This post has been on the go, in draft for a while now. Each month I think I’ve found a new way to deal with the dreaded Two Week Wait (TWW) but the reality is I haven’t, so I’ve put this off for another month to see if I find that miracle distraction. Now I’ve reached the two year mark of trying for another baby, it seemed as good a time as any to put this out there. For any woman trying to get pregnant dealing with the TWW royally sucks. You’re looking out for the tiniest of symptoms that may or not mean pregnancy, but those symptoms are rather cruelly the same as getting your period. Lovely, no? Personally I find that the first week is fairly easy and passes without too much thought, but week two, ooh that’s the struggle. Those negative thoughts start to creep in and I often find myself lying awake at night running through various scenarios. I sway from completely normal to teetering on the precipice of doom the next. And it’s around this time that I catch myself staring at women with pregnant bumps, feeling that empty space in my heart. It’s an altogether rather horrible cycle to be in.
The TWW is nothing new to me and I’m fairly ‘meh’ about the situation now because it’s been going on for so long. There are less tears and meltdowns when I get my period. I’ve accepted (sort of) that there really is nothing you can do to change what’s going on inside your body. It’s either worked or it hasn’t. Plain and simple. Perhaps that’s half the reason why it’s so hard to bear, because whilst your waiting it out, your body has already decided what’s going to happen. It’s either busy creating life or shedding your womb, harsh right? I’ve got a few different ways to try and keep my mind occupied during this time. Obviously there will be lots of thinking, wishing and daydreaming, you can’t stop that, but if you can distract yourself a little bit then, well, it helps.
Carry on as normal
First and most importantly for me is to carry on as normal. No changes here, nothing to see. I’m not, not going to have a glass of wine or not play hockey ‘just in case’ during these two weeks (unless we’re doing IVF and in which case, no alcohol) In our first year of trying I held off from seeing friends at certain times during my cycle if it fell over the TWW, just in case something had happened. And it bloody didn’t, did it so that was a total waste of time not seeing the people I love. Don’t put your life on hold because of this, you need to keep going because you’ll be the one who is missing out.
Listen to meditation scripts
This is something you can take or leave and it’s something I dip in and out of. When we did our non-IVF round earlier this year I listened to a script two or three times a week, now I’m not listening to them at all but as we approach another IVF round, I’ll start again. It’s whatever you feel comfortable with and whatever works for you. I find that they help focus my mind a bit and force me to make time to sit back and take stock. No bad thing. I’ve recently found this brilliant app for the IVF process, which I found on Google Play, but there are loads of other relevant ones out there.
There’s honestly no point sitting at home moping, it won’t change a thing. I’m a real advocate for getting some fresh air inside your lungs, I really think it helps your state of mind, albeit perhaps just in the short term. Waiting at home reading online forums and checking your symptoms will just drive you crazy. Go for a long walk with your partner, go for a run, play sport, do anything, just do something.
Allow yourself to have a cry
I used to cry every time I got my period, and still do occasionally. My husband didn’t think it helped, he didn’t think it was something I should be sad about but I needed that release, then I’d be fine again. Sometimes you just need to have a blub, you shouldn’t have to explain yourself. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and a good old cry really does help sometimes.
Consider sharing what is going on with friends
Some people I know kept their fertility issues and subsequent IVF secret from friends and family, but personally I just feel that adds to the HUGE stress and enormity of what you’re going through. Firstly I had a miscarriage anyway that everyone found out about because it happened on Boxing Day , the day after my birthday (yay, thanks for that body) and from that point onwards both my husband and I just told people what we were going through, we found it easier that way and it also avoided those awkward questions about ‘when are you having another baby’. Everyone to date has been nothing but supportive. It’s certainly helped when a friend has asked ‘how are you?’ and I’ve burst into tears, not then having to explain what’s going on, because they know.
Be Grateful for what you have
I remember reading this tip a while back and it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s one that’s stuck with me. Often if I’m having a particularly bad day, I try to remind myself about the amazing things that I have in my life. My husband, my utterly awesome daughter, my family and friends. I am lucky despite what I might think at times. It’s good to remind yourself of what you have, when you’re feeling really low.
Learn to say no
Now is the time to not be stressing, so if it means missing a friends birthday or a family meal, and not really having a reason to give them, then so be it. Who cares? Now is the time to concentrate on YOU, to be selfish and just hunker down for a bit. Don’t reply to those friends who make you feel bad during this time, think about removing toxic people from your life, learn to say no to things. You don’t need to give a reason, once people find out what’s been going on they should and will understand.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This is the hardest one, and one I still do to date but find that I deal with slightly better as time has gone on. I still catch myself starring at the lady who I consider to be much older than me, or the really young woman with two toddlers in a buggy and a baby strapped to her front, thinking, ‘why them and not me?’ But the fact is, I don’t know them and I don’t know their story. You can’t compare yourself to others, you are not them. Also in this same vein, you have to throw thoughts out of the window about not wanting a big age gap, wanting a baby at a certain time of the year or feeling left behind by your NCT friends. Again, these are factors out of your control, you have to accept your situation for what it is otherwise you will go a little bit bonkers.