'The Need' Terrified Me as a Mother But Comforted Me After El Paso

The Need made me shiver with recognition. In Molly, I saw myself, and in the intruder, who knows and covets Molly’s life so intimately, I saw the version of me who might exist should the worst come to pass. The Need felt like one of my terrifying midnight ruminations, only extended, exaggerated—the potential for catastrophic loss the very heartbeat of this book.
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On Books and Writing

I Named My Daughter After the Woman I Wish She Could Have Met

All day I’d been waiting—something unexpected cracks me open every year: the smear of September rain on a window, the realization that I can no longer remember the shape of Nanny’s teeth. Tonight it was my daughter, recognizing the name I’d given her because I couldn’t give her the woman herself.
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On Family and Relationships

How to Predict the Unpredictable

On the side of a busy road, I called her name: Lola! Lola! Flaxen weeds blew at my knees. Traffic a blur of painted metal. She could be anywhere. And then I saw her — a black pug parting the grass, running toward me. I took her into my arms and pressed my forehead against hers, relief stinging sweet. I told Adrian about the dream with my eyes still closed. We had only been living together for two weeks, since he’d moved to San Antonio from Sydney to be with me. We’d known each other since we me

I Didn't Want to Breastfeed, But Weaning is Breaking My Heart

The first time I breast-fed my daughter, I was surrounded by strangers. Someone had helped me slide free of my delivery gown, slick with my daughter’s newness. Someone else had helped me into a new gown. There were hands everywhere: first pressing my tender, flaccid abdomen; now sliding a new pad beneath my hips; now holding my newborn to my breast. The hands — blue-gloved, shiny — squeezed my flesh, guided it into her mouth. My husband, Adrian, stroked my hair. I didn’t know what to do with my own hands. I watched, like the most unnecessary stranger in the room.

If I divorce her dad, will she still be family?

He slipped off his ring—platinum, engraved to resemble the filigree of an old cowboy boot or antique gun—and handed it to me. “What does it say?” he demanded. Around us, white lights twinkled from the branches of thick heritage oaks. Other circular tables surrounded ours, wine glasses winking in the pass of headlights. South Congress bustled on a November evening still warm on our skin, though a cool underbelly promised change. I looked from my husband to his daughter, fifteen years old to my twenty-seven.

I Didn't Want to Breastfeed, But Weaning is Breaking My Heart

The first time I breast-fed my daughter, I was surrounded by strangers. Someone had helped me slide free of my delivery gown, slick with my daughter’s newness. Someone else had helped me into a new gown. There were hands everywhere: first pressing my tender, flaccid abdomen; now sliding a new pad beneath my hips; now holding my newborn to my breast. The hands — blue-gloved, shiny — squeezed my flesh, guided it into her mouth. My husband, Adrian, stroked my hair. I didn’t know what to do with my own hands. I watched, like the most unnecessary stranger in the room.
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On Health and Wellness

What I Wish I Knew About PCOS Before My Diagnosis

Up to 75% of women with PCOS go undiagnosed “due to variability of patient presentation and lack of provider knowledge.” If this statistic seems outrageous, that’s because it is. We want to trust our doctors to recognize symptoms that we don’t. We want to trust them to give us answers. But ultimately, we are the experts on our bodies and no one cares more about our health than we do. That sometimes means taking charge and advocating for ourselves.

How a Ketogenic Diet Brought Back My Fertility

We used rubber bands to trace fine, light lights on the eggs. I had chosen a simple design motif from the thick book my friend Sarah showed me — star-like flowers, the petals outlined with white, the centers filled in with pollen-yellow. We were making pysanky, Easter eggs decorated using a wax-resist method, a Ukrainian tradition dating back to early Slavic cultures. My eyes were swollen. There was a glass of wine beside me, at two in the afternoon.

I Didn't Want to Breastfeed, But Weaning is Breaking My Heart

The first time I breast-fed my daughter, I was surrounded by strangers. Someone had helped me slide free of my delivery gown, slick with my daughter’s newness. Someone else had helped me into a new gown. There were hands everywhere: first pressing my tender, flaccid abdomen; now sliding a new pad beneath my hips; now holding my newborn to my breast. The hands — blue-gloved, shiny — squeezed my flesh, guided it into her mouth. My husband, Adrian, stroked my hair. I didn’t know what to do with my own hands. I watched, like the most unnecessary stranger in the room.

What I Wish I'd Known Before Starting a Ketogenic Diet

Before I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), I’d never heard the word “ketogenic”. I’d never even been on a diet before, let alone one that would reduce my beloved carb intake. But according to functional medicine doctor Tom Sult, author of Just Be Well, adopting a ketogenic diet would sharpen my insulin sensitivity, helping to reset the cataclysmic hormonal response that, for me, led to irregular periods, lack of ovulation, polycystic ovaries, and—drumroll, please—infertility.
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