One year out…

One year ago…

There is part of me that can’t believe it. Time has gone by both quickly and slow, depending on the day. I’ve never been a big fan of April. I associate it with gray skies and dreariness. After losing Charlie last April, I was ready to delete it permanently from the calendar. But the thing is…my Dad’s birthday is April 17th. He’s a pretty special guy so there is no way I could wipe out his birthday month.

And as difficult as last year was, there were many beautiful moments, particularly watching Ellie Sue grow. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss any of that. Even though for a good portion my heart was deeply aching.

What I can tell you a year later…

A mother/a couple who loses a baby does not forget. The world moves on but the fact is, your heart is never the same. No one ever got to meet this child but we had hopes and dreams and plans for him. All those things we suddenly had to let go of. We suddenly had to accept he would never be in our lives on this side. I remember in the early days I would go for short walks outside….it was all I could do to work off my anxious energy. I would think about how it was going to be impossible to carry the weight, the reality of the situation. How does someone do it? Bit by bit, I guess. Through the help of many people.

I’ve come to accept that this is a fact, a reality in our life. I still feel angry sometimes that this happened to us. But a tragedy like this really forces you to take a step back. I have …and I’ve looked at my life and realized as “unfair” as this felt/is, as painful as this will always be, I am fortunate for the life I have. For the friends and family who have carried us through. For our beautiful Ellie Sue.

I’ve also had to accept that sometimes you don’t get answers. You hear a story like ours and you think “oh no! What happened?” It’s human nature to want an answer. Was someone sick? Was there an accident? Did they know something was wrong? Etc etc. No. In our case, we have no answers for Charlie. Our doctors told us, although these things rarely happen, when they do, half the time they have no known cause. I remember our doctors telling me “this is nothing you could have predicted or prevented.” I wanted, I needed to know the root cause…but they had nothing…despite all the most advanced testing the best hospitals could offer. No answers just that sometimes nature goes awry. That has been both a really difficult and somewhat freeing pill to swallow. There is not always an explanation or clear answer. I think this is how many people feel when tragedy touches their lives. Why us? Why then? Sometimes, it’s just bad luck? Believe me, it’s very difficult to accept that we lost our son because of bad luck. But I’ve found trying to mull it over in my mind to try and find answers I truly don’t have, is probably one of the most depressing and draining exercises.

So yea, one year ago…the floor dropped out. I spent six weeks out of work. Two of those weeks I could barely eat or sleep. I went from a very pregnant looking 5+month pregnant woman – to a shell of myself. Somehow, Nick and I rallied through the storm. Ellie was truly the only light I could see sometimes. Both new and old friends legitimately came (and continue to come) to my rescue and for that I will always be grateful and feel lucky.

I can say that I feel much better now but I will never “get over” or “move on” from this*. Charlie is a part of our life, a part of our story. I have been able to make space for this truth. Oh and by the way, this means you can say his name to me. It actually feels quite peaceful {and yes, sometimes sad, but that’s ok} because it recognizes our truth, it acknowledges him.

I have found ways to share our story that has both helped me heal and connected me with other women who have walked a similar path. I have forged friendships and bonds like I’ve never known before. Despite all the heart ache there is hope and lots of love.

It’s interesting to be writing this in a midst of a global pandemic/quarantine. Damn you, April. But next week, no matter what, I’ll celebrate my Dad’s (70th) birthday.

I received this hand painted votive (made by a student at Fontbonne Academy) through an organization called Hopeful Connections. HC is a local pregnancy loss organization. They aggregate local events, resources, and support groups for grieving parents and families. Receiving this candle in the mail (around Christmas no less) was one of the more touching gestures. We keep this special votive right in our kitchen windowsill.  I’ll link below to HC.

After we lost Charlie, so many people reached out with support and sympathy. I kept every card, every small gift box. I packed his ultrasound pictures here, Ellie’s “big sister” onesie, and a few other pieces of paperwork. I haven’t been able to look at this for a year but Nick and I went through it yesterday. We will always be grateful for all the support we received. If you sent a note or any form of sympathy, please know we kept it (in some form) and hold it close to our hearts. 


Picture from a special event I had the opportunity to speak at. Surrounded by incredible medical professionals and two fellow “loss Moms” who I now consider friends. We shared our experiences and aimed to connect with one another, including how we can give back to the medical community who carried us through one of our most difficult journeys.

*one of my favorite videos on grief. I’m now a huge fan (find her on Instagram @noraborealis) of Nora McInerny. she’s amazing and has written a few great books.

A couple other resources:

  • Local organization for pregnancy loss:
  • A beautifully written book {An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination} about a woman who lost her daughter. I realize these types of stories seem “depressing” but if you’ve been through pregnancy loss it really helps to feel you are not alone. Elizabeth is an incredible writer and knows how to capture the many feelings and emotions so authentically

Chapter Xx Surprise!

here’s the thing…if you’ve read our story, we struggled with infertility for years.

