Below are excerpts from some of the 40 extremely varied stories you will find in Momma Love.


Georgia in HeelsAmy & Georgia

I think, child or no child, Hollywood knows I am of “mom age,”

and as an actor, I’ve been in the mom category for some time now. It emphasizes the continued importance of choosing roles wisely. But I also believe I would do that if I weren’t a mom in real life.

When I first had Georgia, my publicist and agent recommended I stay away from talking too much about motherhood in any interviews. At first I was offended, but later I realized they were only protecting me from some uglier side of the world that they know about. I did actively decide I wouldn’t hide this monumental event in my life, though, and did talk about Georgia in the press when asked—but only as much as I would share with any stranger. I didn’t feel the need to share her birth story or poop habits, but there was no way I wouldn’t acknowledge her arrival.



Michele and Elsie KissMichele & Elsie

In some ways there is no more me.

But in another way, I’m finding out more about me through her.

I ask myself daily, how can I love this little person so much? It feels limitless, bottomless, it just stretches on into eternity. I see pictures of mothers and their babies from a hundred years ago, and I see the same love in their faces.

Momma Love.



Christmas DinnerHannah & Lizzie

There are various aspects to the idea of “wanting your body back” after birth.

There’s the wanting to get back to your original shape and fitness. But there are other bits to the “wanting your body back” question, too. First, you’re aware throughout pregnancy of this weird thing growing inside you. Not just growing inside you and feeding off you, but actually controlling your body. The placenta takes over your hormones and makes your body behave in certain ways, producing more blood, making your heart, liver, kidneys, and digestion work much better, shrinking your brain, making you breathless or exhausted for no reason, and generally making you lose control.

In the case of the health profession, they poke and prod and stitch and cut, and from the word go you are just an object, your body just a machine that they have to make sure is working in the right way. Then, of course, if you have a hospital birth, you are entirely in their hands. Using a birthing pool was my attempt to regain a bit of control by creating a private, watery space that others, including my partner and the midwife, could only reach into, but that was really mine.



Dessert TruckKITTY & OLIVE

By the age of thirty-five, i had had enough life experience to know that while i did want a child, i did not want to compromise or settle when it came to a “baby daddy.”

I certainly didn’t want one who was not wholeheartedly ready for parenthood. Choosing a father for your baby is one of the most important decisions a woman can make. So what started as a funny “What if?” conversation with Darren, my best friend of twenty years, became a “Should we?” conversation.

Darren and I were always on the same page. We share the same sense of humor, the same sense of right and wrong, and the same parenting philosophies, and our families have been dear friends for two decades. The only thing preventing Darren from being my perfect boyfriend is that he is a gay man who already has the perfect boyfriend, Sam.

I didn’t choose Darren and Sam because they were my only choice. I chose them because they were my best choice!



In the HospitalDiana & Lily

I don’t know what kind of mom I would have been if I hadn’t gotten sick.

When our daughter was six months old, our marriage was in crisis. We decided to spend the summer in New Hampshire, in the country, in a beautiful place; we thought, if we can’t make things work here, then we can’t work them out. We were there for three weeks when I got a really high fever. A few days later I coughed up blood, so we went to the emergency room where they were sure I had pneumonia, but needed to wait for the blood results to come back confirming it before sending us home. We waited there for hours until the doctor finally came in and said he’d had to rerun the blood tests because he didn’t believe the results. “You might have leukemia,” he said. “You have no white blood cells. You have no immune system.” I’d have to be hospitalized immediately.

Charles and six-month-old Lily got into their car and I was taken in an ambulance at night somewhere an hour-and-a-half further north, to somewhere we’d never seen in the daytime. I knew my daughter and husband were out there in the dark. He’d never driven anywhere with just her alone in the car, and she was almost exclusively breastfed. That was stressful. I got to the hospital at around nine-thirty at night and they followed at eleven, soaking wet, looking shattered. That began a month-long stay in this hospital in New Hampshire where they confirmed that it was leukemia and started me on chemotherapy.

Lily hadn’t spoken yet. I had no idea what her voice would sound like, and I just kept thinking, “I have to hear her speak…I have to see her walk.”