The waiting part of infertility SUCKS. And there is SO MUCH waiting. For many peoplethere are years and years of waiting. But the two-week wait sucks in its own special way. During those two weeks, you feel hopeful and terrified, both at the same time. You feel nervous, excited, and somehow, you feel both great and miserable. You know that maybe this time will be “the one.” This IUI will finally be the one that works! But then you also know, it could just be another failed attempt. And then the cycle begins again, and you sense time and chances slipping away.
So. Emotionally. Draining.
Regardless of the circumstances, for women trying to conceive, the two-week wait is bound to be emotionally stressful… no matter how many times you endure it. I would even venture to say that it becomes a bit more stressful and emotional each time you have to go through it.
None of these tips will magically take away the roller coaster of emotions that accompany waiting, but after lots and lots of two-week waits, I have compiled a little list of things that, for me, make the waiting a bit easier.
1. Stay busy, but not too busy. You don’t want to be so busy that you are stressed out… you are already stressed enough! Try to keep busy with things that you enjoy. Use hobbies to fill down time. For myself, if I do not fill my down time with something, I just use it to worry. Worry, of course, only leads to more stress. Fill quiet moments at work with quick prayers, or do a few stretches while sitting at your desk. File your fingernails. See? Keep busy with little things that are also enjoyable and productive.
2. Spend as much time with family as possible. I would have spent every second of this two-week wait surrounded by my family if it had been possible.
The timing of our most recent IUI was actually really wonderful because, the day of our IUI we were able to head to Nashville to spend a week with my family. The very next week, they were able to come down to Georgia for the weekend. On top of that, Andrew has been home EVERY DAY of this two-week wait, since he just went back to school today. It made me realize that being near family makes an enormous difference. The time did not pass any faster, but it was more enjoyable, and I felt more myself than I have during two-week waits when I have been isolated from family.
Make lunch dates with your husband if you work apart all week. If you cannot actually spend time with your parents, siblings, etc., make it a priority to spend time chatting with them on the phone. This is a good area to get creative with, since life often pulls us away from our families. Use these two weeks to reconnect.
3. Take extra-good care of yourself. Do this by making sure you get enough sleep at night, making healthy food choices, and making exercise a daily occurrence. For me, setting aside a quiet time for myself each day is an essential part of self care. If you can spare twenty minutes, then use it for you! I spend my twenty minutes on my yoga mat with my Bible. You may choose to spend yours differently, but it is important to take wonderful care of your body, mind, and spirit during these two weeks. Doing this will make you more pleasant to be around, so you are doing your family a friends a favor too!
4. Be aware of your emotions. This will also make you more pleasant to be around during the course of the next two weeks. I know that I am SUPER emotional during this season of my life. Being conscious of this helps me bite my husband’s head off less, and it helps me realize that when I think my husband is biting my head off, he probably isn’t. Be aware that you are very sensitive, and offer grace to others when they fail to cater to you. It’s not all about us!!!
5. Give Google a rest. During the two-week wait, I continue following blogs, and keeping up-to-date on other women’s infertility journeys, but I avoid Google. It contains too much conflicting and worrisome information. Being overloaded with information that you do not know what to with can just become another stressor. A totally unnecessary one. If you feel the need to research during the two-week wait, stick to websites and bloggers that you already know and trust.
6. Stay away from Facebook. For me, this also breeds anxiety. Sometimes it breeds something even worse than anxiety: jealousy. It also has the power to occasionally make me feel worthless, ugly, and unfit to be a mother. None of these feelings are from God.
7. Don’t share the details of your situation with anyone who does not need to know. This will lessen the amount of crappy “advice” or “encouragement” you are bound to receive during the next few weeks. Do share with trusted loved ones, and/or a best friend. Because, somehow, it does help to talk about it out loud! Since it’s all you think about anyway…
8. DO NOT test early. As difficult as it will be, just force yourself to wait two weeks, at least.
9. If it’s nice outside, get out there as much as possible. Walk the dogs, sit on the porch and read, lay at the pool, tend your garden, feed the ducks at the park. Being outside helps my mood, it helps me to feel energized physically, and it helps calm and focus my mind, which makes for great prayer time.
This leads me to the biggie.
10. Pray without ceasing. There is no human in this world who knows exactly what you are feeling, or what you are going through. Even other women who have experienced infertility will not know how YOU are experiencing infertility. They can love you, and sympathize, but they can never know what you are living through or how you are feeling. But God does. He knows every emotional that you have ever felt, and every emotion that you ever will feel. He knows your pain, He knows your frustration, He knows your sadness, and He knows your heart.
He’s got this.