I hear a lot from women who are trying to cope with the agonies of surviving the two week wait and have spent a lot of time focusing on survival techniques during this period with my fertility coaching clients. The two week wait after assisted conception is probably the most emotionally draining time of all. Initially following treatment you are likely to be on a bit of a high and full of hope that the treatment has worked. However as the days go by you are likely to plunge into feelings of negativity and doubt.
So, here are my tops tips on how you can successfully navigate the two week wait and come out on top…whatever the result.
- Limit the number of people you tell about your treatment cycle and let the ones you have confided in know how you will share the outcome. Telling people that “No news is bad news,” is a good way to eliminate the need to call them with bad news.
- Rehearse your response to questions from people that you have told.
- Keep the communication lines open with your partner so you can both talk about your feelings.
- Discuss with you partner what you will do if the news is not positive. Do you want to be distracted and go out to eat or to a movie, or have quiet time at home? Do you want to talk about the next steps in treatment or options, or wait a few days?
- Treat yourself by spending time doing the things you enjoy the most: preparing a wonderful meal, taking long walks or curling up and reading a good book.
- Rest – Don’t feel guilty about taking time off work. If you can or for having a few couch potato days
- Protect yourself emotionally. For example, don’t plan on going to a dinner party given by a pregnant friend the day you expect to get your pregnancy test results. If you need to batter down the hatches and stay at home for a few days then do so.
- Take slow, deep breaths when you are feeling anxious. This basic technique can assist you physiologically, as well as being mentally calming. Take up meditation during this time and allow yourself a bit of ‘you time’.
- Visualise – spend 10-15 minutes twice a day visualizing what’s going on inside you. To achieve pregnancy act as though you are pregnant.
- Reading the signs – the second week is often the hardest and you may be obsessing about every twinge or food craving. Remember that no two experiences are the same so just because one woman on a forum felt one way and was pregnant doesn’t mean that it will be the same for you.
- Try reframing your thoughts. This is very helpful when you are experiencing negative thoughts or if your thoughts are driving you crazy by alternating between thinking you are or aren’t pregnant. For example, the thought “The test will be negative and I’ll never be pregnant,” may end up as “I am open to the possibility of being pregnant and I’m doing everything I can to make that happen.”
- Start an ‘Obsessing Time Schedule’. Allow yourself 15 minutes, once or twice a day, to obsess about the two-week wait, in whatever way you’d like. It might be researching online, visiting forums etc. Whatever you do, though, schedule the time. You make a promise to yourself that you’re only going to be ‘two-week-wait crazy’ between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m., and 7:30 and 7:45 p.m., for example.
- Keep a fertility journal and use this to write in all your thoughts and feelings of frustration during your ‘Obsessing Time Schedule’.
Give these two week wait tips a try but if you are finding it difficult to stay relaxed and positive then fertility coaching might be just what you need.