I remember vividly the day the fertility doc told us that IVF would be our “only option” for a biological child. I was pretty inconsolable when I first heard this news. I couldn’t go back into work that day. But yes, I moved on from that day and those feelings. I gained perspective – that we are in fact lucky to have had the option of and later the success through IVF. Hello, Ellie Sue!

When I took the pregnancy test less than a week before this past Christmas it was because I had some weird nausea and realized my period hadn’t come yet. I had only had one since Ellie. I didn’t expect anything to be like clock work after childbirth though.

I remember talking to my friend Carmen at work a few days earlier when suddenly a wave of nausea hit me…All I could think was – “oh no that stomach bug?!” I had to sit down. A little voice in the back of my mind said “this feeling is familiar…morning sickness?…” I shrugged it off. Until a few days later when I asked Nick to grab a pregnancy test at CVS while he was picking up last minute Christmas cards. I just couldn’t shake the need to triple check, as silly as it seemed for me. Nick didn’t think much of it all. If you’ve struggled with infertility, you’ve likely taken a lot of tests. They’re not that exciting anymore.

I’ll never forget when that line went solid blue within seconds. The bluest blue I’ve ever seen. Like blink ya eyes am I hallucinating blue. My first reaction “, what? Is this thing broken?”

I walked the test downstairs to Nick and said “look at this.” We just stared at each other and started laughing. And both kept repeating “no way, no way.”

Clearly this wasn’t planned. I mean, I didn’t expect we’d ever get pregnant on our own after everything we went through before. We were told we had a 5% chance to naturally conceive!

I spent days in a state of anxiety with mixed emotions. From…omg this means we don’t have to do IVF again!! Thank god! It’s a miracle!! To…omg, I don’t think my body is ready. I don’t think WE are ready for this journey again. What about Ellie? Does this take away from the time we planned with just her? It’s so soon to have another, oh my!! (They’ll be 14 months apart!) What about work? I feel like I just got back. Etc etc etc I had ALL the thoughts. My mind went wild. Once again, my body is not my own. Holy sh*t.

Am I happy? Of course. We always hoped for another child. We always hoped Ellie would have a sibling to navigate life with.

But really…it was the biggest surprise that all we could do initially was laugh and stare at each other in disbelief.

Even if this means our little family expands sooner than we anticipated, we are grateful. And since when have we ever been able to plan this stuff!?

here we go again!

Baby BOY Moore

Already have a name…

Charles Francis

Named after Nick’s grandfather and my Dad.

Lil Charlie 💙

Due early Aug

Pic below – Ellie thinks my big (yes already!) baby belly is hilarious. This is the cake I made to surprise Nick with the gender.

Chapter One: The beginning of our journey

Our “journey to a family” (someone suggested I use this phrase vs. “infertility journey”) started back in Spring/Summer 2015. We had found a house in the ‘burbs. We were doing what a lot of couples do “trying but not really trying” to have a baby. It had probably been almost 6 months of that, maybe more.

By June(ish) 2015 we were pregnant! I remember the day I held the positive test in my hand and showed Nick in the kitchen. I’ll never forget how excited we were. I literally jumped in into his arms and we danced around the kitchen in our new house. I still savor this moment because we were completely, purely happy.

But…our bliss only lasted a few days.

Within a short time it was clear something wasn’t right. I started bleeding one morning and ended up at the doctor’s office. I remember being told we were likely miscarrying and there wasn’t much to do but let “nature take its course.” We were upset but in the back of my mind, I also thought…well ok, I guess this is a good sign, we got pregnant and we weren’t really “trying.”    

Little did I know…something funky was going on…

I was still getting a positive pregnancy test days later. The doctor told me to come into the office immediately. After some blood work, it was found my hormone levels had actually risen very slightly after all the bleeding and I was sent to get an ultrasound where they discovered we had an ectopic pregnancy. I remember calling our nurse from Harvard Vanguard from the random ultrasound office in Brookline, I was crying a lot. She did her best to calm me down. I didn’t really know what an ectopic meant, I just knew I had been holding out hope that we were actually pregnant and things were ok – but this scan proved not so much.

An ectopic pregnancy is when a pregnancy happens in the fallopian tube. An ectopic is dangerous because the tube can burst causing internal bleeding. It’s something you need to take care of immediately.

Over the course of the next two weeks – my doctor recommended rather than surgery to remove the ectopic, that I take an injection of the drug called methotrexate. A chemo drug that kills fast growing cells and one that’s commonly used to “dissolve” ectopic pregnancies. I got a shot of it right in my butt cheek. At the time, Nick and I were just going through the motions, doing what we needed to do. They tested my blood every other day to confirm my hormone levels were dropping…no such luck. I had to go back (I believe it was on a Saturday or Sunday) for another dose. I remember sitting in the maternity ward of Beth Israel waiting for my second methotrexate shot. I kept thinking, “why in the f&ck do they have me in the MATERNITY ward?” We obviously hoped the second dose would work – otherwise, I’d have to go in for surgery.

