Elopement and honeymoon! We feel new.

I have been wanting to write this blog post for a very long time. But every time I’ve approached my keyboard, I’ve procrastinated, overwhelmed by the task of trying to capture something so utterly wonderful and sparkly and brimming with life. I look back on the days between June 14th and June 23rd, and I think: Did that really just happen? Really?

Really. It did. We eloped to Manhattan City Hall and had the sweetest, most romantic ceremony and journey through beautiful Brooklyn, and we honeymooned on a tiny undeveloped island surrounded by turquoise blue waters. We snorkeled through underwater Mars and swam with sea turtles. We sailed to an even tinier crazy-gorgeous island filled with tide pools. We biked up steep hills lined with fire-flowers and hiked forever through a mangrove forest to a stretch of the most beautiful, uninhabited beach and crashing waves I’ve ever seen. We drove an open-air golf cart everywhere, over the bumps and hills, swooping up to lookouts and down along the bay, singing 50s songs. We watched sunsets that cannot be described or captured in photographs, because they were God-ness. We ate the best damn food of our lives. We saw the Solstice Supermoon, and it looked like the sun. We felt light and inspired and deeply in love, and when we came home, we felt the ocean waves inside us for days.

A few photos…

Our casita.

This is the veranda of our adorable casita.

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We ate our daily breakfast of eggs and fresh mango on our veranda, alongside hummingbirds and iguanas, roosters crowing in the background.

We ate our breakfast of eggs and mango fresh from the tree surrounded by hummingbirds and iguanas, roosters crowing in the background.

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A glimpse of the underwater alien landscape we snorkeled through nearly every day. Coral are some of the most bizarre and wondrous animals I've ever met.

The underwater alien landscape we snorkeled through nearly every day. Coral are some of the most bizarre and wondrous animals I’ve ever met.

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Hiking up through a hilly wilderness to yet another incredible beach and reef.

Hiking up through a hilly wilderness to another incredible beach and reef.

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We hiked through wilderness to get here and stayed until the sun went down, and hiked back through darkness lit by the Solstice Supermoon.

After the wilderness hike, we stayed at that beach until the sun went down, glorious. We hiked back through darkness lit by the Solstice Supermoon.

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I did yoga on many beaches. This one---so long and smooth---was my favorite.

I did yoga on many beaches. This one—so long and smooth—was my favorite.

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Deep blue limitless waters---I have serious respect for you, Mother Nature.

Deep blue limitless waters—I have serious respect for you,  Mother Nature.

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Sailing to Culebrita.

Sailing to “little snake” island.

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 The secluded beach, reached via mangrove forest...

The secluded beach, reached via mangrove forest…

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[image coming…]

This captures how inspired and happy I felt. I’m going to return to this image in the future, when I need to remember the powerful joy in me.

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The Solstice Supermoon! I think I'm trying to fly up into the sky here.

The Solstice Supermoon! I think I’m trying to fly up into the sky here.

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I will leave it at that for now. Many more stories to tell. We feel new.

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7 Comments

  1. L

     /  July 1, 2013

    Beautiful photos! So glad you had such a wonderful time and are returning refreshed and renewed!

    Reply
  2. Congrats on all the wonderful things are happening!! Beautiful photos!

    I have some questions about RBA (but first some background). DH and I are convinced the frozen DE is the way to go – I don’t think I could handle the stress and uncertainty of a fresh cycle, never mind the expense. BUT, looking at ALL the databases (fresh and frozen) we’ve seen very few ladies who we would consider (mainly because I want them to look at least a little bit like me – medium height, red hair, possibly green or blue eyes – I know, I know – but I’m not willing to compromise on this. If they can’t have my genetics they can at least have some resemblance). There is no one on any of the frozen databases that I’ve seen that works for us. I’d like to see the RBA database but, as you know, you have to be a patient of one of their affiliates and the closest affiliate is +600 mi away from us. Plus, I don’t want to pay a $500 fee to look at a database that may (or more likely may not) have a donor that we’d consider. Sooooo, my questions… 1) Was the donor database large? Diverse? 2) Do you actually have to travel to one of the clinics or can you become a “remote” patient? 3) What screenings do they require (anything above and beyond the myriad of screenings required for IVF)? 4) If I asked nicely do you think they would at least give me some indication of whether they had donors who might works for us (and if there was more than 1) without having to pay all the fees etc? 5) Any advice? I know you’ve recently been dealing with all of this stuff and I’d love your opinion.

