Trying times

The talk of having babies began as early as our wedding day.

“Congratulations, Sandy and Ron,” the best man said. “May your lives be long, prosperous, and filled with babies!”

All of our guests raised their glasses and cheered. For the momentous event, Ron had shaved his whitish beard, the only solid evidence of his age.

“I don’t want to look so old,” he had said. He was 43 at the time. I was 31. Having babies — and my comparable youthfulness to pull it off — was very much a part of the deal. For some mysterious, innate reason, we both looked forward to them — or even just one — sooner rather than later. And our guests had pegged us. “Forget about the wedding — get busy, you guys,” everyone seemed to be saying by their enthusiastic response, suppressed grins, and elbow jabs.

Trying with no luck

A year-and-a-half later, Ron and I felt jinxed. We were trying so hard to get pregnant — going on vacation, timing intercourse with ovulation predictor kits and a stop watch (OK, kidding), trying to relax, pretending we weren’t trying — but it was evident. Like about 10 percent of all couples around the globe, we were infertile (the inability to conceive after one year of trying).

Soon enough, I found myself a regular at the infertility specialist, along with the dozens of others I met along the way, thumbing through non-parenting magazines in the reception area. We all had a common bond: we were all experts at giving blood. We all knew which was our “good” arm.

The stories I heard: There was Judy, who had been trying for five years and was on her third attempt at in vitro fertilization. Another, Maria, had a similar record, and said she burst into tears any time she saw an infant in a restaurant. I was a newcomer, having just endured one low-tech, assisted reproductive procedure, but I could still relate. The name of the game is hyping up your hormones, then tracking your menstrual cycle like the stock market with blood and ultrasound tests with one goal: to nab the whereabouts of that all-elusive egg.

For two weeks, I was lubed up with HCG and Clomid, infertility wonder drugs, and though I was glad for the technology, I was resentful.

“I just don’t feel right about this,” I said to Ron. Deep down, I knew we could do it on our own. But, of course, isn’t that what every woman who is trying to get pregnant thinks in the beginning?

Left behind

Meanwhile, our friends were leaving us in the dust. One couple, Anna and Dan, were so perfect that their wedding photo was featured in a local magazine ad.

At a neighborhood party, Anna confided in me that she and Dan were going to start trying.

“What about you?” she asked.

“We’ve been trying for a year and a half,” I revealed.

Then, two months later, when the four of us were out to dinner, Anna announced she was pregnant.

My stomach lurched. After only two months? Suddenly, I couldn’t see my salad as — for the first time — I nearly came to tears, because I had been trying to so hard to be optimistic. Luckily, I pulled myself together as the conversation turned to sonograms, baby heart beats, and not being able to drink. Out of spite, I ordered another glass of chardonnay just because I could, since our attempt at intrauterine insemination didn’t work. Later, as the guys talked, Anna turned to me.

“It’s a relief to know you can,” she said, as in, to conceive. I couldn’t believe she actually said that — to me.

“It must be,” I said, just to be nice.

It’s not that I wanted a child so badly that I had to have one, like a drink of water on a scorching day. It was just that being pregnant and raising a child was a life experience that I would rather not pass up. After a while, when you don’t get pregnant like you thought you would, you start to get a little crazy. Strollers in shopping malls pop out at you, especially those holding kids who match your or your husband’s hair color. You feel like clobbering coworkers who calculate how long you’ve been married and then say, “So, do you guys want kids?”

Second thoughts

During this time, I had a realization: I’d never had a child, so I didn’t really know what I was wishing for.

Would I be patient and selfless like my mother? Or would I be short-tempered and bothered by the minutia of it all, like my father? I couldn’t even imagine what our child would look like. Ron is a redhead and I’m blonde. Wouldn’t that make our baby … orange? And after listening to a weary stay-at-home dad of a 6-year-old admit, “Had I known it was going to be this hard, I wouldn’t have become a parent,” I even had second thoughts.

But every so often, I got a hint of the good stuff.

During the holidays, I picked up my mother and grandmother from a bed-and-breakfast they were staying at while in town, and we all watched the owner’s 4-year-old granddaughter open presents. She was showing her new tea set to my grandmother, who was throwing her hands back in exaggerated delight, just like she did for me when I was little.

We were all so mesmerized by this little girl that we forgot we barely knew these people, and tore ourselves away.


The following September, after nearly three years, Ron and I finally got lucky. Two months after a round of infertility surgery on both of our parts — to fix some “plumbing” issues — Ron and I tried on our own and got two pink lines on the at-home pregnancy test. At the ripe age of 35, I was finally going to be a mom.

Soon, my elastic pants were tight and my boobs were as heavy as grapefruits. Who knew pregnancy could feel this good?

After nine-and-a-half months, my daughter, Rebecca, was born by C-section, weighing in at nearly 9 pounds with a full head of — surprise! — dark hair and long eyelashes.

“She’s pretty,” Ron said, sniffling while we were in the operating room.

What can you say about finally giving birth after not knowing if pregnancy was even possible? Nothing short of “this is the best day of my life.”

Suffice it to say that Rebecca was much more than we had ever bargained for, and was definitely worth the wait.

