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Archive for the ‘back to school’ tag

You WILL Survive Your IVF Baby Leaving for College or Kindergarten

By Tracey Minella

September 6th, 2017 at 4:52 pm

 

T. Minella


By now, just about all college kids have checked in for the new school year. And the little ones started school yesterday and today on Long Island. So, all across the country there are moms and dads feeling the sting…or rather, the devastation…of saying good-bye to their babies.

But IVF parents have it worse. We love harder.

There, I said it.

It’s not that we are better parents (okay I’m lying because I think we kind of are better), but we love differently. That’s entirely because we faced the frightening reality of never becoming parents. We don’t take parenthood for granted. We worked for it. It’s something the fertile folks won’t ever understand and it doesn’t just disappear after the infertility battle is won. It’s a part of us and is always there. It often manifests itself in over-protectiveness and over-involvement. From triple-checking the baby is still breathing, to fearing sleepovers or letting others watch or drive our kids, to tracking their iPhones and monitoring their social media, the vigilant watch unfolds until one day…poof…they are gone.

First, it’s kindergarten, where you are handing them off to another adult for the better part of the day. It’s not all unicorns, rainbows, and “ready confetti”. Stressing over things like whether they will do well academically, make friends, eat alone, be included at recess, or get bullied is normal. Major stuff.

Blink and you will be dropping them off at the dorm—maybe in another state—and wondering where the heck all the years went? Wasn’t it just yesterday that life was all blood work and sonograms? How did it all fly by so fast? Did I do a good enough job? Is my job over? Are they prepared? How will I make until Parent’s Weekend or Thanksgiving without seeing my baby? I want a do-over!

So, here is the deal…

To the kindergarten parents: You will adjust. And you will be amazed at how your baby learns and grows and makes friends. They are ready, even if you are not. It will be fine. They will come home and tell you about their day at school and you will sit in wonder at this little person you created. And there will still be plenty of hours in the day to hover over them and teach them to navigate their new wonderful world. It’s going to be okay. I promise. (Still need to feel better? Read on for the college version.)

To the college freshman parents: You will adjust. True, when someone told me that a year ago as I sent my first IVF baby off to college in Virginia, I admit that I smiled and nodded politely but I secretly thought to myself “Nope, you’re an idiot.” (Look, those moments of “mom desperation” when your baby is moving 8 hours away can bring out the worst in us. Am I right?)

But really, somehow, life does go on without them home. I know it is unimaginable (and that you’re thinking I’m an idiot). It’s truly unthinkable. And the hole in your heart and life is so big, raw, and real right now. I get that completely. But as they start this next big phase on their own, you will marvel at their ability to juggle it all. Watch in pride as they begin “adulting” based on the foundation you gave them. The schoolwork, activities, eating, even the occasional laundry. All mostly on their own now. They will thrive in the place they feel they belong—which will become a second home to them in time as new friendships bloom.

But they will still need you and they will reach out for advice–and money– so look forward to those moments to come. And with your heart in your throat, keep on them (gently but firmly) about the parties and your expectations of them as they adjust to their newfound freedom. They’ll make the friends who will be their friends for life, and maybe even meet their soulmate. Look forward to seeing them at Parent’s Weekend. You will be amazed at how they’ve grown. And Thanksgiving will have a whole new meaning this year.

I’ve been in your shoes and I know you can do this. You are going to make it. Things are different and sad. Change is hard, but it can be good. And it will be good. Just maybe not today.

So, let them fly. (Really, let go of their foot.)

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With decades of miracles behind us, Long Island IVF parents have sent countless numbers of babies off to school (and some down the aisle!). Feel free to pics of your baby’s back-to-school pics.

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Secondary Infertility and “Kindergarten Empty Nest”

By Tracey Minella

September 8th, 2015 at 9:03 am

 

credit: khunaspix/Freedigitalphotos.net


Maybe that first pregnancy came easy. Maybe it didn’t. But, boy did you want that baby.

Your first-born.

She made you a mom. Or a dad. He was the answer to prayers and the realization of dreams that began decades ago. You always expected to become a parent. If you struggled with infertility or losses beforehand, that angel’s birth was the sweet reward for your pain and perseverance.

