love so intense it breaks your heart

This post is long overdue.

My baby boy was born on July 4th at 3:12am. Labor was long and hard and full of tears and grit and doubt and determination. But after these past 3 weeks with my boy I’m already forgetting just how grueling it was because what came next has been so incredible and all-consuming it makes everything that came before feel like a vague, inconsequential memory.

I started having contractions Thursday night, July 2nd, at 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant. They were barely noticeable; I had to concentrate to pick up when they were coming and going, but did note they were exactly 10 minutes apart. By the time my husband and I got ready for bed they had gotten strong enough that I hesitantly told my husband that  I thought this might actually be happening. He looked at me excited and said, “Then we should make sure to get a good nights sleep!” He fell asleep three minutes later. But I laid in bed wide awake for the rest of the night. Between the adrenaline and excitement of knowing I was in early labor and the increasing pain of the contractions I could not sleep. At 5am my husband woke up and noticed that I was pacing around. He got up and we finished packing last minute items in our hospital bags, had breakfast and started taking walks up and down our street, stopping periodically while I breathed through what I *thought* was a painful contraction.

By late morning the contractions were averaging 5 minutes apart and felt painful enough that we decided to go the hospital. We checked in, cheerful and excited, only to find out I was only 1.5 cm dilated. They sent me home, and the nurse told me to come back when the contractions were so painful I could no longer smile or talk.

And only a few hours went by before I lost my ability to smile or talk. The contractions turned into pain that I would never have been able to conceptualize or anticipate…pain that radiated through my lower back as if my back was being broken in half. I cried and swore and tried different positions while my helpless husband tried anything he could do to help ease the pain. I took a hot bath, I tried listening to relaxing music, I tried the breathing techniques we learned in our birthing classes. Nothing could make a dent in the pain.

We returned to the hospital in the afternoon, this time no longer cheerful, but with tears streaming down my face as I navigated another contraction while my husband checked in. At this point I was 4.5 cm dilated and we were admitted. An hour and a half later, we were situated in a beautiful hospital room, with huge windows overlooking Los Angeles. My epidural had fully kicked in, and my body was feeling a warm buzz from both the anesthesia and from finally feeling relief from such horrible pain. We had our relaxing labor music playlist going, and we watched the sunset over the Hollywood Hills from our window. I started to feel a sense of peace and a happy glow, and became even more overcome as I saw fireworks out our window in celebration of the pending 4th of July holiday. After such an intense day, I finally relaxed. But I still couldn’t sleep.

By 10pm I was fully dilated and by 11pm I began pushing.

And continued to push for four hours.

It was the most physically grueling experience of my entire life. I was nearing almost 48 hours of no sleep, over 12 hours without food, and my body was weak from all the overwhelming pain from the past 24 hours. But with every contraction I had to push with every bit of strength and determination I had and didn’t have. My baby got stuck in my pelvic opening and I started losing strength. I started to become unresponsive as my husband tried to get me to look at him in an attempt to revive me with a pep talk. I was dizzy and weak and panicked, and finally the tears came and wouldn’t stop. But I continued to push with every contraction, grunting and crying and pushing as hard as I could. My doctor started talking of vacuums and c-sections, but I couldn’t bear that thought so I just kept pushing. Even with the epidural the pain was intense and scary; I felt like his head would break all my pelvic bones.

And finally, at 3:12am he was out and crying and then instantly calmed as he was put skin to skin on my chest. I was suddenly no longer tired, couldn’t feel anything as they stitched me up; it was just my baby, my husband and me in this magical moment.

I finally had my baby. I finally had my boy.

The past three weeks have been an overwhelming mix of euphoria, exhaustion, disbelief, contentment, fear, self-doubt, and excitement, but also filled with love so intense it makes my heart feel like it could break. Caring for such sweet innocence has brought me to tears many times. I’ve had so many oddly paradoxical emotions as my postpartum hormones have fluctuated and settled. But all I know is I love this boy so much it breaks my heart.

Although I’ve been quiet in the blogging world lately, I still think about my readers and my fellow bloggers all the time. I have so much respect and admiration for all of you; the journeys you’ve all taken and the strength you’ve all shown. I know you are all in different parts of your story, and I want you to  know I still feel pain when you feel pain, and I feel joy when you feel joy. I’m cheering for all of you every step of the way. You’ve all helped me immensely as I’ve managed my own emotions and my own story to getting here. Even those readers who follow silently and I only know of when I look at my stats page – you’ve also brought me so much courage and encouragement.

