Surviving The Two Week Wait
You’ve done everything you can do for this cycle. The day of ovulation or the embryo transfer has passed, and there’s nothing to do but wait. You’ll wait around fourteen unbearable days to see if all of your meticulous efforts have paid off. You’re distracted, wondering if every little symptom might be a sign that you’re pregnant. You may even take a pregnancy test too early, just in case. If you’re going to take a pregnancy test early, you’re likely to get the same results by taking money out of your wallet and peeing directly on that instead. It’ll save you a trip to the store. So if you haven’t already, count out the expected time of your luteal phase (the time between ovulation and expected period) mark it in your calendar and put it away.
I know it’s impossible to put it away completely. But the two week wait can be your rest time. Once again control is out of your hands. Remember back when you had no idea if you were ovulating or not? How did you used to spend the last 14 days of your cycle? How did you used to spend the entire month? Do you remember that woman? My mental health goal for you is to try to refocus on yourself. Not your baby-craving self, the rest of you. It can be like a meditation, where over and over again you realize you were thinking “am I pregnant” or something along those lines and you reorient your thoughts to something else. It can be your breath, a book you’re reading, your work, a movie you’re watching, playing with your dog, the smell of the air as you take a walk, the taste of warm tea, the list goes on.
In my infertility counseling practice I’ve known women to be quite creative when it comes to surviving the two week wait. You can take a weekend trip with your spouse or your girlfriends. You can pull out some books on a topic that used to interest you. You can decide to learn a new craft (regardless if you’ll have time to finish something). You can go through your closets and get rid of things you haven’t worn or used in a year. Meet up with a friend who is not in the world of trying to conceive and doesn’t have children. Get outside. If you’d like to try meditation, I like this five minute guided meditation on fertility.
The two week wait can be an opportunity to revisit your self. For two weeks relish in the fact that you have no appointments to attend, nothing to monitor, no timed intercourse. If you can allow yourself to put down the torch you’ve been using to hunt for fertility, you can have the chance to hold the light onto yourself, to bask in the glow of your passions and interests outside of trying to conceive. You are whole as you are.
Allison Ramsey is a licensed professional counselor and certified grief counselor specializing in grief and infertility in the Asheville area. She’s a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and completed their certificate training in mental health counseling for infertility.