Getting married!

My dear DH is in B’lyn, visiting friends, and I am at home alone, drinking gluten-free beer, visiting you. I am a little tipsy for the first time in ages.

Last night, I was sweetly talking to DH as he held me in his arms, and he said: “Have you always expressed the little girl in you so openly? I love the little girl in you. I love her. I love her so much.” And then he started crying, pulling  me toward him, kissing my face gently, all over, as he quietly cried.

*That* is the man I am going to marry.

Things are good. Really good.

I don’t understand why, but I am not feeling triggered by the presence of pregnant bellies, babies, and children in my life. Weirdly, not even Facebook photos of newborns are bothering me.

Is it the passage of time? Yes. But I think it is also psychotherapy. Couples’ counseling. And: reaching out to new-mama friends. And: important!: NOT having a miscarriage for eight months straightAnd: Choosing to prioritize my relationship with DH over the infertility journey…

This past weekend, as not-yet-DH and I were eating breakfast at the Green Bean in Northamptom, Massachusetts (visiting friends), I got out my journal and, like the former Managing Editor that I am, plotted out the weeks and months ahead. I circled dates. I analyzed. And I looked across the table and felt heart-stopping love for the extraordinary person sitting there.

I said, “We should get married before we go to RBA,” and I pointed to the weeks, the circled dates, and talked about how we could do it. I told him that I wanted to prioritize us, and our love relationship, over IF and treatment. That I want to celebrate us, and finally marry his pants off.

I know that he wants to get married first, too, but that he would never, ever ask me to delay DE IVF treatment for anything. I knew I had to be the one to (literally) bring it to the table.

We’ve been engaged for over 2 years now. We got engaged right before we got pregnant for the first time. I had envisioned being pregnant during our engagement, and getting married after the birth of our first child. Instead, during this past 2 years, we’ve had, hmm, let’s see, 5 miscarriages, 1 D & C, 3 IUIs, 1 IVF, and 8 million bereavement periods. Thus the title of this blog, The Unexpected Trip.

I can’t tell you how many awkward questions I have fielded about when and how we are going to get married. “Have you set a date? Picked a venue?” Hahahahahaha! Sure! Everything is going according to a meticulous plan! And we’ve got boatloads of cash to spare for the wedding of our dreams!

We’ve decided that we will get hitched at the courthouse in Manhattan or Brooklyn, then hop on a plane for Culebra, a tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico, and stay there for a week. Yes! I will have accrued enough vacation time by then for a little trip. And I’ve hurt my brain belaboring meticulous calculations of my future days of unpaid medical leave (days I negotiated upon hire, smart girl that I am), vacation days, personal days, and floating holidays to ensure that I have enough time off leftover for me to pursue treatment at RBA at least two times before the end of the year.

Culebra. I’ve been there before. We’re thinking June. We’re thinking June 14, 2013, as a courthouse wedding date, and then a week in these healing blue waters.

I wonder if I will take his last name? How many of you have taken he last names of your husbands? I have thought and thought about this issue and have not come up with an answer yet, the feminist and the traditionalist in me at gentle war on the issue. I’d love to hear your input.

Choosing to prioritize my love relationship with DH, over every yodeling reproductive urge in my being, has had a freeing effect on me. I haven’t quite figured out the change yet, but I know it is happening. It is as if I were looking at the world through one particular kaleidoscopic lens, and then I shook the entire contraption and a new kaleidoscopic lens appeared before my weary eyes, brightening them, lightening my gaze, giving me newfound immunity to sidewalk-stroller/newborn-Facebook-photo kryptonite.


I love him. I love him so much. He is the gift of my life. And I—lucky girl that I am, at core, no matter what befalls me—get to marry him.

Leave a comment


  1. Congratulations! :)

  2. how exciting for you! I’ve been engaged for 3 years now and am desparate to get married but the IVF bills are putting a bit of a dampener on it!

    • I hear you! I try not to think too much about how comfortable we’d be if we didn’t have this GYNORMOUS extra expense in our lives. I hope you can get married soon.

  3. LH

     /  April 16, 2013

    Pre-congrats to you!! That island looks **dreamy.**

  4. Congrats! And since you asked, I did not take my husband’s last name. He did not take mine either. I don’t see why there’s an assumption that either of us should change our names, and especially why there would be an assumption that I would be the one to do it. Family is a lot more than matching names (and it really has not mattered a bit or ever been an inconvenience). Family is also more than inherited genetics, as I am coming to realize, and I hope our families will accept too.

  5. Emma

     /  April 17, 2013

    Congrats!! Great post. I hear where you’re coming from! We got engaged over 2 years ago, right around the time we started trying… And just figured we would plan the wedding for a few months after our due date! Ha. Whoa… So very ignorant of me. 2.5 years later, here we are. We actually just applied for our marriage license a couple weeks ago, and plan to just get away from it all & elope for the time being. No need in denying myself of a meaningful wedding on top of it all! And I will say, after all we have been through, it absolutely is more meaningful. After all of our struggles, I am soo much more confident that he is my soulmate, and now know beyond a doubt that he will not go anywhere when things get tough! Ugh. Infertility is soo draining. I never In my worst nightmare pictured being here. Just trying feverishly to focus on the positive, as I know I have soo much to be grateful for. I know you can relate! :)

    I’m pulling for you!!! Good Luck!

  6. Emma

     /  April 17, 2013

    Ohh…. & after 2 years of thinking I would keep my last name- when the time came to officially file our paperwork a couple weeks ago… It all of a sudden seemed so clear that I should take his name, and be proud of it! & let’s just say I am going from a great last name… To one that is 12 letters long, ending in a -ski. :l

    But, we WILL have kids one day, and I want to share their name. He gives me reason to be proud of it!

  7. Congratulations! It’s so healing to be truly seen and loved, even through the darkest times. A relationship like that is worth celebrating. And yes, Culebra looks dreamy!

    As for the last name… I’ve never been married, but my ex-partner and I were very close to it at one time. Since I was never crazy about the idea of the woman taking the man’s name, and he never liked his last name anyway, we joked that we would combine the letters in our last names, rearrange them, and create a new one that we’d both adopt.

  8. I had a hard time with the name thing. I actually took my husband’s last name and legally changed my middle name to my maiden name. That sounds confusing. I have a strong Italian maiden name and identity and hubby has the most bland last name you could think of. I just couldn’t part with it. My husband teases me about it because my full sig is ridiculous and it’s kind of ridiculous to have that as my middle name when it’s written out but I don’t care ;-)

    • Ah—now there’s an idea I haven’t considered. I like that! We identify strongly with our names and it’s so normal to want to keep them. I have actually decided to hyphenate my last name—something I’d ruled out because the two names sound very hilarious together and actually kind of sexual (um, my last name is a verb…which sounds fine by itself, but in front of another name…I’ll leave it to your imagination!). I will still used my maiden name professionally and for daily life stuff like email and FB and whatnot. And then when we have kids, I can be a Mrs in certain contexts and share the whole family’s last name. It was a hard decision, but am feeling more comfortable with it now. I feel like the hyphen represents compromise—and well I hear a person needs a lot of that in a marriage (:

  1. “There’s nothing worse than an old mum!”/ The Enormous Do-over | the unexpected trip

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  •© the unexpected trip,, 2012-2017.
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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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