6 Tips to Survive Your Two-Week Wait
The decision to have a baby did not come lightly. You examined all aspects of your life—career, family, and finances. Feeling it's the right time for a new addition to your family, you started trying to conceive. While tracking your ovulation and having timed sex is complicated in itself, the two-week wait can be even harder.
The two-week wait is the time between your pregnancy attempt (ovulation) and the arrival of your period. However, if you successfully conceived for the month, your period will be missing. If you didn't conceive, your period will arrive for you to begin another cycle and another attempt at pregnancy. But, what do you do during the wait?
After two and a half years of trying to conceive, I've went through many two-week waits. It is torture. Immediately after ovulation, you have high hopes for a successful cycle. But with each passing day, anxiety begins to take over as your period date approaches. What once was a hopeful and exciting time of trying to conceive has turned into a horrible slow ticking wait.
After so many unsuccessful cycles, I have combined the best tips I learned from going through countless two-week waits. I hope you go through less than I did, but in the meantime follow my six best tips for surviving the two-week wait.
1. Don't Google Anything
Google. The all-knowing search engine to answer our endless questions. Whenever I don't know the answer myself, I always turn to google to find it. But, googling questions related to your period and pregnancy will only leave you with more questions. While you are looking for any ray of hope towards pregnancy, researching your two-week wait symptoms will get your nowhere.
Try to stay away from researching symptoms in relation to PMS and pregnancy. Symptoms for both PMS and pregnancy are so similar that there is no direct answer to whether you're pregnant or not. Only at the end of two weeks will you know. Obsessing over every little cramp and googling to see if it means anything will just leave you overly hopeful or depressed.
When trying to make it through the wait, it is important to not focus on symptoms you're experiencing. Try to not think about being in the grips of the two-week wait. Do yourself a favor and do not research signs and symptoms between either pregnancy and an impending period.
2. Keep Yourself Busy
Along with staying away from research symptoms, try to keep yourself busy. Constant hoping and praying can only do so much. Sometimes you just have to wait on nature. Which in this case is two weeks between ovulation and your period. Yes, it is a long time to wait for a child you're wanting so badly. But, miracles take a little time. You made it through the two-week wait before you decided to have a baby, so you will survive this time.
Try to focus your attention of other things. This is a perfect opportunity to learn and start a new hobby. If you already have a hobby then continue with it. Anything that brings you joy and doesn't allow you time to obsess over a possible pregnancy. During all my two-week waits I kept my hands and mind busy with crocheting. By the time I finally had a successful cycle, I had a whole stock of burp cloths made with extra love.
Find a hobby that provides relaxation, happiness and serves as a distraction for you to work on while you're in the middle of it. Here are some other hobbies that worked as a distraction for me:
Read a book- Reading allows you to escape to another world, leaving behind your world entirely. This temporarily refocuses your mind on other things.
Cleaning- Put your anxious energy to good use by cleaning your house. Pick a chore a day or a room a day over the course of two weeks. You'll be surprised how clean your house looks. Tackle chores you haven't completed for awhile and get to work.
Write in a journal- While you don't want to dwell on the sadness and anxiety you're feeling, it's unhealthy to keep feelings bottled up. Try writing in a journal to maintain your sanity. A journal entry a day will not only allow you to express your feelings, but also help you focus on the positives. Write about positive aspects of your life and try to build self-confidence toward yourself and the two-week wait.
Compile a list of baby names- This might not be for everyone. If compiling a list of possible baby names upsets you, then don't do it. However, I found researching and composing a list of boys and girls names I liked helped me to pass the time. Plus, picking baby names gave me a feeling of excitement and hope. Although no one likes to get their hopes up, it's always exciting to think about the near future in a positive light.
3. Stay Away from Social Media
Social media tends to run our lives. Many of us are updating statuses and posting selfies constantly. But when it comes to trying to conceive a baby, it's probably better to not include social media in your plans. While your friends may be excited about your plans to expand your family, social media does not need to know when you're ovulating.
