01 May Surviving the Two Week Wait
A two week vacation in the Bahamas feels more like two days, while the anticipated two week wait (TWW) can feel more like two years.
It’s hard to let those hours, days and weeks tick by without feeling like you’ll lose your mind. But, you can, and you will – we promise. Hopefully these tips will help you survive with grace and sanity intact.
Know Thyself (To Work or Not to Work…)
While we always recommend taking a couple of days off after transfer day to rest and recover, whether you take more time off than that should depend on your personality type. If you love what you do and feel like focusing on work will keep you preoccupied, go for it.
On the other hand, if you have a difficult time focusing when you’re preoccupied or worried, it may be challenging to focus at work. That can impact work performance, creating further stress. In that case, we recommend taking more time off to prevent a negative work experience.
It’s Okay to Stress Out a Little
You deserve to stress out and express it. The problem is that continuous, unexpressed white noise of low/high-grade stress can prevent you from focusing on anything else. Believe it or not, scheduling time in your day to obsess, rant, and rave allows your body to be present with your emotions as you process them and let them out. You only need about 15 minutes or so and can do it multiple times a day if that helps.
- Screaming into a pillow
- Playing music that aligns with your feelings and letting the emotions flow in whatever form they emerge
- Journaling via stream of consciousness (just write whatever comes out without making it pretty, editing, or observing grammar/formatting)
- Lining up a friend or two who will listen as you express fears and concerns (or anger, sadness, worry, fear, etc.) via a phone call, FaceTime, or an herbal tea date.
- Using art to get emotions out in symbols, colors, and shapes (like stream-of-consciousness journaling – you just let it flow without correcting or editing yourself)
Try it for at least a few days in a row, and we bet the rest of your time will feel more free of those competing emotions.
Counter Stress and Anxiety with Relaxation Time
Give yourself extra time to relax, unwind, and clear your mind and spirit. This is especially true for those of you who have other children at home and/or who are working.
Visit Relaxation Tips During Fertility Treatments for suggestions.
Plan Lots of Outdoor Time
If the season and weather allow for it, plan lots of outdoor time. Unless your fertility specialist has said otherwise, walking and mild- to moderate hikes are healthy forms of exercise during early pregnancy, even after IVF. Getting outside is proven to reduce stress and rejuvenate the spirit. So, the combination of exercise and Mother Nature benefits your body, mind, and spirit.
Forget About Pregnancy Testing or Prediction
We know, during this two week wait, it is virtually impossible to not obsess about whether you’re pregnant or not. However, there aren’t any early pregnancy indicators that will show up for you physically during those first couple of weeks. Additionally, home pregnancy tests yield false negatives/positives about 1 out of every 100 tests. That doesn’t seem like much – unless you’re the 1 out of 100.
It is always best to heed your fertility specialist’s advice and forgo the temptation to use a home test, holding out for the pregnancy test you’ll take in their office in 14 days.
Make Time for Romance
As fertility specialists, we see the toll that infertility diagnoses and fertility treatments take on couples’ relationships. This is understandable, given the emotional (and hormonal) rollercoaster you find yourself on during the fertility journey. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep the romance alive.
Focus on couple time and use these two weeks to be all about the two-of-you.
- Go on multiple date nights
- Head to the movies (or stream them if the Coronavirus has you stuck indoors)
- Give each other foot rubs or neck rubs
- Take a shower together (since hot tubs or hot baths aren’t a good idea….)
- Stream your favorite music and dance in your living room
There are plenty of free and low-cost things to do in the Charlottesville and Lynchburg areas if you get creative and use our wonderful, public spaces and amenities.
Looking for a Virginia fertility specialist who is there for you during the two week wait? Contact us here at the Reproductive Medicine & Surgery Center of Virginia.