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Why I’m Not Eating Today

My first loss happened on the Fast of Esther, which is traditionally the day before Purim, but on years where Purim falls right after Shabbat, the fast is held on a Thursday.  As in, today.

I wrote about it over here and would love it if you read it in order to understand the rest of this post.

This morning, it occurred to me that even though I ran to the food store two times yesterday, I forgot to pick up a chocolate Yoohoo.  It’s what I drank to break the fast that occurred after my first loss, and as a nod to that baby-that-wasn’t I usually break all subsequent Fast of Esthers with a chocolate Yoohoo too.  I am, if nothing else, a creature of habit and traditions.

I am only fasting today while the house is quiet.  The point of fasting in Judaism is to turn the person inward and use the lack of consumption as a focusing point.  There are no points for simply denying yourself food.  So once the ability to think is gone, replaced by the noise that comes from the twins-that-are, I will sit down and have lunch with them.

I wondered whether or not to blog right now, but this is one of my quiet, contemplative spaces.  The thoughts, I decided, don’t have to solely occur in my head and this is as much meditation as what occurs when I’m running or sitting on the sofa.

This holiday is–at its core–about courage.  I think it takes a lot of bravery to go through infertility or loss; regardless of the actions of family building that stem from infertility or loss.  I don’t want this misunderstood that I’m saying that fertility treatments are brave or adoption is brave.  I mean, yes, they are, but they’re besides the point today.

I think it’s brave to put your heart out there, to want something so badly, to allow your entire being to get wrapped up in the potential life of another person.  If we make that leap to love a partner or family member or friend, we do so knowing that person, having met them, knowing our compatibility or history.  But when we put our entire heart into the idea of a child, we do that bravely.  Without answers or information or sometimes even a true understanding of what it will be like to parent.  It’s the difference between walking into a lit or dark room.  It’s not amazing that I would go to the ends of the earth for Josh; but I do find it brave to go to the ends of the earth for someone you haven’t met yet.

For everyone who has put their heart into the unknown, have left it there for months or years, not knowing if it would ever return back to your body in the form of your wish, I am thinking about you today.  I am thinking about myself.

And now, I’m going to go have a good cry in the shower.  Which is sometimes better than a chocolate Yoohoo.


1 Geochick { 02.25.10 at 10:43 am }

I hope the cry was carthartic. Stopping by to let you know I nominated you for a Beautiful Blogger Award. 🙂

2 Eve { 02.25.10 at 10:56 am }

I’m remembering your loss today with you. I think of how naive I was at the start of my family-making journey, assuming things would unfold in some sort of predictable order. No bavery there. But I nod my head to all of us here who have pressed our face to the windowglass of hope, only to find it locked…or shattered, again and again, and feel so honored to be in the company of such strong, resilient and loving women.

3 Heidi { 02.25.10 at 10:56 am }

I’ll have your good cry right at my desk. That last paragraph is so beautiful. Paragraphs like that are why you were given the calling of Stirrup Queen.

much love

4 mrs.spit { 02.25.10 at 11:03 am }

Abiding with you

5 Pie { 02.25.10 at 11:11 am }

Here with you, Mel. A lovely tribute, that post.

6 Gayle { 02.25.10 at 11:31 am }


7 Kristin { 02.25.10 at 11:31 am }

Have a good cry my friend. Remembering the baby that wasn’t with you. {{{Hugs}}}

8 Heather { 02.25.10 at 11:39 am }

I just adore you…and your Chocolate Yoohoo. Much love and extra prayers for you today…

9 A.M.S. { 02.25.10 at 11:57 am }

Abiding with you and holding you close.

10 a { 02.25.10 at 12:04 pm }

You have great courage…

Abiding with you.

11 My Reality { 02.25.10 at 12:17 pm }

Remembering with you.

12 Delenn { 02.25.10 at 12:32 pm }

Thinking of you today.

13 susy { 02.25.10 at 12:40 pm }

Thinking of you and the baby-that-wasn’t today. A good cry is sometimes better than a chocolate Yoohoo, but still have one, ok? And the bravery part of this is the perfect answer to what I was “trying” to say in my post today. You always know.. [[hugs]]… but not while you’re in the shower. 😉 hope that at least give you a smile.

14 Jessica { 02.25.10 at 12:55 pm }

Thanks for thinking of us today, and all the babies that wasn’t. Your last paragraph was very beautiful.

15 Amel { 02.25.10 at 12:59 pm }

HUGS…this is a beautiful post…

16 Allison { 02.25.10 at 1:10 pm }

*crying* Thank you for sharing your meditative thoughts. You touched my heart today, on this day when I’m not feeling very brave or courageous.