Fast forward, I’m watching the Real Housewives of OC episode when Vicky’s mom died. The episode was riveting. I remember cramps starting and getting progressively worse. By the end of the episode, I wasn’t sure if I was having sympathy pains or what. But I ended up calling the doctor on call (it was a Sunday night, I think?) and they advised me to get to the ER. Poor Nick, drove through the windy back roads of the S. Shore while I told (maybe I yelled?) him to “slow down the bumps hurt!” and “hurry up, just get there!” I was in a lot of pain. They thought maybe the ectopic had burst and I was bleeding internally. I kept picturing blood filling my abdomen. By the time we got to South Shore hospital I could hardly walk. Hunched over, I walked into the ER and sat in a wheelchair. I also remember being surprised when the front desk insisted on my insurance information. I was like “what?! I’m like dying here!” I clearly wasn’t dying…but I was definitely emotionally distressed and in some serious pain.

I ended up in the ER overnight on morphine. After a few scans, they told me nothing had burst but the pain was likely the ectopic finally dissolving. I was like “what?!” I was sure I was bleeding out…but no, (thankfully) this was just the type of pain the whole process can cause. Nick stayed next to me all night sitting upright in a hard chair. I, at least laid in bed with warm blankets and morphine.

The next day I had a couple ultrasounds to confirm the ectopic was in fact dissolving. Thankfully, it was. I also got extremely sick from the morphine. Bringing the whole “sickness and health” thing to a new level…Nick held barf bags while I threw up. Literally, I was laying on a gurney out in the open in the ultrasound area just barfing. Typing this now it actually brings tears to my eyes because I remember thinking about how awful I felt but Nick probably felt just as helpless and had stayed with me the whole time then had to head right to work.

During this whole thing I missed a couple of days of work. Looking back now, I pushed myself to “just get through it” and not make a “big deal of things.” Which did me no favors. After all, it was a big deal. I paid for it emotionally down the line. I don’t think I gave myself ample time to process it all.

One of the hardest things was when the doctor’s told us we couldn’t try for three months after the methotrexate injections because we had to wait for it to fully pass through my system (it’s quite toxic). At the time that was devastating news – we couldn’t just try again next month and put this behind us?! We had to wait THREE whole months!? Little did I know it would be another 2 ½ years and multiple fertility treatments before we’d ever see another “plus sign.” Definitely for the better that I didn’t know that then.

This is part 1 of my journey. The good news is…there’s a light at the end of the tunnel but I’m here to share my true, full journey in hopes that it helps someone else. Or at least brings more awareness to the things we women, we couples, go through on our “journey to a family.”

Monday fast faves 

typing this on my phone / during my morning commute. So please excuse the typos 😉

So it’s Monday – you’re tired. You wanna look a bit more refreshed? You wanna fight the signs of fatigue and aging? Besides drinking water and getting some Zzzzzzs – work an eye cream into your routine. I have a few faves. The one I’m using these days below = Sunday Riley’s ‘Start Over’ active eye cream. Hydrating, de-puffing (can’t say anything has ever zapped my dark circles – other than sleep and concealer), great pump container.

Love this stuff. Find on 


Want a little color? Don’t you dare go tanning (if I had a time machine – I’d go back and yell to my 18 year old self). I’m a big fan of the Clarins self tanning line. Especially this stuff below. Clarins Liquid Bronze Self tanning milk. For face and neck. Natural color. I apply at night after I wash my face and before moisturizer- and I wake up with a bit of {natural} color.  Available at most major dept stores. I snagged mine @ Nordstrom. 

These L. Erickson hair elastics. I was just introduced (thanks, Diana!) to them and LOVE. They’re cute, hold my hair, don’t get tangled…great for loose or tight styles.  Got this pack @ Nordstrom for $10. A must have for your purse and beach bag this summer!  

This is the go-to soap for my gym bag. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. This is a handy travel size. It also comes in bar form. I love the lavender scent. It lathers nicely. I use the scentless version on the pups!  I snagged this @ Whole Foods.  

This pretty pink and super moisturizing gloss by Clarins. I swear by this when my lips are dry and I need a hint of color. Great tube size for your purse!  

Oh tinted moisturizer, you’re a must for summer. I’ve been loving this tinted moisturizer by Eve Lom since last summer. It has good coverage. I apply with the lovely, soft Eve Lom foundation brush.  And mix with my Elta MD SPF 41 (don’t forget xtra SPF!) 

That’s it for now! {Happy Monday!!}