Surviving the Two Week Wait
In the beginning, that two week wait is approached with excitement and hope for the possibilities. You start to create a mental movie of you looking at that positive pregnancy test and screaming with excitement, you picture yourself telling your family and friends in a frenzy of tears and hugs, you even have the perfect announcement for your social media post and imagine all the comments congratulating you. But every time you see that negative pregnancy test, the more the anxiety increases, and that dream scenario starts to slowly slip away.
And then, instead of approaching your two week wait with excitement, you dread it. You become a crazy person, constantly googling and checking for symptoms. You're desperate to distract yourself, but are failing dismally at it. You are fighting to feel hopeful and positive, but it’s not working. You stress about being stressed. Your mind WILL NOT stay still no matter how many meditations you do. It’s busy, you start overthinking, and there is that feeling in the pit of your stomach of impending doom. It’s almost like you’re anticipating the grief you will feel already.
The Two Week Wait can turn into a source of anxiety. And if you’re trying to conceive naturally, it comes around every two weeks! So you are bouncing from the anxiety of the two week wait, to grief, to the two week wait, to grief. Wondering why you're exhausted and feel like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode?
If you’re lucky, you have one week where you’re able to pick yourself up and start to feel human again. And that’s if you don’t see a pregnancy announcement during that week. If you do, BOOM!! you’re at rock bottom again.
So how can you turn the two week wait into something a little more enjoyable? Here are a few suggestions for you -
Your mindset. This is the toughest thing to control in the two week wait. So I’m going to make it a little easier for you. There is no right or wrong way to feel right now. You don’t have to be positive or hopeful. You don’t have to be excited. You don’t have to be able to picture that positive pregnancy test or being pregnant. We read a lot of things about repeating – “pregnant and staying pregnant”, or “pregnant until proven otherwise”. And while they are great mantras to use, it’s also ok if you don’t feel comfortable repeating this, or if it makes you feel even worse. Drop the struggle of trying to feel something that you don’t. You’ve been through so much, so being kind to yourself right now is more important than punishing yourself.
There is a fine line between excitement and fear. In fact, our body can’t tell the difference between them. Because physically, they feel the same. So if you’re faced with that feeling of butterflies in your stomach, try telling yourself that you’re excited instead of scared. If you can’t that’s ok too.
Celebrate. I know this sounds a little weird, however just making it to your two week wait is cause for celebration. If you’ve done IVF, you’ve been through so much to get here. If you’re trying to get pregnant naturally, you have also done a lot to get here – making sure you’re ovulating, having sex at the right time (especially when sex becomes a struggle), looking after yourself in the lead up. You did it!! So as you enter your two week wait, treat yourself. Because now you get to put your feet up, knowing you’ve done all you can. You don’t have to try for two whole weeks. You don’t have to inject yourself in the stomach. You don’t have to struggle to get your partner to have sex with you. It could be buying yourself a new book, a new pair of shoes, going out for dinner, or even going away for the weekend.
Your normal reaction right now will be to search for certainty. Of that I am certain!! Our brains don’t like an open loop. We need an answer. Am I pregnant or not? However, the only thing that you can be certain of at this point in time, is that there is absolutely nothing that will give you certainty right now except for that positive pregnancy test (and even then, you probably won’t believe it). Your first instinct will be to google. But the brutal truth is that googling is pointless. In fact, it will make you feel even worse, and your monkey mind will shift up a gear. And right now, we need to slow that voice inside our head down, not speed it up. All pregnancies are different. All symptoms are different. If you’ve been pregnant before, this will still feel different. So make a promise to yourself that you will not google.
Analyzing your symptoms. You’re on hyper alert right now – trying to pick up on any twinges you feel. Working out what it could be (which leads to google). However, the truly f*cked up thing with the early stages of pregnancy and our period arriving is that they feel EXACTLY the same. You’re tired, have tender breasts, cramping, moodiness, and headaches, just to name a few. So if you’re going to over analyze every single symptom, you won’t be sure of whether its door number one or door number two. I know, it sucks!!
Surrender. Resign yourself to the fact that you will not know until you come to the end of your two week wait and you take that pregnancy test. I know it’s easier said than done. But a helpful exercise is to imagine the uncertainty in your body – where can you feel it? Is it in your stomach, in your mind, on your shoulders? Picture it, and then take a few deep breaths into that area and feel the tension slowly dissipate. And every time the uncertainty and need to control pops up again, keep breathing into it. You don’t have to punish yourself for feeling the need to control. It’s understandable. But you don’t have to carry it either.
Embrace this time, and create a bubble of love around yourself. This is a brilliant excuse to spend the next two weeks indulging yourself and taking care of yourself. Slowing down. Taking it easy. Accepting help from your partner or friends and family. Really tap into that feminine energy. Surround yourself with those who are going to lift you up, not drag you down. While you don’t have to be positive about the result, it helps to bounce off people who will make you feel lighter. And limit your exposure to those who will trigger you.
- Distraction is key. Plan ahead and schedule in a few things that will keep you busy (in a good way). You don’t want to be tired, because that increases our overthinking and our resilience and clarity, but filling your day with things you enjoy and that give you energy is the key to survival. Start a project you’ve been putting off. Try decluttering your wardrobe or redecorating your home office.
If you need some help finding a few more distractions, here are some suggestions for every day of your two week wait.
- Pamper yourself – book in a massage, acupuncture session or get your nails done.
- Practice gratitude – it takes the focus off what you don’t have and puts you in a space of abundance.
- Pep-talk – if you’re in need of a little reassurance, you can click HERE to download a free pep-talk I created.
- Journaling – it’s a great way to download the thoughts that are bouncing around in your mind.
- Date night or Girls night out
- Move your body – movement is a great way to move that nervous energy out of your body.
- Feed your body – it feels good to take care of yourself, so make sure you’re eating foods that give you energy.
- Watch a movie – a great source of distraction and a sure way to pass 2 hours.
- Music – music is a brilliant way to change your energy and shift your mood. Add in some dancing for the full effect!
- Read a good book – this is a great escape.
- Random act of kindness – change the focus off what you’re going through and onto someone else. It feels great AND whatever you give, you receive back.
- Motivational quotes – a great pick-me-up whenever you’re feeling uncertain.
- Go outside – fresh air and sunshine is THE best way to reduce your anxiety. Plus, it’s free!
- Listen to a podcast – learning new things is a great way to distract yourself.
But more than anything, I want you to know that you can do this. I believe in you. And I’m sending you a little love on your journey.
Written by Jennifer Robertson, Fertility Coach
Jennifer Robertson is a fertility coach and has helped women all over the world transform their mindset and take back control of their life in the midst of infertility.
She is also author of The Injustice of Infertility, a deeply inspiring and raw account of her own seven-year fertility journey.
Throughout her own fertility journey, Jen discovered that her old ways of pushing and working hard weren’t serving her. She is now using the lessons learned along the way to develop programs and support women throughout their journey to motherhood - from the moment they start trying to conceive, until they hold their baby in their arms.