Social media is an amazing way to stay connected to friends, family and the world. But with the heavy use of social media platforms comes an increased risk of anxiety and depression. Studies found people who used multiple media outlets were three times more likely to develop anxiety and depression. The quality of your time spent on social media is more important than the quantity.
During my two-week wait, I always disconnected from social media. Social media would only make me more depressed. It was hard seeing everyone I known posting pictures of their little happy families. Seeing friends pregnancy pictures and pictures of children only left me upset. While I was happy for them, the other part of me was envious of my friends.
4. Don't Tell Anyone
It's always your choice to tell anyone you want about trying to conceive, I would advise against it. When it comes to having a baby, everyone has a piece of advice and they all think you want to hear it. By telling friends and family about your decision to have a baby, you run the risk of countless questions. The last thing you need during this waiting period is to hear "Are you pregnant yet?" Friends and family always mean the best when asking questions about your personal life. But having to answer questions you don't have the answer to can get annoying.
Along with countless questions comes endless advise. Telling someone you're in the two-week wait often leads to unwarranted advise on what to do to increases your chances for success.
"Try putting your legs up in the air after to let gravity do its job."
"Did you do the missionary position?"
"You made sure to do it two days before your ovulation and multiple times the day of ovulation right?"
Sound familiar? Unsolicited advise from anyone is overwhelming and annoying, especially when it comes to personal matters. Talking to friends and family who always got pregnant by accident isn't going to help you feel better. Although they mean well, friends and family giving useless sexual advise is not going to help you conceive faster.
5. Focus on Yourself
Two weeks is a long time to be in limbo about possibly conceiving a baby or not. Take this two-week period to take care of your mind and body. To take care of your mental wellbeing, find ways to reduce stress. While it isn't always possible to reduce stress in your life, take measures to eliminate stress. Have your spouse help with the house while you relax in a bubble bath. Anything to keep stress low.
While you don't know if you're pregnant or not, you need to treat your body and mind like you are pregnant. Stress is not good for baby or you, therefore eliminate stress when possible. Take care your body as if you are pregnant. Make healthy eating choices by adding more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Also eliminate any unhealthy lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking. Give your body and mind the best treatment available to increase your chances of a successful conception. What's better for you is better for baby.
6. Don't Take an Early Pregnancy Test
I know, you're in a hurry. You need to know right now if you are pregnant. You can't stand not knowing. Trust me, I've been there and I understand. The wait is a very frustrating and stressful time. But taking a pregnancy test too early not only wastes money, you can lose any type of hope you have.
Many pregnancy tests on the market claim to detect pregnancy two to three days before your missed period. While there's always a chance you could get a positive before your expected period, it is better to wait till you've missed your period. Over-the-counter pregnancy tests work by detecting the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The hormone HCG is only present when you're actually pregnant. However, HCG levels normally take 7 to 12 days after implantation to be detected by an OTC pregnancy test.
If you take a pregnancy test too early, you run the risk of getting a false negative. Meaning you are really pregnant, but your HCG levels are not high enough to register on a pregnancy test. This can lead to bitter disappointment, sadness and hysterical crying on your part for no reason. Why put yourself though that? Just be patient. Save your money and sanity by maintaining a positive outlook and being patient for the full two weeks. Test after your expected period has been missed.
Deciding to have a baby is a decision to forever change your life. Children are a beautiful gift. But trying to have a baby is hard work. It takes months of having timed sex, tracking ovulation and waiting patiently. Being positive and maintaining your sanity is the most difficult part of trying to have a baby. But with a little time and learning to distract yourself from obsessive thoughts about conceiving will go along way.
Use this time to take the best possible care of yourself. Reduce the amount of stress your normally have to bear minimum levels. Stray of the side of caution when choosing to discuss your conceiving plans with social media, friends and family. You may receive unwarranted questions and advise. Treat your body and mind as if you are already caring for a baby in the womb. Don't focus your time on googling endless questions about pregnancy to avoid false hope. To avoid disappointment, don't take an early pregnancy test. You may actually be pregnant but receive a false negative. With these 6 tips, you can survive your two-week wait with patience and grace.