    Thanks, and congrats again!

    Reply
    • Hi! And thank you for the congrats. I’m glad to hear that you are going with frozen DE! I do think it is the least anxiety-provoking option out there.

      I’ll answer your questions…

      1) Was the donor database large? Diverse?

      I have not yet been given access to the database, but I will most likely get access sometime next week. You might check out the blog entitled _My Journey Through Infertility_ for more information on the database in her posts, because she has already gone through the whole process.

      But I do know that the last I asked, there were 56 donors in the database. They say it varies from week to week. And new donors in the database often get selected rather quickly.

      2) Do you actually have to travel to one of the clinics or can you become a “remote” patient?

      Yes, you have to travel to Atlanta (the main clinic) or one of the affiliate clinics, as far as I know. These clinics’ staff members are all trained in the exact same way (Atlanta being the pioneer and the leader of training). I would recommend going to Atlanta over the affiliates. You would be there for a week.

      3) What screenings do they require (anything above and beyond the myriad of screenings required for IVF)?

      They require 9 blood tests, 2 genital cultures, sonohysterogram, mammogram and pap, semen analysis including morphology, psychological assessment, and a few notarized consents/agreements. A lot of this I’d already had done at CCRM. They’ll take tests done elsewhere if they were taken within the year. It wasn’t too bad.

      4) If I asked nicely do you think they would at least give me some indication of whether they had donors who might works for us (and if there was more than 1) without having to pay all the fees etc?

      You know, I think they might. I’m not 100% sure, but they’re pretty nice and human there.

      5) Any advice? I know you’ve recently been dealing with all of this stuff and I’d love your opinion.

      As I mentioned above I think going for the Atlanta clinic is your best, surest bet. They’ve been doing this the longest. They are THE pioneer countrywide of frozen donor egg IVF. You are monitored locally (I think you go in for one lining check locally) and then you go to Atlanta for 1 week.

      I also think that the Frozen Egg Advantage Guarantee Program is the way to go, if you are looking for the least amount of anxiety possible (and you can afford 30K right now). The Basic Program (16,500) does not guarantee a live birth, but the FEA Guarantee Program does. The only way you will not wind up with a baby through the Guarantee Program is if you suddenly develop uterine issues and require a surrogate (highly unlikely).

      I have done a lot of thinking about how I am going to approach this database. I know that I am irreplaceable and that I do not want to search the database for myself, but for someone I might like to be friends with, or someone who seems like a kind, happy person, and who shares a few of my physical traits, so that the child will blend into our little future family. I think women in your situation—women who have quite striking, gorgeous attributes like red hair, have it much harder. I have medium-to-light brown hair and blue eyes–it’ll be easier for me. I have friends who have wonderfully striking exotic features, and it is harder for them than for me—I have a sort of All-American face. I get why you’re not compromising and totally support it. Even though it might take longer, you have to honor your own boundaries and parameters. I don’t know yet what my uncompromisables are—I guess I’ll find out once I get in that database. Something tells me that intelligence level is going to be a big hurdle for me. I was quite precocious as a child and I have to admit I am attached to having a kid as precocious as I was. Of course, we all know that, no matter how you produce a child, you never know what will manifest in him or her…

      I don’t know if you have read much about epigenetics yet, but I found reading about the subject to be incredibly helpful. Learning how and why the uterine environment influences the expression of genes is not only fascinating but it also makes me realize that I will most certainly have a biological, genetic link to my child. Crazily, uterine environment can even have an effect on the expression of genes related to hair and eye color!

      I wish you all the best and will be following your story. I’ll keep you posted on what I learn as I go along.

      Reply
      • I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to answer my questions! You rock!

        I haven’t been posting much lately – I’m having a hard time articulating what I’m feeling right now. BUT, I’m avidly following all you ladies on sending out love and good vibes!

        Thanks again!

        Reply
  3. Just one more thing, Oven. You can get a preview of the donors by signing up for an account- no commitment required, just your email and stuff (http://myeggbank.com/reg/). It isn’t the full access, but you can at least sort the donors by hair and eye color and see if any of them meet those specifications first.
    I share some more info on my blog about choosing from their database. Let me know if you have any questions. And good luck!

    Reply
  1. After the honeymoon, and before DE | the unexpected trip

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