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. The amount of times I’ve thought I was pregnant these last few years is almost laughable (manic cry-laughing) 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, it would be a different story) 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. 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 and who will look back with regret.
Listen to meditation scripts
Whether you’re in the TWW, waiting to do IVF or waiting for results, anything to help you switch off from all those crazy thoughts can only be a good thing and listening to a medication script is something that helps me with this. Certainly when we’ve done any of our IVF rounds I’ve listened to a Mindful IVF script almost daily because it’s helped me focus, be in the moment and relax (if you are doing IVF and haven’t discovered the wonders of Gordons voice, where have you been?!) And outside of IVF, at least once a week and definitely during the TWW I listen to a meditation script. Insight Timer is my go to as it’s a free app that gives you access to hundreds of meditations.
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. Trust me, I do this a lot! Go for a long walk with your partner, go for a run, play sport, walk up a hill and scream, 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. Sometimes you just need that release plus, you’ve just been through two weeks of waiting and wishing so there’s a huge amount of frustration and sadness when it doesn’t amount to anything. Sometimes you just need to have a blub, the whole bloody thing is an emotional rollercoaster and a good old cry really does help sometimes. Get it all out, then move on.
Consider sharing what is going on with friends
Some people I know have 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 read this tip a while back and yes, it’s annoying when quite frankly all you want to do is scream that everything is, ‘SO UNFAIR’ but hear me out. When I read this, it recommended writing a list but what helps me when I’m feeling really low is just looking around me, looking at where I am and who I’m with and reminding myself about the good things that I have in my life. My husband, my daughter, my family and friends. I am lucky despite what I might think at times. Life can be incredibly unfair and it’s OK to feel this, but doing this does honestly help when you’re feeling low.
Learn to say no
I’m slightly contradicting myself here when I said earlier about not missing out on things, but if you really don’t feel like going to your friends party, baby shower or family meal then don’t. As my husband always tells me, you are an adult – you do what you want to! This counts especially if you’re going through IVF, now is the time to concentrate on YOU, to be selfish and to just hunker down for a bit. If friends make you feel bad about missing things, are they really your friends? Think about removing toxic people from your life, unfriending those people on social media, muting anyone who makes you feel bad, learn to say no to things. You don’t need to give a reason, if people don’t know your situation, once they find out they should and will understand.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This is the hardest and one I still struggle with to date, especially what with using Instagram so much (so and so who is pregnant AGAIN etc) And day to day, I still catch myself starring at people out and about – the lady who I think looks much older than me pushing a new baby, or the really young woman with two toddlers in a buggy and a baby strapped to her front, always thinking, ‘why them and not me?’ But the fact is, I don’t know them and I don’t know their story. Who knows what people have gone through to get where they are? And the simple, harsh fact is, this is life. Some can conceive easily, some can’t. You can’t compare yourself to others, you are not them. You have concentrate on your own situation otherwise you will go a little bit bonkers.