Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click here for Part 1]

Depression developed and flourished because I grieved so much over loss of fertility.

Women who are childless miss out on a great deal. They never feel what it is like to have a life growing, kicking and wiggling inside of them; to cry out during the birth of a baby (a rite of passage to celebrate with girlfriends); to watch over and even to grow with a child through sickness and health, all the milestones of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and the births of grandchildren. I have even grieved not being able to be the tooth fairy, help my kids find Easter eggs, read them bedtime stories, take them to the zoo.

Feeling apart from and not a part of the tribe still saddens me. I find I am left out of conversations about all those life passages women around me have. I feel I have little to contribute. I have attended and hosted many baby showers, but my mind always wanders to my losses, making it difficult to be fully present to the joy young mothers feel. Women form strong bonds with each other and share in all the rituals around birthing and raising children. I feel like an outsider at times, like I am more an observer than a participant in these sacred passages.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)”

The Strength in You

Never forget
how far you’ve come.

Everything you have
gotten through.

All the times
you have pushed on
even when you felt
you couldn’t.

All the mornings
you got out of bed
no matter how hard it was.

All the times
you wanted to give up
but you got through
yet another day… 

Never forget how much strength you have learned and developed along the way.

Wishing you all a safe and lovely weekend.
💙

Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


In this article, I would like to share my story of how an illness I suffered as a child affected me. Particularly with the climate of today, I hope this will help inform people of the consequences that can develop in young children who are at risk of getting certain illnesses.

It was the summer of 1957, and it seemed to have happened all at once, where I turned from an active six-year-old girl to a helpless baby overnight. At that time, my family was living in Lewistown, Montana, where my dad was a Presbyterian minister. Mom was at home with three children, aged seven to four. That summer, all three of us contracted measles. But while my siblings’ illnesses took a more benign course, I developed a life-threatening complication: measles encephalitisa serious and potentially fatal inflammation of the brain that can occur either during the rash phase of measles or following the illness itself.

I have often contemplated my own battle with measles encephalitis…because it did indeed nearly kill me.

Continue reading “Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis”

A Jewel Within

A pearl is a beautiful thing
that is produced by an injured life.

It is the tear that results
from the injury of the oyster.

The treasure of our being in this world
is also produced by an injured life.

If we had not been wounded,
if we had not been injured,
…then we will not produce the pearl.

-Stephan Hoeller

May this echo within our being through the uncertain days.
Wishing everyone a safe and tranquil week.

 

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