Waiting on a baby is tough. When I set a goal, I have to meet it. Making babies proved to be no exception. I was used to getting results for my efforts in other areas of my life, so it was difficult to cope when pregnancy didn’t happen immediately. Much to my great fortune, I’ve gotten pregnant four times without professional assistance; however, I envy the women who casually mention they “weren’t trying” and are now halfway through their pregnancy.
Maybe they just make it look easy. Having children is such a monumental event that it makes sense for the anticipation to be so incredibly weighing.
For me, the “two-week wait” is the most agonizing part of trying to get pregnant. Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, this is the part where there is nothing more for me to do but hope. Waiting on a baby during pregnancy is also difficult, particularly during those early weeks before the first ultrasound when there is much worry aggravated by isolation.
But for me, there is greater agony in the two-week wait. Even with two babes in my arms, I still find agony in the two-week wait. Here is how I outlast it.
Take a Break From Charting
If you have been closely monitoring your fertility signs through charting, consider taking a break. When I felt confident enough in my cycles, I would stop temping and hormone testing after ovulation was confirmed. Everyone has a different set of circumstances, but for me, post-ovulatory monitoring served no other purpose than feeding into my fixation.
Schedule Obsession Time
I could (and have) spent hours obsessing over possible symptoms and old wives’ tales. Do I have a sudden heightened sense of smell, or does it just smell gross in here? Is that headache from hormones or dehydration? Will bone broth really help my chances?
It is a game that is both exciting and frustrating because it never ends. Instead of spiraling out of control for hours, I schedule a specific amount of time during the day to research (agonize over) my inquiries. For me, ten minutes in the morning and ten at night was enough time to calm what felt like pressing issues, but not so much as to take over my entire day.
Plan a Distraction
Staying busy may not always be the best coping mechanism, but it is perfectly acceptable during the two-week wait. Perhaps there is a list of hobbies you’ve been saving for “one day.” If not, there must be a house project: purge a closet, organize a cabinet, or make that garage clean-out happen. A favorite hobby of mine is reading, and a shorter thriller that’s easy to get into is a great way to work through some downtime.
Have a Consolation Prize
We can hope a “consolation prize” will not be needed, but just in case, give yourself something apart from a positive test to look forward to. Maybe it’s a sushi feast or opening a bottle of champagne. Perhaps it’s a (very) late night out with friends or a spa day. Whatever your gusto, let it be done. Admittedly, these do not always make me feel better. In fact, I often do not want said prize when all is done. But it does serve as a gentle reminder that there is life beyond a negative test.
Find the Gratitude
This one can be difficult but has always been one of my most treasured tools to increase resilience. Consider starting and ending each day with three things you are grateful for. These don’t have to be particularly profound: a warm cup of coffee, a friend’s recent kindness, and air in our lungs are all beautiful things to give thanks for. I’ve also found having a mantra to be extremely helpful.
For me, a recent favorite is: I am grateful for what I have, and I am grateful for the hope of what may be.
I hope these humble ideas help you in outlasting your two-week wait. I also hope the end of your waiting is sooner than later. But it is my greatest hope that each of us finds something wonderful in the waiting.
Because if we do, we wouldn’t really have been waiting at all, but living.