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Dedimus Potestatem

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To register, visit <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> </a>or email us at <a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=REGISTER" target="_blank" rel="noopener">[email protected]</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Leadership: Middle School ages 10-13, High School ages 14-18</a></p> <p>This is a unique leadership course that gives students the skills they need to succeed in life. Using an activity-based syllabus centered around character traits most sought and admired in leaders (initiative, honesty, self-control, adaptability, empathy, persuasiveness, resourcefulness, diligence, tolerance, determination, generosity, punctuality, courage, reliability, endurance, deference, creativity and integrity) students learn how to deal with situations they encounter in life. These building blocks will ensure they grow to become the leaders so sought after by our burgeoning society. Our grading rubric was adapted with the permission of Neil Mercer, the Director of research and Head of Faculty at The University of Cambridge.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Little Leaders: Primary School Ages 6-9</a></p> <p>Developed by former pre-school and elementary teachers, this ethics-centered program utilizes a play-based method to encourage students to explore and apply soft skills in their daily lives. While cultivating the skills they will need to build strong, successful relationships, they will learn how to find their voice and showcase themselves in the best way. Students will learn to communicate and negotiate so they can be better team leaders and team players. Students will learn how to deal with situations they encounter in life, such as bullying, cheating, conflicts between two or more parties, and more. 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Debate builds literacy and multi-media research skills, fosters critical thinking and expanded perspectives, enhances public speaking skills, increases confidence, trains students to listen effectively, supports diverse learners and strengthens civil engagement and discourse. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Model United Nations (Ages 11-18)</a></p> <p>Model UN simulates the six major organs of the United Nations. Students role play as delegates from a country of their choosing and learn to write and present resolutions based on topics they are passionate about-just as if they were representing member states of the United Nations. We utilize materials from National Model UN and video tutorials to teach students how to write and present position papers, working papers, and draft resolutions. Students use debate and negotiation to enlist the support of other delegates for their resolution. 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This course is ideal for middle and high school students.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">STEM and Bioethics: (Ages 10-18)</a></p> <p>Our STEM program will give kids the opportunity to think critically about science and society, and to practice communicating scientific topics in ways everyone can understand. To be a successful scientist in our modern world, one must not only have a broad understanding of scientific material learned at school, but also the ability to communicate effectively and share that knowledge with others. Each week of this program will build on the previous while also introducing new scientific topics for discussion.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Etiquette (Ages 5 and up)</a></p> <p>Due to increasing popular demand from groups and individuals, we have decided to offer our etiquette course as an eight week after-school class. 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Quinipet Camp & Retreat Center

<div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="font-family: Oxygen; font-size: 18px; background-color: #ffffff; color: #2a2a2a;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;">Established by the United Methodist Church in 1947, Quinipet is built upon the rocks of Faith, Courage, Love, Humility and Honesty; creating a foundation that welcomes campers from all walks of life, faiths, and backgrounds.</span></span></strong><br /><br style="color: #7b8c89; font-family: Oxygen; font-size: 18px; background-color: #ffffff;" /><strong><span style="font-family: Oxygen; font-size: 18px; background-color: #ffffff; color: #3f3f3f;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;">​</span></span><span style="font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; background-color: #ffffff;">Whether you come for one week or all summer long, you will make new friends, learn and grow, laugh a LOT, and enjoy the beautiful natural environment of Shelter Island. </span><span style="font-family: Oxygen; font-size: 18px; background-color: #ffffff; color: #2a2a2a;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;">Quinipet has all the fun of a traditional Christian summer camp - surrounded by water!</span></span></strong></div> <div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="font-family: Oxygen; font-size: 18px; background-color: #ffffff; color: #2a2a2a;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt;"> </span></span></strong></div> <div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="font-family: Oxygen; font-size: 18px; background-color: #ffffff; color: #2a2a2a;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;">Week-Long Sessions begin the week of July 4, 2021:</span></span></strong></div> <div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 15px;"><strong><span style="font-family: Oxygen; font-size: 18px; background-color: #ffffff; color: #2a2a2a;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;">Day Camp (ages 5-15) Monday-Friday 9 am-4 pm</span></span></strong></li> <li style="margin-left: 15px;"><strong>Community Sailing (ages 9-15) Monday-Friday, 9-12 or 1-4</strong></li> <li style="margin-left: 15px;"><strong>Traditional Overnight Camp (ages 7-17) Sunday Afternoon - Saturday Morning</strong></li> <li style="margin-left: 15px;"><strong>Sailing Overnight Camp (ages 9-17) <span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;">Sunday Afternoon - Saturday Morning</span></strong></li> </ul> </div> <div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Daily Day Camp transportation options from the north (Greenport) & south (North Haven/Sag Harbor) forks! </strong></div> <div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>In-person Open Houses this April and May!</strong></div> <div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>For Dates & Rates and Online Registration visit us at</strong></div>

Fieldston Summer Camps

<p>Fieldston Summer Camps provide a fun, eventful summer for all ages. Fieldston Outdoors, Fieldston Sports Camp, Fieldston Premier Sports, Fieldston Future Leaders Camp, Fieldston Emerging Leaders Camp, and Fieldston Expeditions Camp are comprehensive programs covering a spectrum of subjects and interests designed to engage campers. Our programs and classes range from outdoor adventure to educational, sports, and STEAM programs. All camps are held at our campus in Riverdale, with the exception of Fieldston Expeditions Camp, which takes place at locations across the country.</p> <p> </p>