17 Lisa { 02.25.10 at 1:16 pm }

Thinking of you as you observe this day.

18 Devon { 02.25.10 at 1:22 pm }

Such beautiful words, I’m tearing up now at my desk. I’ll be thinking of you today-

19 Heather { 02.25.10 at 1:59 pm }

Crying right with you…

20 Calliope { 02.25.10 at 2:06 pm }

beautiful post. thank you for allowing us to quietly sit with you as you dwell in a contemplative space.

21 Al { 02.25.10 at 2:16 pm }

Beautiful post, Mel, and a lovely tribute to the baby that wasn’t. I am remembering your loss today and reflecting on my own as well. I love that you remember what was lost every year; I want so badly not to forget, but sometimes it’s so hard to remember. thank you for sharing.

22 Mina { 02.25.10 at 2:18 pm }

Your cry is my cry.
And by ‘my’ I mean the entire ALI community.
Thank you.

23 Kimbosue { 02.25.10 at 2:28 pm }

Thinking of you today.

24 Anjali { 02.25.10 at 2:34 pm }

I have tears in my eyes, as I think of you and your loss, and me and mine, and all of these souls who were loved so much.

25 Angie { 02.25.10 at 2:35 pm }

Abiding with you as you remember. xo

26 Myndi { 02.25.10 at 2:45 pm }

A heart-wrenching post for a heart-wrenching day. Crying right along with you.

27 Lavender Luz { 02.25.10 at 3:16 pm }

Hugs to you, my friend. Hugs and a chocolate Yoohoo.

You have really spoken to my heart with this post, about the bravery it takes to put yourself out there for something you see for yourself.

You embody the best of both Vashti and Esther.

28 Shelli { 02.25.10 at 3:23 pm }

Virtually holding on to your hand.

29 Meim { 02.25.10 at 3:34 pm }

Crying with you today.

Thank you for a beautiful post.

30 Busted Kate { 02.25.10 at 3:48 pm }

Sending thoughts your way.

31 Life in Eden { 02.25.10 at 3:59 pm }

Thank you for being you Melissa. (((you)))

32 TexasRed { 02.25.10 at 4:05 pm }


33 Sonja { 02.25.10 at 5:37 pm }

*hugs* You’re in my thoughts.

34 coffeegrl { 02.25.10 at 5:42 pm }

What a beautiful teachable moment. I consider myself lucky to have found you. I’m so sorry for your loss and at the same time, I feel so lucky that you are able to talk me through this experience and the bigger implications that you see in life. Peace.

35 Rebecca { 02.25.10 at 6:35 pm }

Thank you for allowing us to share this day with you. You are an incredible woman who lives life with a spirit of incredible courage. I’m abiding with you. Many hugs coming your way as you remember the baby that wasn’t. 🙁

36 LJ { 02.25.10 at 7:08 pm }

My sweet, dear friend. I am holding you close in my heart. You are so very strong AND brave AND amazing.

37 HereWeGoAJen { 02.25.10 at 7:51 pm }

Thinking about you today, Mel.

38 meghan { 02.25.10 at 8:51 pm }

Remembering with you. Much love…

39 Anna C { 02.25.10 at 9:05 pm }

Thanks for this. I feel braver now. And a craving for YooHoo.

40 Lily - The Infertile Mind { 02.25.10 at 10:02 pm }

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful, like you.

41 marisa { 02.26.10 at 12:40 am }

beautiful. inspiring. thank you.

42 Battynurse { 02.26.10 at 2:19 am }

Such a beautiful post.

43 loribeth { 02.26.10 at 11:10 am }

Between you & Joannie Rochette, I’m a mess at work this morning. (((hugs))) & lots of chocolate for you, my friend.

44 andrea { 02.26.10 at 2:05 pm }

You said it so well. “It’s the difference between walking into a lit or dark room. It’s not amazing that I would go to the ends of the earth for Josh; but I do find it brave to go to the ends of the earth for someone you haven’t met yet.” THANK YOU and sending love to all the women I haven’t met who share in some version of this crazy infertility journey.

45 Annacyclopedia { 02.28.10 at 12:31 am }

I’m late reading this but send you my love anyway. Thank you as always for your wisdom, clarity, and passion for making connections – intellectual, spiritual and human.

46 Bea { 03.01.10 at 6:29 am }

This is such a beautiful post, and well-put.

I like that you think I’ve been brave. I certainly haven’t felt it.


47 Bea { 03.01.10 at 6:33 am }

And. I read the other one – and that is well-put, too. How much more common, the story of standing one’s ground in vain?


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