Despite the fact that you have likely been waiting months or years to even get to this point, surviving the Two Week Wait can still be the most excruciating part, as time seems to freeze, full stop. You are bound to be on edge and over analyzing every twinge and pang, rushing to Dr. Google in search of confirmation for what you “know” is good or bad news. STEP AWAY FROM THAT KEYBOARD. It’s out of your hands at this point and chances are better than not, that dwelling on the impending joy or sorrow will only serve to send you fast-tracked to the looney bin. So what’s a stressed, Hopeful-Mama to do, you ask? Here are a few suggestions to help you endure this interval of anticipation.
- Create a Paper Hope Chain: Skip, or meander, to your local craft store and load up on your preferred brightly colored paper, glitter, stickers, gemstones, and whatever else makes you smile.
- Cut the paper in 14 long strips and write several uplifting quotes and positive affirmations on each strip.
- Decorate to your heart’s content.
- Create a loop to start the chain, stapling it to secure.
- Feed the next link through the chain, staple, repeat.
- Hang from your bedpost or another high viewing area, and each morning remove one link to read to yourself and/or share with your partner.
The quotes and affirmations will be uplifting on tough days, and you will get to see a visual representation of the time passing, as the chain gets shorter. (Longer chains also great for getting through a difficult first trimester).
- Binge Viewing: Infertility research, talk, and treatments can keep you busy during the all-consuming journey towards motherhood. You may not have had the mental bandwidth or time to deal with your traditional entertainment fallbacks like television and movies. Now is the time to give your mind a break (or at least a distraction) from the infertility grind. Download your favorite guilty pleasure TV show, miniseries, or movie Trilogy and cuddle up with a bowl of popcorn and the plush toy you’ve already bought in the hopes of presenting it to baby.
- Got Fur Babies? Cuddle up to them as well and pet, pet, pet. The act of petting your cat or dog isn’t just a great way to show them you love and appreciate them. It also has a profound physiological effect on you. This soothing contact with your feline and canine sweethearts has been proven to lower blood pressure and eliminate stress hormones. Additionally, it triggers the release all sorts of natural relaxants and pain killers.
“South African researchers showed that when men and women stroked and spoke with their dogs, as well as doubling the people’s blood levels of oxytocin, the interaction boosted levels of beta endorphins — natural painkillers associated with ‘runners high’ — and dopamine, known widely as the ‘reward’ hormone. These neurochemicals, too, are essential to our sense of well-being. A later and larger study by University of Missouri scientists also documented that petting dogs caused a spike in people’s serotonin, the neurotransmitter that most antidepressants attempt to elevate.
—(Sy Montgomery, Boston Globe, January 2015)
- Stay Active: Don’t spend too many hours on your couch! Sitting on your bottom with your feet up is a tempting strategy during the 2WW. Perhaps you are afraid that your embaby will fall out or become dislodged…I assure you, it won’t. Your RE will be able to confirm this. The “rest period” is a holdover from decades ago, and it is no longer recommended that women endure bedrest or really any “recovery time” following the embryo transfer. I mean, I wouldn’t go sky diving or run a marathon, but keep up with your reasonable daily exercise routine, or even try something new that is low impact. Yoga and Pilates can be immensely restorative for your mind and body. Other activities like swimming and golf can also be great for clearing your mind, staying active, and checking off some serious time during this period of anxious anticipation.
- Sign Up for a Series of Classes: Is there perhaps a new skill you’ve been just itching to learn? A new club you’ve been eyeing from a distance? Anything that provides an addition to your weekly routine will be helpful in measuring and passing the time. Consider a cooking class, a book club, a speaker series (check out your local library), or peruse the offerings at the local community college. These will serve not only to help you during the 2WW, but also in the weeks and months to follow, be they filled with bliss or mourning.
- Ladies’ Night Out: Hit up your favorite restaurant or music club with your besties in tow, plan a game night, or harness your inner artists by scheduling a creative session at “Painting with a Twist” (or a similar art studio). Love and laughter will surely be a useful prescription during this oppressively lonely time, and no one knows how to make you laugh like your girlfriends. Don’t hide yourself away in solitude! It only tempts the demons.
- Meditation: Ending your day with a meditation can help to flush away the stress from your mind, and prepare you for a restful night’s sleep, which is arguably your best chance at keeping your sanity. I love Guided Meditations to HELP with FERTILITY by Belleruth Naparstek. If meditations aren’t your thing, classical/instrumental music will serve you well also.
No matter what you decide to do, make sure to do something. Keeping busy is key. Now go forth and distract yourselves!
COMMENT below with all the ways you stay busy during the Two Week Wait!
Wishing you all PEACE, LOVE, & BABY DUST.