There’s nothing that women undergoing fertility treatment dread more than the two-week wait. The hassle of clinic visits, painful shots, and intrusive ultrasounds is nothing compared to the misery of the 14 days or so waiting to see if this time it finally worked.
Although there isn’t anything to make time go faster (believe me, I’d love to monetize that), there are some simple strategies to help you not lose it completely.
1. Step away from the computer.
Seriously, do not look up the probability you are pregnant. Do not search for miscarriage stories (you will end up in a crying heap). Most importantly, do not, do not, do not check out what the other moms-to-be are saying on Baby Center. You will drive yourself crazy.
2. Ignore the “symptoms.”
If you can take a two-week vacation from your body, do it. If you can’t, plan on ignoring yourself as much as you can. Pay no heed to twitches, aches, cramps, spasms or pains. That twinge could be implantation pain, or it could be gas. That nauseous feeling is unlikely to be morning sickness at this early stage. Above all, stick to rule number one: Do not look anything up.
Your body has just been through a lot, especially if you had an egg retrieval, and it’s going to take some time to feel 100% normal again.
The important exception to this rule is if you think you are suffering from OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) and are feeling severe abdominal pain, nausea, or a tight abdomen, among many symptoms. If you are, get checked out as soon as possible.
3. Get thee some support.
Whether it’s in person or online, make sure you have some great support. Your partner, no matter how sympathetic and helpful, is only going to understand up to a certain point. The best thing you can do is to gather a group of awesome women around you who are going through similar journeys, so you can prop each other up through the good times and the tough times.
4. Have a laugh.
Let’s face it, infertility is not that funny. Okay, I lied. It’s not funny at all. Sometimes, though, you’ve just got to take a step back and giggle a little. You know that support group, the one I mentioned that you just have to get? My Facebook group would often play games in honor of people’s two-week waits. My favorite one was inventing ice cream flavors perfect for the dreaded wait. Want some Double-Deca Swirl? How about Cookies and Crinone? Or my personal submission, Mind-Fuck Fudge, because, two-week wait.
5. Allow yourself time to obsess.
While nothing can ever get rid of that feeling of dread as you count down the days (minutes!) until you can test, having a designated time of day to obsess aloud can be very helpful.
Allot yourself a time, say 10 minutes, and voice everything that is going on in your head to a friend or partner.
“What if it worked? What if it didn’t work? What if the two embryos we put back both implant and we have twins? What do we do with two babies? What if the two embryos we put back both implant and then they both split and then we have two sets of identical twins? What if we have to do it all again next month? Can we afford to do it again? Can we afford not to do it again?”
Buzz. Time’s up until the next session.
6. Realize that nothing you do makes any difference.
I’ve got news for you: Nothing is going to change the outcome following treatment. If it fails, it’s not because you didn’t lie down long enough after the IUI (intrauterine insemination), peed too soon after transfer, stretched, shouted at your partner, or broke down in hysterical tears.
Honestly, the best you can do is to continue to live your awesome life. Of course, this isn’t the time to take up martial arts, and I wouldn’t run a marathon, but pretty much whatever you did before, you can do now.
If you did IVF, you’re still going to feel sore from the treatment anyway, so take advantage, rest and relax.
7. Have a testing strategy in place.
Some women are pee on a stick (POAS) advocates and like to find out their pregnancy test results in private. Others prefer to wait for the official blood test and the official call from the clinic with either positive or negative news. If you POAS, make sure you don’t test too early or you might get a false positive if you’ve still got the trigger shot meds coursing through your body.
8. Plan something special for test night.
Make sure to plan something special for the night of the results. If it’s negative, you’re going to need a real pick me up. Have a glass of wine or two, eat sushi with abandon, and enjoy some eggs Benedict, just because you still can.
Obviously, lying on the couch and binge-watching TV is the next natural step, but honestly, you’ll feel better if you get out and do something special for yourself.
Of course, if the result is positive, treasure the moment. The real waiting has only just begun.