I've found that when you are trying to conceive (TTC) you get such a heightened sense of what every day of your cycle means to your pregnancy chances that month.
Our cycles become divided into to phases, each with a different focus and purpose.
The first half, the follicular phase, is action packed. First the disappointment of not being pregnant, then it is all about ovulation. LH surge/ovulation prediction kits, and in IVF or IUI its all tablets, injections, scans. And of course actual conception!
Then suddenly the luteal phase arrives and all there is to do is wait and hope. In the fertility world this is known as the Two Week Wait (2WW).
Why can the Two Week Wait be so hard??
- We are so used to being able to access information and updates in an instant so waiting for two whole weeks to find out if your biggest dream will come true can feel like an eternity.
- You can over analyse things! Sore boobs? Tired? Feel a bit nauseous? Bit of spotting? The smallest things can tip your mood or intuition one way or another, pendulum swinging.
- It can bring up a weird combination of having to hope and be positive...but at the same time not get your hopes up too high. Its an emotional juggling act.
In saying all of this, I actually don't mind the 2WW. When we first started trying I used to spend it anxiously looking for signs. I realised pretty quickly this was not going to serve any purpose other than to make me crazy!
So what I did to turn the 2WW on its head?
I changed my perspective.
Rather than it being time waiting to find out if I was pregnant I decided that this was the 2 weeks every month where no one could tell me that I wasn't pregnant. I especially like this time with IVF as you know there is definitely a little piece of us there doing its best to thrive.
I accepted that it is a 2WW.
I stopped reading into symptoms, early testing, googling and so on. This one is not easy, but I highly recommend it. As far as I am concerned until that beta blood test anything else is not a guarantee and can cause undue obsession or heartache. Stress is no-one's friend!!
I allow myself certain parts of the day to focus on being positive and 'thinking pregnant'.
I find allocated 'quality time' sets the right positive tone for then being able to get on with my day without obsessing. Some examples are:
- To set the right mind-body connection I start the day with warm hands on my belly, doing a meditation tape related to positive visualisation of pregnancy.
- I'll freely admit to spending a few minutes chatting to my baby and my body each morning and evening - basically a few positive affirmations.
- I get prepared with the right foods that I know will nourish my body to help it in achieving pregnancy and I plan my exercise and rest. I find this helps as its one less thing to stress about!
I go to yoga and acupuncture regularly.
Both help with hormones regulation, de-stressing and mind-body connection.
I write down three things I've been grateful for that day before I go to sleep.
This helps remind me that there are also many other important, good things in my life to focus on as well.
What are your tips for surviving the 2WW?