Between eating, sleeping and working, it can be hard not to think about it or research every small symptom – abnormal cramping, breast size/colour/weight, irritability, even an itchy leg – anything could be a symptom – could it not? Here are some tips on getting through the two-week wait … and keeping your sanity.
You’ve made it to the two-week wait. You feel slightly fatigued or perhaps you had a curious twitch in the lower left side of your abdomen. Hours of clicking and researching and reading and formulating hypotheses pass you by. But as you sift through the articles, webpages, blogs, and many [un]educated opinions on message boards, the only answer you find is that you must wait to take a test or go to see your doctor. Frustrating. For every woman you read about who had similar symptoms and turned up a positive, just as many turned a negative or simply didn’t return to the message board. In this 21st century, there must be some secret symptom that can give you the definite answer you’re looking for? Here’s the answer you’re not looking for: there isn’t.
My partner and I have been trying for more than two years and we still have not been lucky enough to see that ever elusive ‘plus sign’. Between family pressure and the many friends having children, it can be daunting to feel like the one couple in the world that’s having trouble getting pregnant. Sometimes the thought of ever seeing a positive feels like a fantasy.
With such a long history of unsuccessful tries, it’s no doubt that we’ve become experts at dealing with the two-week wait – although, I admit, the hope of what ‘might be’ this time around never does subside with each new cycle. Here are a few things we’ve found to help get us through that two-week wait:
DO NOT RESEARCH THAT SYMPTOM – you know by now that this is futile. You won’t find the answers you’re looking for and the time you spend obsessing is time better spent elsewhere.
During one of my two-week waits I had burning eyes on and off for a couple of days. Of course, I hoped this had something to do with hormonal changes. I even found message boards with women who had experienced the same thing. Most were not pregnant or didn’t return to the message board. Some actually went on to get that BFP. I did not. The final conclusion: a lot of wasted time and hope.
Here’s how to stop:
Treat researching symptoms like a bad habit that needs to be kicked. When you find yourself wondering or reaching out to grab that phone or laptop, do something else. Watch an episode of your favourite television show, go for a bike ride, do some gardening, or take this opportunity to catch up with an old friend. Just do something you love instead of indulging in this unhealthy habit.
1. HOBBIES – do the things you love to do; read, bake, go for a walk, etc. I’ve always loved painting canvas (and anything else artsy for that matter) but I never seemed to find the time to do so. I then realized how much time I wasted during my two-week wait. Now I take the time I would have spent researching pregnancy symptoms to paint instead!
2. SPEND TIME TOGETHER – take this time to really get to know your partner, to cherish them. Spend quality time together. Don’t pause your relationship just because your baby plans have paused. Talk to each other about what you are experiencing – after all, this is a significant time in both of your lives.
3. SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF – there will be plenty of opportunity to forget about yourself once that little one arrives. Take this time to get to know yourself, to love yourself and to treat yourself. Go for a spa day, sit outside on a breezy day, or finally finish that book you started months ago. This is your time, do what YOU enjoy!
4. HAVE FUN – try to schedule events into your two-week wait that you look forward to like concerts, fundraisers, travelling, camping, etc.
For a list of events going on around the Capital check out http://www.ottawatourism.ca/events/
TAKE NEXT STEPS – get busy looking into your options:
Set up your first doctor’s appointment where you can be referred to a specialist. This should be approximately one year after you begin trying. Keep in mind that there can be a long waitlist to see the fertility specialist, so set up your appointment a few months before you plan on going to make sure you can get in sooner rather than later.
- Get the support you need. A fertility counselor can help you deal with any unusual feelings you’re experiencing and/or help you and your partner understand what each of you is going through emotionally.
To find a counselor or support group in the Capital, check out http://www.conceive.ca/patient-resources/counseling-and-support-groups
DO NOT LISTEN – Everyone will have their own opinion on what you should or shouldn’t do; how you should or shouldn’t handle this situation; what they went through; that ‘things happen for a reason’. There are many variations of well-meaning words that may inadvertently be hurtful. Only you and your partner truly understand what you are going through right now. Do not let the well-meaning ‘advice’ get you down. Smile politely, but don’t take it to heart.
Meanwhile, life must go on. Celebrate life without children. When we get a negative result, my partner and I make a point of doing one thing we couldn’t do if I was pregnant or had children. We’ll have some wine, a bubble bath, order sushi, paint the house. It helps us celebrate each other and our life together. Children will be amazing, but we want to appreciate the time we have now and savour our relationship sans-kids.
Written by “JB”
Image from Clear Blue