A couple of phrases from traffic might be useful:
Stop-and-go: making or having many stops : stopping and starting again and again (Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary)
This is also sometimes "stop-and-start" (and I believe British English may omit the "-and" for just "stop-go" or "stop-start"). More at the Free Dictionary.
This phrase most often is used to refer to car traffic, such as on very busy highways, where vehicles periodically come to a halt due to congestion, an accident, etc. I think it would be easily understood when referring to your conversation, for example:
I had to keep looking up words in my dictionary, so it was a
The conversation was very stop-and-go while I was trying to remember
A similar, related phrase is slow-and-go. This is a phrase that Los Angeles traffic reporters use quite a bit. Where "stop-and-go" means that you periodically must come to a complete stop, putting your car (or conversation) in idle, "slow-and-go" means that the traffic (or conversation) sometimes flows well and sometimes must slow down a lot but never quite stops. You might want to aim for this state as you practice your vocabulary. However, I'm not sure whether the phrase would be widely understood outside of metropolitan California.