The 2 week wait.
It might just be the hardest two weeks you go through when experiencing infertility. Whether you did fertility treatments, were tracking ovulation or are simply wishing and hoping it’s your lucky month- waiting to find out if you are pregnant can be such an emotional roller coaster.
Through my infertility journey I have done 18 rounds of IUI (two resulting in the births of my daughters) and 2 rounds of IVF (one fresh and one frozen cycle) and I can honestly say that the 2 week wait was the hardest part. I’ll tell you why.
During fertility treatments you are kept fairly busy. There is always a shot to take or a pill to swallow- or a doctor’s appointment to go to. And those aspects of it are so, so hard physically and emotionally- but through it all you are so excited and anxious and hopeful and full of adrenaline. You have to be just to get through it.
But then the moment comes when you’ve done all that you can and now you just hope and pray for your miracle. You have two weeks where things slow down and all you can do is wait. And the waiting is what can drive you crazy.
Today I would like to share a few tips and tricks to help you through the two week wait. Because I’ve been there. I have been driven crazy by it, I know the feelings and emotions and how it can mess with your head and emotional well-being.
These are tips that I came up with because of my experience, and also ideas compiled by some of our awesome readers and fellow infertility warriors. So if you are just starting out on your journey I hope you will read this and find something that will help you through. Or if you’ve gone through this I hope it will resonate with you and you’ll know that you aren’t alone.
Surviving the 2 Week Wait:
- Stay Busy
This might be easier said than done but it is so important! Schedule a few date nights, go out with friends, work on your favorite hobby, organize rooms in your home, volunteer- whatever it is make sure you keep busy and have plenty of things planned during your two weeks to help distract you.
- Treat Yourself
Do something for you! Get a pedicure, read a book, take a bubble bath each night, read a gossip magazine, watch chick-flicks, get your favorite take-out for lunch or dinner- just find something that makes you happy and pamper yourself.
- Stay Off the Internet
More specifically stay off of message boards and refrain from “googling” any symptoms, signs or worries you might be having. It will save your sanity. You will convince yourself that you either are pregnant or that you aren’t and you will only end up comparing yourself to hundreds of other women who are all different from you. While there is definitely a time and place to find that support from others or from pregnancy websites- the two week wait is not the time. The internet can truly suck you in and once you get started looking things up or scouring online forums you will find yourself in a less desirable state of mind than when you started.
- Don’t Test Early
Several women suggested this one- and it is a good tip! How many times have you taken a test and made yourself go crazy holding your test strip up to the light, while squinting one eye trying to see a second line? We’ve all been there! Wait until your scheduled blood draw at your lab or until it’s been two weeks and you are waiting for your cycle so that you are sure to get a clear answer.
- Find Support
Even if you are trying to make those two weeks as normal as possible it is good for the soul to be able to talk about your feelings and what you are going through. If you have a circle of friends or family you trust- consider telling them before hand what you will need from them and ask if they are willing to listen when you need it. Don’t be afraid to get out all of your thoughts and share them with others. Talking can be very therapeutic and sometimes you just need to have a compassionate person to lean on.
A lot of women find great peace in prayer or meditation. It can help calm and relax your body and mind and help clear your thoughts instead of focusing on different symptoms or signs you might be having.
Keep your body moving as long as you’ve been cleared by your doctor and you feel up for it. Brisk walks, yoga or swimming are mild forms of exercise that can help your body relax and help keep your mind off of your belly.
- Write in a Journal
Write down your thoughts and feelings. Whether you write in a journal or on a blog- record your experiences. Not only does it help you to get your thoughts out- but you might want to go back and read it someday and it will be nice to have a record of your journey. Try starting a “gratitude journal” if you don’t already have one. Focusing on your blessings is a great way to gain peace.
- Decide Who You Want in your Circle
It can be exhausting texting, calling and messaging tons of people updating them on your status. Decide with your partner who you want to tell about your upcoming 2WW and be very clear with them on how you will tell them the outcome and how involved you want them in checking in on you. Having a great circle of support is wonderful and a true blessing- but remember everyone who knows about you fertility treatments will eventually need to find out whether you got a BFP or BFN.
- Stay Away From Triggers
That means “protect yourself emotionally” and know what might trigger a certain emotion in yourself. For example, on the day you are testing- make sure you aren’t going to be around friends or family members who might be pregnant if you know that will be hard for you if the outcome isn’t what you are hoping. If watching movies, shows like “Teen Mom” or going to baby showers during the 2 weeks is hard for you- don’t do it! Now is the time to take care of yourself and make choices that are good for you.
- Bonus Tip:
If you are on the other side of it and looking for ways to help your loved one through the two week consider dropping off a “2 Week Wait” care package. I had a friend drop one off to me right after our second egg transfer. It showed me she cared and that she was thinking about me and it was filled with encouraging notes and fun gifts to get me through the two weeks. She gave me a book, bath salts, my favorite soda, a relaxing candle, mints (to remind me to connect to my spouse– I loved that), note cards and some baby dust in the form of a baby travel pack.
I truly hope you have read something today that might help you through your two week wait. It really is an amazing and hopeful time but it is so hard to get through. Please know you are not alone and that you can do this!
Baby Dust to you all!