Surviving the 2 week wait
The 2 week-wait (2WW) is the most excruciating and frustrating few weeks that a woman will go through if she is trying for a family. It’s the 2 week period when you are waiting to find out if you have conceived after sexual intercourse for natural conception or after you’ve had embryos transferred during fertility treatment.
For those who have experienced the 2WW well done for getting through it and for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of encountering the 2WW, then good luck.
Either way, I am going to share some of the events I have gone through in my own 2WW, in the hope that it will resonate with your own stories.
I have experienced nine fertility support 2WW periods, this is not counting the 30+ of giving natural conception a good go.
My emotions and frustration levels are improving each time, I’m not going to lie, I am still trying to control the outcome each time, I just can’t help myself, I’m a control freak…it’s being worked on.
Emotions v Intellect
When you want something so badly, your emotions will override any kind of intellect or rational behaviour.
Perhaps you’ll begin to associate the 2WW with past events that haven’t gone as you had hoped, meaning negative self-talk will take over (not matter how much you don’t want to) and those past events will be a huge influence on your behaviour.
The psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed in his “A Theory of Motivation” that in human motivation, we want to move toward a self actualised state, to grow and reach one’s full potential.
During your infertility journey, it may feel that you are not progressing with your life’s goals of having a family which, can bring on a range of negative emotions like:
- Lack of control
- Guilt Anxiety
- Lack of self trust and self love
Control and the ego
The appearance of these emotions will more than likely be enhanced, particularly during the 2WW because, let’s face it, you’ve had a small amount of control up until your egg collection or when you made love and now, you have no power over the outcome.
You will be required to put a spectacular amount of trust in your body, self trust can be very hard to comprehend for some.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to be in control and wants to have a say on what way the wind blows, then you will need my survival tips below.
Ego states are related behaviours, thoughts and feelings that relate to your personality. A lack of control in itself will probably see your ego states begin to dominate and influence you during the 2WW.
You may go from the nicest person in the world to a complete fucking crazy bitch. Your partner will no doubt want to emigrate and get away from the psychotic lunatic you have now become.
It really is quite alright as this is only natural, not only have you got to deal with these ego states raising their ugly heads, your progesterone is high, meaning you are in a constant state of pre-menstrual hormonal stress.
So go easy on yourself and realise how tough this process is for you.
Its not them, It’s YOU!
Getting angry and annoyed with your partner for just breathing too loud is accepted, just remember its not them, it’s YOU.
Realise that you are projecting your anxieties onto the poor bastard that‘s trying to keep you together.
My husband needs a medal for putting up with me during my 2WW, he describes me as an erratic mess who doesn’t know what mood I will wake up in.
It’s a good job we have a good amount of banter or I maybe offended.
Google is your friend
At the start of the 2WW, I know you will make a promise to yourself that you won’t get onto google and look up early pregnancy symptoms, don’t lie to yourself, it’s bound to happen and never feel bad about it.
Look, avoid this if you can as everyone has completely different symptoms, some have none and the medication could also cause a lot of the symptoms.
You’ll just be sending yourself crazy and put even more pressure on yourself.
Remember, early pregnancy symptoms are very similar to pre-menstrual, causing more confusion and despair, will your period or as the fertility community call it, aunt flow (AF) show up and take all your dreams away.
I guarantee, you will check your knickers more times than you have changed them in your life. That vaginal wetness being present, it must be your period, those cramps in your uterus, it’s got to be your period, you will have a constant urge to check your knickers, eyeing up the nearest toilet.
Get to your expected period date and beyond, fingers are crossed for you that you get past this milestone in your 2WW.
My top 7 survival tips
Your 2WW is a rollercoaster ride and you may find days where you just want to be an emotional mess, this is really alright, you are normal. However, please check out my tips and employ them as soon as possible to help you along this special ride:
- Have your mind on the outcome (official testing date) however, to make it easier, break your 2WW down into smaller milestones and take everyday as it comes. Everyday the embryo/foetus is progressing and something is happening to your body, visualise what is occurring daily and give each day a tick as it passes. Your expected period date is another milestone. Everyday you’re not bleeding is a good day.
- Write a daily journal of your emotions and your physical feelings (if any), it will help you to understand and be more rational about what you’re feeling and your progression.
- Think about what you DO want and not what you DON’T want to happen. Conjure up an image of how you want life to look in the future, feel all the emotions accompanying the image which will help anchor your vision, use this anchor every time you feel the need.
- When you are in the shower each morning, it is a great time to run through any negative emotions, let them wash off you with the shower water and allow them to be taken by Mother Earth.
- Show your vulnerability with your supporters and tell them how you are feeling. Being vulnerable is a strength and allows you to address those pesky negative emotions.
- Be mindful and live in the present, living in the past will drag up old events and make you feel low. Living in the future will cause anxiety, worry and fears. If you feel your mind wondering, bring yourself back to the present by listening to yourself breath, feel your chest move as you breath and actively take deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Get a hobby that will take your mind off the wait, recognise when your control freak is about to show and grab your crossword, jigsaw puzzle or get out for a walk and clear your head. Just do something that makes you smile and laugh, it will raise your endorphins and lower your stress hormones.
The toughest challenge of your life
Personally, the 2WW really is the toughest of challenges, doing a 40 mile romp over 17 hours, carrying 30kgs on my back and battling against some horrendous weather was easier than getting myself through the 2WW.
I am writing this as I am navigating my 9th 2WW, add in a COVID lockdown which is further accentuating my anxieties.
Shares in pregnancy tests
I always say I would wait until 12 days past transfer (12 Dpt), I have a stack of them already, it is only 10 Dpt. If you can wait until your official test date (OTD) then good on you and if you are like me, then you must understand how you will deal with the outcome of testing too early.
If it’s a negative test, you have to respect it’s early still, I had a positive blood test, even though the pregnancy test was negative so, don’t go and throw your teddy out of the pram and head for the gin just yet. If it’s positive, then enjoy and no doubt you will want to keep seeing that positive sign everyday.
My hubby said that I may as well have shares in pregnancy tests the amount I have lined up in my 2 week waits.
I wish everyone the best luck in the world and I hope you get the outcome you wish for, please give my tips a go and remember to trust your body.
If you have any tips to add, please comment below and share with your fellow 2WW survivors.