We are very proud of the content of this issue, and to be launching today in our new home! For the theme of Continuity and Expansion, we bring you stories of hope from women who believed at one time there was none, and who learned that though life doesn’t always work out the way we plan, we can still move forward and find joy.
Spring has really become a time of renewal for our magazine, and we are so thrilled to now be a sister magazine to Still Standing. Unlike previous issues, where all of the content was made available at once, we will be publishing this (and future) issue(s) on a rolling schedule so as to allow each beautiful submission its own time to shine. Our publishing schedule will be as follows: Still Standing Poetry Sundays to start off each week, pieces from our current issue on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Book Reviews on Thursdays. We have also decided to include cover art with each of our forthcoming issues. For this issue, our cover is the piece, “Rainbow Baby,” by Sharon Chatham.
In Essays we have stories of hope and of loss. The voice of a mother who suffered years of infertility, only to lose her first child to neonatal loss, and the emotions that came in trying again to give birth to a living baby. A daughter shares her own journey of continuity, as her pregnancy loss works to bring a level of closeness and understanding with her formerly estranged mother. We experience the emotions of sorting through a pile of clothes, noting that one piece, the piece meant for a baby who never got to wear it, and feel with the author the bittersweet emotions of having another child who now can. We learn that everyone’s path is different, as a woman who suffered years of anxiety, even in her own pregnancy, finally finds peace when she decides to build her family through adoption. In this section, we also learn that though this journey can be, at times, so full of pain, it also offers its own beautiful opportunities for healing.
In Poetry, Ceil Drucker shares with us “5 Haikus for Pregnancy After Loss.” Nicole Breit shares a selection, “Fish-Bird-Kite,” from her recently published collection of poems, I Can Make Life, now available on Amazon. Sharon Chatham reflects on the milestones of her rainbow baby in the poem, “Bittersweet,” and Kathy Benson shows us that time and healing do not negate the love or feelings of loss in her poem, “Breathing.”
In Fiction, my own short story, “Lost and Found,” shares the emotions of an expectant mother through the birthing process when she has previously experienced loss.
We at Exhale are very proud of the voices that we are able to share with you in this issue, and we hope that you find peace, healing, and understanding in the words of these talented writers. No matter where you are on your own journey through infertility and loss, we hope this issue helps to show you that there is always an opportunity for healing ahead.