When you are undergoing fertility treatments – specifically IVF – the two-week wait after the embryo transfer and till the first pregnancy test is the most nerve wracking. It really seems like the longest, most stressful two weeks of one’s life. Women undergoing IVF treatment say that they feel helpless because they have no control over the situation.
But as someone has rightly said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”
So, it’s important to stay positive and upbeat. The first step is to acknowledge that anyone would feel anxious and that is normal. But it’s also important to understand that by stressing over the result endlessly, you create so much internal conflict. At such a time, you need to be kinder to yourselves.
Some Coping Strategies and Tips
It’s obvious that when one has to wait to hear the “news”, can be very exhausting and is like being on a rollercoaster of fear and hope. So here are some coping strategies or survival tips that will be helpful to you during the two-week wait:
- Limit the number of people you share everything with: Yes, it’s better to have just a close circle of people with whom you share about your cycle and tell them that you will share the outcome too. Some couples go around telling their relatives and friends thinking no news is bad news. But that actually adds to the stress when so many people start enquiring about the result and add to your stress.
- Keep yourself occupied: The two-week wait is difficult as time just seems to drag, and it can be very tough not to obsess over what will happen. But by keeping your mind busy, you can stay distracted from the situation. Take your pick – do some creative pursuits like art or crafts, painting, knitting, photography, singing, or cooking. Just make sure that you are busy with these activities, which can also prove to be quite relaxing.
- Organize and declutter: Use this time to organize your home as if you’ve never organized before. Clean and de-clutter your drawers, closets, your book shelfs, and distract yourself as much as possible. Involve your partner in organizing and re-decorating your home and enjoy the fresh look and stress-free living space that you get out of your efforts.
- Plan a TV marathon: If you never got time to watch all those Netflix series that your friends keep talking about, then this is the time. Catch up all the TV shows you have been meaning to watch. Plan a movie marathon with your partner and enjoy the time together. Not only will that take your mind off your situation but will also help you and your partner to bond. So just curl up on that cozy sofa together and forget about your worries or outcome after the two-week wait.
- Limit your Google time: Stay away from the temptation of going to Google for every single pregnancy symptom you feel during the two-week wait. You might feel light cramping similar to period cramps maybe till beta pregnancy test; but remember – every person has different symptoms. Also, as early pregnancy symptoms could be quite similar to PMS symptoms, Googling wouldn’t help as much and may confuse or frustrate you even more. So, refrain from doing that altogether.
- Set aside time for your partner: You should decide some time when you can talk to your partner about how you feel. Discuss with your partner what all could be done if the news is not positive. Make plans to handle the situation – will you like to go out to eat or maybe for a movie to distract yourself or would you prefer being left alone? Discuss about the next steps of treatment or options available. Remember that your partner can’t read your mind; so, it’s important to talk.
- Practice mindfulness and meditate: When you’re going through this tough phase of the two-week long wait, it’s hard to focus on the present moment, as you are only thinking about the future and if you will conceive or not. Mindfulness enables us to shift our thoughts from any past events or thinking about future and rather focus on the present moment. It takes time to master it, but deep breathing and calming yourself mentally will help you do it. This way, you will be able to change the negative thoughts and can turn your thinking pattern into something positive.
- Enjoy life: Lastly and most importantly, try to enjoy life as much as possible. Remember, this time won’t come back. Try to be happy about moment you are in. Be positive and optimistic and stay relaxed. Keep affirming to yourself that, whatever will happen, you will still be okay.
So never ever lose hope. Tomorrow could be that day you have been waiting for!