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    When I got married, I didn't take my husband's last name. That all changed when we had a baby.

    By Maddie Cohen,

    After giving birth to her first child the author is now questioning whether to take her husband's last name.
    • When I got married, I never once considered changing my last name.
    • Things began to shift when I gave birth to my first child.
    • Now I'm thinking of taking my husband's last name after all.

    When my husband and I eloped on a cliff overlooking the Minnesota-Ontario border, I was adamant about keeping my last name .

    "It's who I've always been," I said.

    It was a bright, snowy November day. The wintry sun's unexpected rays overpowered me, and I wished I'd packed my sunglasses.

    My husband nodded in agreement.

    "I don't mind at all," he said. "That won't affect how close we are."

    I appreciated his support. We'd discussed a potential name change for the first time months earlier, and on the day of our elopement, I brought it up again. I didn't want to go through the hassle of all that paperwork, and I didn't see the need to share a last name with my spouse.

    Keeping my last name made me feel more independent

    I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy how keeping my maiden name made me feel. The idea of giving it up after signing my marriage license was inconceivable to me. And besides, I liked the idea of escaping tradition.

    "Why should I jump through hoops just because I'm married?" I asked myself.

    I wasn't the only person who felt this way — but I was part of the minority. A 2023 Pew Research survey found that nearly eight in 10 women in opposite-sex marriages took their spouse's last name and that another 5% hyphenated both names. That left just 14% of us in my position.

    I never considered that I might change my mind.

    I experienced a shift in perspective when I got pregnant

    I was 28 when we started trying for a baby.

    We conceived quickly and with relative ease — but then I had a miscarriage .

    Devastated, I clung to my relationship. My desire to feel "progressive" evaporated. I felt a closeness to my husband I'd never experienced before. More than ever, I wanted us to be a true unit.

    These feelings only intensified as time went on. Fast-forward about a year, and we had a new pregnancy that seemed viable. We learned we were having a boy.

    Almost immediately, we agreed that my last name would be our son's middle name.

    Little did I know I'd soon be rethinking my own name.

    When my son was born, I lost all interest in keeping my last name

    Our son's delivery was precipitous. Sleeping alone in our hospital room while he recovered in the NICU , I wondered if we'd ever get to bring him home.

    His nurse offered me prints of his delicate baby feet. She assumed my son and I shared the same last name and labeled the page accordingly. I didn't correct her — but I did question my decision to keep my maiden name .

    Fortunately, my son made a full recovery. We brought him home on a Friday, and I felt overcome with love for the tiny person in our care.

    Yet our different last names continued to cause confusion. From day care inquiries to medical forms; most people assume that either I have his last name or that he has mine. And while this doesn't matter in the big picture of our lives, there's a disconnect that irks me.

    Now, as my son wraps up his second month of life, I'm seriously thinking about changing my last name. I've come to realize it won't make me any less independent. If anything, sharing a last name with my spouse and son will reinforce the closeness I've always craved.

    Read the original article on Business Insider
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