Written by Blair Nelson, Guest Blogger
THE TWO WEEK WAIT (2WW) could quite possibly be the worst wait of the fertility journey. The 2WW exists for anyone TTC. If you are lucky enough to be trying naturally, this is the time between ovulation and a home pregnancy test. In the infertility world, this is the time between your frozen embryo transfer (FET) or your IUI (intrauterine insemination) and your BETA blood pregnancy test. I can personally speak from the IVF embryo transfer point of view. There is so much hype on the PUPO mindset (pregnant until proven otherwise) – a term widely used in the IVF world. I mean, it is true, there is a living embryo in your uterus so you are technically pregnant. However, if you’ve been burned and let down by this process before, it is hard to get behind this sun-shiny attitude for two weeks straight.
For me personally, I am now in my third 2WW and I have handled it three ways.
ONE, I have been a good little patient and waited until the call after the blood test… “Sorry, the transfer didn’t work.” WELL, FUCK.
TWO, tested early with a home pregnancy test on the 8th day after my transfer and got a positive. HELL YES! Resulted in miscarriage at week 6. Excruciating.
THIRD, I have committed to an exploratory approach to help others in the TTC community, testing every morning, noon and night from 3 days past transfer until my BETA. Still in the process.
The jury is out on which is the best approach BUT one thing is for certain, regardless of your approach to the chaos, you need distractions to keep your mind off of waiting. Below is a list of ideas that I have either done myself or have on my list to do while I wait this time around.
VISIT A LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET
This can be a super fun weekend activity with your partner, your dog or solo. So many advantages to this adventure – being outside, purchasing local, organic and responsibly raised produce and meat and getting to know passionate people in your community that are committed to overall wellness. Visit http://www.localfarmmarkets.org/ to find a market near you.
Have you been putting off a project like scrap booking? Or have you always wanted to find a use for all the wine corks you’ve been collecting like I have? Let’s face it, that is the closest you’re getting to wine during the 2WW. Hunker down by yourself at home or invite friends to a local craft class to occupy your mind. My friends and I are attending a cookie decorating class and I am PUMPED. I also learned how to fold money into origami for my nephew’s birthday card – I mean why the fuck not? Who doesn’t love a leisurely trip to Hobby Lobby or Michaels? So get your ass to the store and get crafty. Don’t forget to brag about it.
If you haven’t starting watching Tidying Up on Netflix, girl you are missing out! The show is a follow up on the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Marie takes homes by storm in this series, showing them how to de-clutter and organize the shit out of their homes (in her sweet, petite and charming way). Her folding techniques have changed my life. Seriously, I have sent pics of my drawers to everyone.
What is your passion? Dogs, children, low income housing, the homeless? Whatever it is, find a volunteer opportunity and go give back. I love walking dogs who don’t get much love at the shelter. I also recently served lunch to a group of single adults recently brought out of homelessness. There are so many opportunities out there and helping others will no doubt give you a fresh perspective and rid you of some of your anxiousness surrounding the 2WW.
READ A BOOK
Maybe one of the more obvious distractions but get creative with it by joining a book club or reading with friends and family. What I did was ask my mom to read a book that is coming out as a movie in March so we could read and discuss together and then have a mother-daughter movie date. What are we reading you wonder? Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Highly recommend.
SUBSCRIBE TO A PODCAST
If you already follow me, you know I am a HUGE podcast fan. My favorites include The Skinny Confidential Him and Her, The Cabral Concept, Lewis Howes School of Greatness, The Tim Ferris Show and my newest, As a Woman hosted by my fertility doctor. Podcasts are the best way to distract your mind while educating yourself. I listen to podcasts in the car, on walks, while I cook and sometimes even at work. And ladies – they are FREE! Visit my website for a full list of fertility related podcasts.
AMP UP YOUR CULINARY SKILLS
Time to try something new in the kitchen. Have you always wanting to learn how to make pasta or bake the perfect soufflé? Now is your chance. Distract your mind in the kitchen while learning a new badass skill to impress your partner and friends. Seriously, you can find tutorials for anything on Pinterest and YouTube – how do you think I learned the origami I mentioned earlier? For some of my fave recipes, visit my website!
SALON & SPA TIME
Occupy one of your evenings or weekend days by treating yourself to a spa service. I have gotten my eyebrows micro-bladed and hair colored and cut during this 2WW. Be careful with massage as you are not supposed to get them during your first trimester. No Botox either (womp womp). I suggest hydro-facials! They are THE BEST for dry skin during the winter. Mani/pedi – yes please! There are so many options to choose from here. You could fill the 2WW with stuff like this alone.
LOW IMPACT EXERCISE
You do not want to overdo it during the 2WW – my doctor advised against heated classes or anything that gets your heart rate above 120. Try a barre class, a nice vinyasa flow or taking a walk in a local park or on a local trail. Want to try a bunch of new things? Download Class Pass – it is legit.
GO TO THE MOVIES
It is Oscar season, people! So many things to see. I recommend Green Book, A Star is Born, On the Basis of Sex and Bohemian Rhapsody – all out right now. This is my husband and my favorite weekend activity, whether in the 2WW or not; they know us at our “home theater” as my husband calls it. We have a slight addiction to film.
INVEST IN A JOURNAL
If you already keep one, I am talking about one in addition to that. My best friend recently gave me The Five Minute Journal. This encourages you to set intention in the morning and briefly reflect on your day before bed. I absolutely love this because it sets your mood for the entire day and let’s be honest, with all the hormones, we desperately it. You got this Emily Dickens! Find yours here.
PLAN A PARTY
Is there a holiday coming up? A big milestone birthday for someone you love? Couples getting married you want to shower? Find something or someone to celebrate (big or small) and plan a party. Nothing keeps me distracted like party planning. I will admit, I love this kind of stuff way more than most people – right now I am planning my mom’s 60th, my good friend’s baby shower, my brother’s wedding shower and my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party (not along of course). I am telling you the little details involved with parties will take the 2WW worry right out of your mind. I am not saying go ape shit like me. If that scares you, start small.
Is there a room in your house that you’ve been wanting to change for awhile? Our guest room has furniture in it from when I was NINETEEN, guys. Enter operation guest bedroom. Focus on an area of your house that you’ve been wanting to change and make it happen. No, this isn’t a picture of my home but doesn’t it rock?
I am not suggesting charging up your credit card while you suffer from retail therapy or anything, even though, ahem, I am guilty of it sometimes myself. I am suggesting a responsible shopping trip. This can be for gifts, items for your redecoration projects, for your crafting ideas or just stuff for you. Shopping is one of the best distractions for us girls.
Well lovelies, there you have it! Fourteen ideas for the 2WW. Mix, match, repeat – whatever strikes your fancy. The point is, with all the options out there, there is NO EXCUSE TO SIT ON YOUR ASS AND WORRY. Whether you are hiding out worrying or out living your best life, the harsh truth is you are either pregnant or you’re not. Worrying is not going to change that. When I started looking at it this journey through that lens, I felt empowered to live my life and so silly for all the worry I have poured in my previous 2WWs. I hope this has given you so many great ideas to continue being the badass bitch that that you are. Baby dust and love to you always. Don’t forget, just because fertility is hard doesn’t mean it can’t be fabulous.