Thank you all.


my love.

fertility-friendly recipes

Despite my deep love affair with sweets, cheese, and pasta, I have always loved healthy food. And now, in my ongoing quest to be in optimal baby-making condition, I’ve given more focus to my diet than I ever have before. I’ve tried to cut back on sugar, gluten, processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol (except for the binge that happens every month following a confirmed BFN, of course). I’ve also tried to pay more attention to how my body feels after I eat certain foods. Am I tired? Sluggish? Irritable? Energetic? I’ve found that when I’m able to sustain a tip-top diet for a period of time everything changes – I feel happier, less anxious, more energized. So I decided to share a few of the healthy dishes I’ve created over the last few years. I hope to continue adding to this list and sharing more recipes as time goes on.

These recipes all focus on foods that help fertility, such as avocado, walnuts, black beans, lentils, kale, and berries. The recipes are pretty simple, but I’ve never done anything like this before, so please let me know if any of the instructions are unclear. Click on the images below to be directed to the full recipe. Enjoy!

 Lentil and Avocado Salad

click here for full recipe

Lentil and avocado salad - fertility-friendly recipes

  Turkey Taco Bowls with Avocado, Black Beans and Brown Rice

click here for full recipe

turkey taco bowls with avocado, black beans and brown rice

  Full-fat Yogurt Parfait with Berries and Flax Seed

click here for full recipe

Full-fat Yogurt Parfait with Berries and Flax Seed - fertility friendly recipes

  Tortilla, Black Bean, Tomato & Egg Scramble

click here for full recipe

Tortilla, Black Bean, Tomato & Egg Scramble - fertility-friendly recipe


Steel-Cut Oatmeal topped with Walnuts, Almonds, Berries, & Chia Seeds

click here for full recipe

Steel-Cut Oatmeal topped with Walnuts, Almonds, Berries, & Chia Seeds - fertility-friendly recipe

Lentil, Kale & Potato Soup 

click here for full recipe

Lentil, Kale & Potato Soup - fertility-friendly recipe

Quinoa Salad

click here for full recipe

Quinoa Salad with chickpeas and walnuts and lemon garlic dressing - fertility friendly recipe

one lovely blog award nomination

blog award

I’ve been nominated by My Perfect BreakdownElectric Mystery, and Drunk Storks for the One Lovely Blog Award. These are lovely bloggers themselves; they have provided me with endless support, words of wisdom, encouragement, and empathy, even in the midst of their own struggles. I respect and admire them and think of them as strong women who are handling what life has thrown at them with grace and courage.  I’m so touched they would pass on this nomination my way. Thank you! (Since writing this post I’ve also been nominated by While We Wait, The Chronicles of the Unfruitfulness, The Cat Bed, and Scrambled Eggs and Sundry – all incredible blogs, all incredible women!)

The criteria for accepting a One Lovely Blog Award are:

1. Thank the person who has nominated you. Provide a link to his/her blog.
2. List the rules.
3. Include 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.
5. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven facts about me:

1. I have a 15 pound chihuahua, which is huge by chihuahua standards. She’s not necessarily fat exactly, just more big-boned 🙂 I got her when I was a 25 year old single girl living in NYC, and she’s been the sweetest, most quirky little companion ever.

2. Since moving to Southern California, my favorite weekend activity hands down has become hiking. The hikes are beautiful here, and I’ve found them to be so healing and centering during tough times.

3. I love international travel, and I have spent time studying in Madrid, Florence, and central Mexico.

4. In my last job, I worked closely with members of the United Nations to help connect the LA creative community to the UN, in an effort to spread awareness of global issues through creative content.

5. My husband and I honeymooned in Cambodia and Thailand for three weeks after we got married.

6. I come from a very creative family which includes a film maker, blues musician, actresses, theatre directors and writers. I love the arts, and like to dabble in lots of little creative projects here and there.

7. My husband and I both worked in book publishing and our house is overflowing with all the books that we’ve collected over the years!

My Nominees for A Lovely Blog Award:

When I started blogging, I never anticipated the amount of true loveliness I would encounter within this new community. Every single blogger I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my journey with has shown total kind-heartedness, understanding, compassion, and somehow always has the right words to say to give me comfort when I’m struggling. I’m excited to highlight the following blogs as some true stand-outs, whether it’s through the grace they’ve shown through incredibly tough times, the humor they find in light of hardship, the wisdom in which they write about their experiences and perceptions, or the generosity in the kind support they’ve shown me. Thank you all!

