I was recently talking with a friend who had just had her transfer and was waiting on the results. There was so much I wanted to say to her-I wanted to be encouraging and supportive, but also was careful not to get her hopes up too high for fear of the fall if it didn’t work out.
The two week wait. A term that I was blissfully unaware of before I knew anything about ovulation, injections, dye tests, HCG shots, etc. It is an excruciating time and it goes by so slowly, standing still, almost. It is marked by: doing everything in your power to not take a pregnancy test; endless praying; googling “early pregnancy symptoms”; and trying to immerse yourself in minute-by-minute distractions. And yet all you can think about is the two week wait. How many days left? What will the outcome be? Will you be crying happy or sad tears? And how can everyone else in the world just walk around and go about the business of daily life? Even my husband was able to go to work and live like a normal person while we waited. How was this possible?
I went through many two week waits while trying to conceive, but I think the IVF one was probably the most difficult to endure. It felt endless and I felt hopeless-that this process would never end and I’d be poked and prodded for years, or at least until we couldn’t afford it anymore. Which was pretty much now. I’d try to get answers from the internet, which is not the best place to determine whether or not you are pregnant. But I was not in my right mind. Between the desperation and the medication, I really hadn’t been for a couple years. This trying-to-conceive business is all-consuming.
While it may seem that there is no escaping from the never-ending thoughts about the potential baby, I found some relief in a few different places. 1: Talking with my therapist. She was someone I could vent to and allowed me to get my thoughts out of my head temporarily. And I was able to process some of them, which helped me to relinquish some of the control I was trying to hold over this process (I had none, which I know now). I firmly believe that everyone could benefit from therapy while navigating the experience of infertility. This led me to number 2: Acceptance. I eventually learned, through trial and error, that my best bet was to accept whatever my outcome was going to be. Birthing a child myself or not, I would have a family if I wanted it badly enough. It may not look like what I had been picturing, but I would have my family. Whether that meant adoption, fostering, or surrogacy, I would eventually welcome a child into my home and I knew he or she would be loved just as much and provided for just as well as if I had been his or her birth parent. 3: Stress reduction. I covered this in a previous blog post so will just point you in that directions, as opposed to reiterating everything written here: http://www.infertilityoutloud.net/blog/dealing-with-stress. 4: Talking with those that have been there. When all you want is answers, it can sometimes help to learn from those who have had similar experiences. Just try not to compare what your path has been or will be to theirs. Everyone has a different body chemistry and we all react so differently-it would be impossible to predict your outcome based on what worked or didn’t work for someone else. 5: Focusing on others. Volunteering can be a big help in regards to getting outside of your own struggle. It is a simple reminder that we all need help and that we are sometimes fortunate enough to be able to offer it to others.
These are just a few ideas to get you through the two week wait. It is, at the same time, a wonderful place to be and the most difficult. Wonderful because you have made it through to the last few days and could be pregnant at any moment, and difficult for the stress, anticipation, and fear. Please let me know any other strategies you have employed during this time in the hope that they can bring relief to someone else in this time period.