The 2 week wait is a dreaded thing, that time in your cycle between Embryo Transfer and the lead up to a pregnancy test. The wait can seem like a lifetime for some as anxiety and fear can become overwhelming.
The first part of a cycle is a hive of activity with appointments, injections, ultrasounds, egg collection and then finally, Embryo Transfer. All you can do now, is wait.
It can feel like you’ve been laid bare, poked, prodded, given your Embryo and then expected to “just relax.”
Obviously we all respond differently to life challenges, but after many unsuccessful IVF cycles, I discovered 3 main strategies which helped me survive the 2 Week Wait.
Face the fear
I often felt like there was this scary little monster in the back of my mind telling me it was never going to work. I found challenging this little monster empowered me, saying to myself “OK, what WILL we do if this cycle doesn’t work?” “Will we do another cycle & when might that be?”” Is there a different path to Parenthood we might consider?”
Perhaps focusing on what has helped in the past during hard times or what aspects of your life is going well, can also help quieten the little monster.
Have a Plan B
If this cycle doesn’t work, what else can I look forward to in the near future? Planning a weekend away with your Partner, some pampering or just something simple like some wine and a girly DVD at home with a great friend.
Planning ahead can take some pressure off once the news comes, such as letting your Partner know what you need if the news is not positive – be specific, such as alone time, or not talking about the next step for a while.
Limiting the number of people you tell about your cycle and letting them know how you will share the outcome is also a good idea so you don’t have to carry everyone else’s emotions along with you.
Develop your coping skills
There are some simple techniques to help with worrying or negative thoughts and to help time pass more quickly.
- Pay attention when you are worrying or have negative self-talk. Ask yourself “Is there anything I can do about this now?” If the answer is yes, then do it. If the answer is no, then interrupt those thoughts by mentally saying “STOP”, creating a circuit breaker.
- Deep breathing – Taking an extra 5 minutes in the shower to do some long slow breaths whilst enjoying the water on your head and shoulders. Counting to 5 slowly and expanding your belly as you inhale, and then counting to 5 as you exhale slowly is a great way to induce calmness for the start of your day.
- Nurture yourself – Do something you enjoy each day such as yoga, some light exercise, lunch with friends (who do not talk about babies), read that book you’ve put aside especially for this time, have a creative project to do such as a holiday collage or anything that takes your mind to a good place for you.
Remember, what you’re doing takes a lot of courage and commitment, be kind to yourself whatever the outcome and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. So, don’t fear the dreaded 2 week wait.
Midwife/Nurse/Fertile Body Method Therapist/Hypnotherapist