I’ve been asked to address this topic many times, but have not considered myself qualified to find the proper voice for this desire, this hope, this yearning. A few weeks ago, yet again, a friend suggested that I write a fertility prayer. Again I gave my standard answer: how can I possibly hope to fine the correct balance of petition and emotion? Two days later, I wrote these two lines on a scrap of paper: “Bless my body with the wonders of pregnancy and my days with the promise of birth.” I set it aside to work with later.
Later came pretty quickly. Not an hour after I wrote those lines I got an email message from my friend Rhonda Rosenheck, a Jewish educator. The exchange went like this:
Rhonda: Alden, have you written a bracha for successful attachment and growth of an embryo in a mother during IVF? For a friend of mine, not myself! Thanks.
Alden: Interesting to get this request now. I’m working on a piece, not specifically for attachment of the embryo, but for a successful attempt at pregnancy. The prayer should resonate for a variety of situations. It may be a few days before it is finished.
Rhonda: Her appointment is 1 p.m. tomorrow. I’m pretty sure our Maker will hear a partially complete one.
Could it be a coincidence that as soon as my voice opened to the topic, the call to write came? Less than an hour later I sent Rhonda this piece. The next day I wrote seven more prayers on the topic more specifically addressing issues of fertility, fertility treatment, high-risk pregnancy and loss of pregnancy.
This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. Note: one optional line appears in [brackets].
G-d of our mothers,
My yearning is as old as creation,
As old as love,
As old as life.
Bless my body with the wonders of pregnancy
And my days with the promise of birth.
Bless my heart with the gift of a child,
And my soul with the gift of hope,
The gift of generations.
G-d of Mercy,
My yearning is as fresh as dew,
Ripe with longing,
Ripe with desire.
Hear my voice.
[Hear my grief.]
Hear my prayer.
Blessed are You,
Source of life.
© 2013 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
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Photo Credit: Baby World