It’s hard to believe that there was a time when I had never baked a dessert. I didn’t even enjoy baking. But these precious little cupcakes literally saved my life.
I was pregnant with my second child and had ten weeks left to go before my due date. Around 29 weeks, I started feeling contractions. I was in and out of the hospital for the next several days, and with the meds I was given to control the contractions, I was ready to jump back to work … until my doctor found out I was still working. She gave me orders to immediately be on strict bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.
I was beyond stressed. How could I afford to stay home when there was so much work that needed to be done at the office, and bills to be paid, and debts to pay off.
One week later, during another doctor’s visit, my blood pressure skyrocketed to 212/110, a very dangerous level. After realizing that the meds had no effect on my blood pressure and fearing that I would either have a seizure or a stroke (either of which was life-threatening to me and my unborn baby), the nurses rushed me to Labor and Delivery.
I was going to have a baby, whether I was ready to or not.
Ethan was born a few hours later, weighing in at just 3 pounds and 5 ounces. When I finally got to see him in the neonatal unit, he was covered head to toe in wires and tubes. It’s hard to describe the heartbreak I felt seeing my baby boy inside the incubation chamber. I felt I had completely let him down. I should have taken better care of myself. I should have eaten better. I should have not let work and life stress me out.
I should have been a better mom.
For the next few days, I was in complete depression. I felt lost and alone and had no one to talk to. My husband was too busy with our daughter, who was only 22 months old at the time. Everyone in my family and my circle of friends had their own lives to live. In the darkest days of my life, I had absolutely no one to turn to.
I don’t know what inspired me to get out of my rut, but I knew deep inside that for Ethan’s sake, as well as my own, I needed to distract myself from all these feelings of guilt if I was going to survive this period in my life.
For whatever reason, I chose cupcakes to be my distraction. I wasn’t a big fan of cupcakes, much less even made them. But it was a distraction nonetheless.
For seven weeks following Ethan’s birth, I would visit him every day in the neonatal intensive care unit. For breaks, I would sit in the hospital cafeteria and develop cupcake recipes based on flavors I thought would go well together. I would test out the recipes at home, give them away to friends and family, and throw out the batches that didn’t seem quite right.
By the time Ethan was ready to finally come home from the hospital, I had developed 23 cupcake recipes from scratch.
The cupcakes saved my life. Rather than consuming my mind with thoughts that didn’t serve me, I made a choice to follow my bliss instead. Making those cupcakes and bringing joy to people brought me bliss. Being creative in the kitchen brought me bliss. Being alive with a sense of purpose brought me bliss.
Whenever you feel lost, find your bliss and follow it.
If I hadn’t followed my bliss, I am pretty sure I would not be here today. And I wouldn’t be sharing my recipe to these amazing Strawberry Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes with you. They’re super moist, super decadent, and finger lickin’ yummy.
And may these cupcakes inspire you to find your own bliss, especially when you need it most.