriage (if not a sex life).

Some days, I wonder if there is hope for me at all… and then some days there are little signs that keep me going.

Last time I was at the hospital (which seems to be rather often these days), I noticed that the signs on the walls were in both English and Spanish.  Now, I don’t know the first thing about Spanish because I didn’t feel the need to take that class in high school.  I was the cool kid who wanted to do something different.

So I went ahead and took four years of Latin. 


I am neither Catholic nor a doctor, so that particular choice has never really paid off for me over the years.  I can, however, recognize the Latin roots in words in many languages, which is very occasionally (read: not really at all) helpful.

Like the situation where I was sitting in the hospital, waiting to have my girly bits poked at yet again, and attempting to conjugate Spanish verbs.

The sign adjacent to my hard, gray chair read “Sala de Espera:  Waiting Room”.

I was intrigued, and more than a little confused by the translation; of course, having no functional knowledge of Spanish, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I did manage to recognize the word sala, stemming from the Latin root cella, meaning “room”.  Straightforward enough, no?

The word espera however, was throwing me off.  From the context of the sign on the wall, I gathered that in Spanish, espera must mean “waiting”.  As I thought long and hard about the interpretation, I remembered something from my childhood.  I once met a little girl named Esperanza, which I thought was the most beautiful name I’d ever heard.  I named my Cabbage Patch doll after her, which my mother probably thought was a little odd, considering the overwhelming WASPiness of the community in which I grew up, and the fact that the rest of my dolls had names like Molly and Paige.

I looked the name up in a baby name guide in the library once, and remember reading that Esperanza was actually the Spanish word for “hope”.

This is where something had been lost in translation, at least in my mind.

If the full form of the Spanish word “esperanza” means “hope“, and the the Latin root “espera” means “wait“, then a very interesting thing happens when comparing the two interpretations:

Hope does not come without waiting…

Well, in Spanish, anyway.

Maybe it’s just the hormones, or maybe there’s a profound lesson in patience in there somewhere.

Oh, who am I kidding?  …It’s probably the hormones.

3 comments on “Rewind :: A Lesson in Patience and Conversational Spanish

  1. Kelly
    October 16, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Very true!


  2. Su
    October 16, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Spent hundreds of hours in ‘salas de espera’ and never thought about the espera-esperanza connection… but I did make it my objective to keep the light of hope alive. It was not easy but it made the ride a bit more bearable. Hang in there! ❤


  3. Amber Rose
    October 17, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    I love this post.


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