I’m trying to do too many things this Ramadan. But there’s so much fog that I can’t even pull a decent post together, let alone clean, laundry, cook dinner, (fail) playgroups, shop, make samosas, and sleep (what’s that?).
Normally one might feel hungry or thirsty during a no food/no liquid, 16-hour fast. Occasionally one may feel headachy, dizzy, or lightheaded. Rarely one may need to lay down on the floor and simply try to sleep the last few hours of the fast away. I’m falling somewhere between the last two.
The point of this fast is not to only feel hunger or thirst. It’s intended to be a training ground — a time of evaluation, where in the absence of human desire (desire for food, desire for sex, desire to veg out in front of the TV — our basic animal instincts put on hold) you can help foster a clarity of mind or a stillness of the heart where you can see what is truly important. Caring for the less fortunate. Action to stop injustice. Leading a good life and benefiting others. Replacing “animal desire” for a spiritual desire to be resurrected in the hereafter. Nurturing the positive in all you do.
But let me tell you, I can not think of any of these things during the fast. My thoughts are constantly on Eryn and what needs to happen next in my long, laundry list of daily baby chores. This has been my hardest fast. I haven’t felt hungry or thirsty. I think it’s beyond that. By 3pm, I’m walking around like a zombie — my stomach has digested my spine, leaving me with a headache and backache. I feel so weak in my mid-section that one walk to the park leaves me feeling like I’m about to break in half.
I know for sure my milk has changed. I usually have two (or more) let-downs during a nursing session. The past few days it’s only been one. Eyrn has gone back to her 6-week old behaviour of hitting the breast, as if to say, “I know there’s more in there! Maybe if I hit it enough times or jiggle it around, I can get the last few drops.” And her sleep is all messed up. Her consistent naps are out the window. I was lucky to get her down for an hour today. This means that her night sleep is disrupted. She’s been waking on the hour, playing from 1am-3am, and is just a miserable, falling-down mess when she wakes up (thankfully, the 7am face-planting into the bed leads to more sleep, where she wakes 2 hours later happy and raring to go. Meaning I’m the falling-down mess from lack of sleep).
Since her sleep is off, my sleep is off, and I’ve been almost missing the pre-dawn 4:30am meal. Waking up with 2 minutes to spare. Just enough time to guzzle some water and eat a date. And then finally, when it’s sunset and we break the fast, I’m so tired mentally and physically, that I can’t even muster up the strength to read the Qur’an.
So I’m in a fog. All I can think about is the fast and when it’s going to end.