After more than twenty-five years in my native New England, I got in the car and headed west in 1999 to begin medical school in California. All clichés aside about life being a journey rather than a destination, I arrived in the Bay Area 7541 miles later, having swum in Lake Superior, forded the mighty Mississippi at its diminutive source in Minnesota, stargazed in the Badlands of South Dakota, and spent a birthday watching thunderstorms roll across the orange hoodoos of Bryce Canyon in Utah. 

My journey to medicine followed a similarly scenic route.


Ten years ago, when I endured three pregnancy losses in nine months, being a physician didn’t protect me from feeling isolated and overwhelmed. What I really longed for was a community of women--or even one encouraging story--that might reassure me that I wasn’t the only person finding the path to motherhood so complicated.

Unexpected: A Community Memoir of Motherhood, Medicine, Resilience, and Family weaves together twenty-four true first-person stories about ordinary women’s extraordinary experiences in pregnancy and parenthood. It combines my professional insight as a physician with my personal experiences as a patient, explores women’s innate resilience to medical and social challenges, and gives voice to difficult but important moments that are too often held in secrecy because they don’t fit neatly into the scripts of doctors’ and families’ lives.


In all the roles I serve, I hope to strengthen relationships by connecting people to community resources, to each other, and to the world around them.