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Infertility and the Bus Stop Blues

Although it isn’t a child-focused holiday like Christmas or Halloween, Back-to-school time is rough for those struggling with infertility. In typical retail fashion, the advertisements and in-store displays have been in our faces since the Fourth of July. But the frenzy will increase as the final days of summer tick away. At RMA Long Island IVF, we notice the toll this takes on our patients.

Well-meaning fertile friends may say you’re lucky not to have to deal with the pressure of finding the perfect first-day outfit or the coolest backpack or paying for all of the supplies. They don’t realize you’d happily run to 16 stores to score your kid the perfect lunchbox and would give anything to fight a random stranger over the last pack of glue sticks. If infertility wasn’t an obstacle, of course.

Wherever you look on the first day of school – – through the blinds of your home or while driving through the neighborhood – – there will be heartbreakingly-adorable clusters of kids at bus stops. Their parents will be snapping pictures, sipping coffee, and forging friendships. Of course, it will all be documented on social media, too.

Back-to-school can make the infertile heart feel like it was flattened by a school bus or stabbed with a number two pencil.

So, what can you do to make it less painful while you wait for life’s invitation to join the “bus stop gang”?

One option is hiding. If your life makes avoidance an option, try minimizing your exposure to the back-to-school scene. Avoid office supply stores or school supplies sections of large retailers – – especially during times when parents with young children may be shopping. Avoid crowded neighborhood bus stops by adjusting the time you leave or alter your usual route taken for work– –for a day or two, or even longer.

Another option is to dive into the back-to-school scene. Who says you need a child of your own to buy school supplies?

There are many programs on Long Island that support underprivileged children’s need for school supplies. If your heart and wallet are able, there are plenty of organizations collecting school supplies for local children and children abroad.

If you live on Long Island, Blanca’s House is on a mission to fill 100 backpacks during its School Supply Drive. Supplies needed include marble notebooks, pencils and pens, fine and bold markers, colored pencils and crayons, pencil cases and sharpeners, and glue sticks. According to its website, Blanca’s House sends medical and nonmedical personnel on medical missions throughout Latin America to provide free preventative and urgent medical and surgical care to those with otherwise limited or no access to doctors. The supplies collected will be distributed to needy children on upcoming missions in January and April. Drop supplies off at Blanca’s House at 33 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, New York or contact the Outreach Coordinator, Lori-Ann Kneessy at 631-860-1902 for more information or other drop-off locations.

Give Kids Hope Inc. 501(c) 3 is conducting a back to school clothing and supplies drive and is accepting supplies, plus new and gently-used clothing for underprivileged children and teens. Drop off in Port Jefferson. According to its Facebook page, the organization also provides birthday gifts and cake, clothes, food and supplies to local families in desperate need year-round. For more information, call 631-538-5287 or see the Facebook page.

There are many other organizations that can use help in your local community. Contact your local school district and/or Department of Social Services to learn how you can help. Organizations provided here are for informational purposes only and are not affiliated with RMA Long Island IVF. Always do your own research and due diligence before donating.

Whether you choose to avoid back to school or to jump right in with a charitable donation, protecting your heart is what’s most important. For many, your years at the bus stop will come. Keep the faith. And if you need extra support, know that RMA Long Island IVF can connect you with our infertility specialists for group or individual counseling.

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