10 Strategies to Cope with the Two Week Wait
This article was written by Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc, Fertility Nurse and Coach for IVF London
The Two Week Wait is one of the most challenging phases of fertility treatment when, after embryo transfer, we have to wait to test for pregnancy. In this blog post, we talk about 10 simple strategies you can use to cope with the two week wait during fertility treatment.
Common concerns during the Two Week Wait
Common concerns that people usually experience during the two week wait include:
- Obsessing about ‘pregnancy symptoms’
- Thinking about ‘what-ifs’
- Negative thoughts
- Too much time
- No one understands
We discuss below, specific strategies that you can use to manage each of these concerns.
Obsessing about ‘pregnancy symptoms’ during the two week wait
During the two week wait, you may find yourself noticing or not noticing changes in your body and wondering if these are signs of pregnancy. In fact, many people who are pregnant have no symptoms at all, whilst others who are not pregnant do have some symptoms, mainly due to fertility medication. So, any changes you may or may not feel, are not reliably a sign of pregnancy. To cope with this concern, try:
1. Scheduling ‘time to obsess’: allow yourself time to think about it, but don’t let it take over your whole day. Choose a particular time of the day and allow yourself to getting out your calendar and counting (for the tenth time) how many more days until you can take a pregnancy test; visiting online fertility forums to vent about your two week wait frustrations; or reading and commenting on fertility blogs.
2. Quick state change: when you find yourself not being able to think about anything else, make a conscious choice to change your posture, take a deep breath, put your head up, shoulder back, go for a walk, think about a time in your life when you were super happy and be mindful to choose nice language towards yourself, you are doing the best you can.
Thinking about ‘what-ifs’ during the two week wait
During the two week wait your mind might quickly get lost in all the what-ifs, what will you do if it works, what will happen if it doesn’t work. We start thinking about all the possibilities and a future that hasn’t happened yet.
To bring your awareness back to the moment and increase your body-mind-enviroment connection, try the following:
3. Meditation: you can search on youtube for meditation recording, like retaking exercises or a an easy 3-min body scan.
4. Journaling: writing it down, putting your thoughts on paper makes them more real and easier to manage.
Negative thoughts during the two week wait
During the two week you may find yourself having negative thoughts and thinking that it’s not going to work. A way of managing negative thoughts is:
5. Affirmations/gratitude: choose affirmations that are aligned with what you want to believe. Soon enough, these affirmations will become an internalised belief and your negative thoughts will soften. Focusing on what you are grateful for is also a very useful way of managing negative thoughts.
6. Challenge your thoughts: we all have a small tiny voice in our head telling us things that aren’t helpful. Don’t take that voice for granted. Instead, challenge it, look for evidence in your life that challenges that belief.
Too much time
It may seem that two weeks take much longer than two ‘normal’ weeks and time is going by so slowly. To manage this, try:
7. Keeping yourself busy: take time out for yourself and do something that gives you meaning, pleasure and accomplishment.
8. Put yourself first: acknowledge your emotions, don’t fight them, it’s ok not to be ok. Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling, without judging. Protect your wellbeing and your mental health
No one understands
Infertility is very isolating and we often feel no one else understands. During the two week wait it’s no different. Try these strategies:
9. Get unbiased professional support: sometimes outside help can be useful. You can share your thoughts and feelings and learn some useful strategies of managing emotions, managing difficult conversations and making decisions. All our patients have a free consultation with a fertility coach.
10. Find your support network: find others whom you love and trust and will be there during this time. Either family, friends or social media, there will always be someone ready to listen, help you keep busy or just be by your side.
At IVF London we know how challenging the two week wait after embryo transfer can be. We have a large support team that can help you, providing emotional support and making the journey a bit easier. Why not join us on the next open evening or book a free information consultation to learn more about how we can help you during your fertility journey.