But you wanted… more. And it hasn’t happened.

For years, you’ve wrestled with the thought of wanting a bigger family. Afraid to speak it aloud. Afraid to be judged ungrateful for the one child you do have. The one child you may’ve bargained with the Universe to have….the one you’d have sold your soul for. The single child that fertile folks and those struggling with infertility believe you should happily settle for.

But why can’t I have another, you often wondered as you savored every single minute of parenthood. Onesies and late-night feedings. First words and steps. Doctor visits. Bedtime stories and snuggles. Happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and happy every other holiday. Happy every single ordinary day, as well.

Until last week.

One minute you were at the bus-stop taking Facebook pictures and chatting up the other moms, as your firstborn …sporting a Minions backpack… giggled nervously with the other kids. The next minute a yellow bus whisked your baby away. And ran over your heart in the process.

How did this happen?

You returned to your empty house while the others pushed strollers home… your routine somehow disrupted. For the first time in five years, you may have all the time in the world. And hate it. What will you do to fill the 8 weeks hours until your baby comes home…or the 6 hours for those hovering “helicopter-parents” who covertly followed the bus?  How will you adjust to the new void in your life?

You suddenly realize that you really aren’t so different from the freshman college mom you pitied at Bed Bath & Beyond last month.

You’ve got kindergarten empty nest.

It is the price of secondary infertility. At best, it forces you to face the frustration over the ever-widening age gap between your first and potential second child. At worst, it makes you confront the possibility that what was supposed to be your firstborn may actually be your only child.

Kindergarten can also be tough on “lonely only-s”. Brace yourself for the inevitable plea, prompted by one of those early “All About Me” assignments: “When are you going to give me a little brother or sister?”

Just think…there are only 276 days until summer vacation. Not like anyone’s counting.

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Has anyone experienced Kindergarten Empty Nest? If so, what are your thoughts on coping with the adjustments it brings to you as parents and to your child? How have you handled it? Any tips?

 

 

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Infertility: 4 Tips for Surviving the Back-to-School Blues

By Tracey Minella

September 7th, 2013 at 9:20 pm

 

 

image courtesy of anankkml/free digital photos.com

When you’re trying to conceive, it seems that everywhere you look, everyone is pregnant. Except you.

This week and next across Long Island, this emotional overload worsens as children return to school. After three months away in summer camps or out of sight in backyard pools, the little monsters come screeching out to the curb in full force.

Millions of them…or so it seems. They’re on every corner. Giggling at the bus-stop with their new outfits and backpacks full of crayons and glue sticks while their moms chat over morning coffee. Yellow buses seem to outnumber regular cars. It’s almost too much to bear.

Here are 4 tips on how to get through this transition:

1. Avoidance. If it’s possible, don’t go out for the half-hour or so that kids are waiting at the bus-stop. Leave a little earlier or later.

2. Treat yourself to something special. Whatever your budget, there is surely something that would brighten your day. Some trinket, manicure, massage, coffee on the beach? Infertility has deprived you. So indulge.

3. Do something to enhance your health or your odds of conceiving. It could be anything from re-committing to that gym membership now that summer’s over, taking yoga or doing something meditative, clearing your mind with a daily walk, sleeping longer, eating better, quitting a bad habit. Check out Long Island IVF’s Mind-Body Program offerings to get support and relieve the stress of infertility http://www.longislandivf.com/mind_body.cfm

4. Turn a negative into a positive. If you are tired of having to wait for your day to finally buy a child back-to-school clothes and school supplies…don’t. Gather your courage, walk into the nearest Walmart or Target and open your heart to a child that can’t afford such necessities. Your local social services department or school district would gladly accept donations of loaded backpacks, lunch boxes, and new clothes on behalf of needy children. Be an angel. It’ll make you feel better.

With any luck, you’ll be an overprotective parent secretly following your precious cargo’s school bus to school very soon.

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How do you get through the back-to-school blues? Any tips to share?

 

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10047172 anankkmi

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