Time is a funny thing. Two weeks on your dream vacation flies right by. But the time between ovulation and when you can take a home pregnancy test? Tortuously slooowww. The desire to see that positive, and perhaps anxiety about seeing a negative, makes for a stressful, nerve-wracking stretch of time.
Luckily, The fertility experts of UNC Fertility in Raleigh, North Carolina, have some advice on how to make those interminable 14 days a bit more bearable. While nothing can totally erase the two-week wait (2WW) jitters, these tips will help you put a plan together to survive them with your sanity intact.
2WW Tip #1: Get Busy
No, not that way. Actually…get busy in whatever way works for you. Romantic interludes. Addictive TV shows. Lots of time at the spa. Revive an old hobby, or start a new one. Take a class. Tackle that house project you’ve been putting off. Staying busy with things that make you feel productive or things you really enjoy can help the time feel as though it’s passing more quickly.
2WW Tip #2: Relax
It may sound impossible, but now’s the time to try some of those relaxation techniques you’re always reading about. The following techniques help you focus, breathe, and truly relax…things that can be hard to do when you’re sitting on pins and needles in anticipation of taking your next home pregnancy test.
• Breathing exercises
• Guided imagery
2WW Tip #3: Ask for Help
Activate your support system. Share how you’re feeling with your partner, a friend, or a therapist. Or join an infertility support group (live or online). Talking to people who are going through what you’re experiencing and know how you feel can be immensely helpful. Contact UNC Fertility at 919-908-0000 for information on finding helpful resources in Raleigh, North Carolina.
2WW Tip #4: Ban Social Media
Not an option? Ok, at least limit your time online. It can be a great source of information and support (see Tip #3!), but it can also lead you straight down the rabbit hole. It’s easy to run across things online–IVF success stories, IVF failure stories, baby pic after baby pic after baby pic–that can cause unnecessary anxiety during the two-week wait. Be honest with yourself about how you’re spending your time online. If you’re finding it truly helpful, great. If not, consider dialing it back for a while.
2WW Tip #5: Put Self-Care at the Top of Your To Do List
That may mean putting off other things in your life, and that’s ok. Putting yourself first can help ease you through the two-week wait. Take the time for a nightly stroll. Prepare healthy meals and snacks. Go to bed earlier than usual. Schedule a massage. Regular self-care replenishes your energy and boosts your overall sense of wellness, providing a strong base to handle whatever comes your way.
2WW Tip #6: Don’t Overanalyze Your Body
It’s tempting to attribute any little change you feel to pregnancy during the two-week wait. While it’s true that exhaustion, sore breasts, and cramps can all signal pregnancy, they can also mean that your period is on its way. Mild cramping or bleeding could be implantation, or your period. So can sore breasts. Resist the temptation to analyze every symptom, which could cause added anxiety. Nothing is definitive until you get your period or a positive pregnancy test.
2WW Tip #7: Avoid Testing Early
Speaking of pregnancy tests, avoid them like the plague until 10-12 days after your trigger injection. The temptation is huge, especially if you start experiencing any of the early signs of pregnancy. The trigger injection contains the same hormone, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), that’s released by the placenta during early pregnancy. If the trigger injection is still in your body you could get a false positive, which could lead to unnecessary tears.
2WW Tip #8: Make Plans Carefully
The two-week wait is an emotionally fraught time no matter how well you prepare for it. It may not be the best time to makes plans with pregnant pals or friends who have recently welcomed little bundles of joy. Don’t feel bad if you have to miss certain occasions, your health and wellbeing are paramount during this time and true friends will understand.
2WW Tip #9: Keep Some Things to Yourself
The fertility specialists of UNC Fertility advise keeping the details of where you are in your cycle to yourself and a trusted few. Tell them ahead of time how you plan to share the news with them; this helps avoid questions that could end up being painful to answer. The no news is bad news approach works for some people…with the hope that you’ll be calling everyone on your list with the best news possible!
2WW Tip #10: Reconnect
Take time to reconnect with your partner during your two-week wait. Chances are you’ve been so wrapped up in doctor’s appointments, shots, and schedules that you’ve forgotten to make time for a little romance. Revisit your favorite date spots. Discover new places together. Or just make sure to spend extra time focusing on each other. August is Romance Awareness Month, what better time to rekindle that special spark?
While it may not be the most fun 14 days of your life, resolving to make the best of the 2WW will help you get through it as painlessly as possible. If you’d like more information on how to cope, call UNC Fertility at 919-908-0000 for additional strategies on how to make the two-week wait more bearable.