First, take a deep breath. It's great that you've made a connection at the firm you're interested in and have been keeping in touch. It's also perfectly fine to ask for a referral, though the timing and manner in which you ask can certainly influence the response.
Now, to your current situation. Here are my suggestions:
1. Wait a bit longer: Everyone gets busy, and it's possible that your contact just hasn't had the time to respond yet. Give it another week before you follow up.
2. Follow up with a polite note: After a reasonable amount of time has passed (two weeks is generally acceptable), you can send a polite follow-up note. Apologize if you came across as too forward in your previous email and explain that you understand if she isn't able to provide a referral at this time.
Here's a sample message:
"Hi [Contact's name],
I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to follow up on my previous email regarding the referral. Upon reflection, I realize that I may have come across as too forward, and I apologize if that was the case. I truly value your advice and guidance, and I understand if you're not able to assist with a referral at this time.
Regardless, I appreciate the time you've taken to speak with me and the insights you've shared about [Company's name]. I hope to keep in touch and continue learning from your experience.
Thank you, [Your Name]"
3. Learn from the experience: It's important to learn from this situation. In the future, try to build more rapport before asking for a referral and when you do ask, do so in a way that allows them an easy "out" if they're not comfortable doing so.
Remember, one perceived misstep doesn't necessarily mean you've blown your chances. Handle this with grace and professionalism, and you may still be able to salvage the situation.