A Calm Persistence

My Hope Jar

Laughs n’ Love

F*%k Infertility

Wishing For Positive

The Boy Who Never Lived

Lady Love and Baby Dust

Hope Anchors the Soul

The Cat Bed

Blooming Spiders

With Grace and Faith We Make a Family

Infertility, Why Me?

The Bruised Banana

Waiting for Baby Bird

Look for Rainbows

very inspiring blogger award


I am truly honored to be nominated by My Perfect Breakdown and F*%k Infertility for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I have tremendous admiration for these two bloggers and am continually inspired by their raw, courageous, and honest accounts of their difficult journeys. I felt quite touched when I first saw my name on My Perfect Breakdown’s post. To be nominated a second time by F*%k Infertility warms my little heart.

(Since writing this post I’ve also been recognized by City Life/Farm Wife, The Cat BedFinding Hope After a Miscarriage, and Hope Anchors the Soul – thank you, thank you!)

I learned of these nominations shortly after getting a negative on that wretched pee stick, the first failed cycle after our last miscarriage. I was in the midst of a very difficult moment; a moment when I suddenly felt the weight of this entire 18 month journey come crashing down around me. A moment when I felt deeply every sting, every loss, every bit of crushed hope, every thud in my gut, every moment of searing jealousy, and every crazy-making moment the constant waiting and uncertainty has caused in the past year and a half. I could feel all of it, all at once. I felt overwhelmed by its magnitude, and by how much energy and stamina it takes to manage emotions that are by definition so untamed. I didn’t feel like I could make it through the day, let alone continue this conception journey. I certainly didn’t feel inspirational.

But receiving these nominations lifted me. And I realized, this is how we inspire each other. The constant support of a genuinely empathetic community. And we watch each other keep going, and we cheer. Despite feeling some of the most intensely crushing emotions, we continue, we keep hope. I know so many of my readers and fellow bloggers have suffered far longer than I have. You’ve lived through more losses, and survived the extreme disappointments of failed IVF and IUI cycles. And no matter what your journey has been, you inspire me. You have given me the strength to continue, and the courage to take a hundred leaps of faith. I see how you all hurt, and how much you struggle while managing the hardest emotions.  But you persevere. And along the way, you find joy and take the time to celebrate the small things in life. You stop to offer support, encouragement and love to others. You are a life boat to so many of us struggling. And I see so many of you make it to the other side, and it gives me hope.

With that I’d like to share my list of nominees for this award. I know many of you have already been recognized, but I’d like to underscore how deeply valued you are, and how much you have truly helped me. Thank you.


Laughter Through Tears

The Cat Bed

My MMC Story

Unicorns and Baby Dust

Preggo My Eggo

My Hope Jar

Dear Noah

Infertile is the New Black

When Dreams Become Rainbows

Pregnancy Pause

Waiting for Baby Bird

A Calm Persistance

Look for Rainbows

The Way I’m Making Sense of Miscarriage

To accept this award, here are the things you need to do:

1. Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you.

2. List the rules and display the award.

3. Share seven fun facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

5.  Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Fun Facts About Me:

1. When I was in first grade, I attended a private elementary school in New Hampshire and was the only girl in my class. I have no idea how that happens, but I was desperate for girl friends and was thrilled the next year when three other girls joined my class!

2. I am happiest when I’m creating or working with my hands. Ever since I was young, I could spend hours drawing, building, painting, knitting, decorating, and anything on crafty. I also love ceramics and throwing on a potter’s wheel and have also taken a handful of photography classes.

3. One of my favorite experiences in my whole life was the trip my husband and I took to Morocco, when we rode camels through the Sahara dessert and slept in a tent under the stars. We woke up early the next morning to climb the dunes and watch the sunrise. A truly magical experience.

4. My husband and I got married in the mountains of central Mexico in a town called San Miguel de Allende. Fifty of our closest friends and family traveled with us to watch us get married.

5. I grew up 25 miles away from my husband in Massachusetts, moved to NYC at the same time he did, and worked at the same company as him for three years before we actually met.

6. When my husband was in business school, I joined a boxing club to get in shape for our wedding. Boxing and kickboxing have always been my favorite forms of exercise.

7.  When I was a little girl I was obsessed with cats (I’m now horribly allergic to them). I had three and named them Anastasia Bumble Bee, Jillian, and Whitey.