How to THRIVE (Not Just Survive) Your Two-Week-Wait
by Christine Sellers, Real Food Fertility
Whether you’ve just started trying to get pregnant or you’ve been trying for a while, the “two-week-wait” can be brutal… there’s no doubt about that. When in the middle of those two weeks (right after ovulation and before you can get a positive on a pregnancy test), there are a couple of different paths one can venture down- some of them mentally and emotionally healthier than others.
From what I’ve seen, the “TWW” is usually filled with a lot of anxiety and a lot of Googling, using what some might refer to as “code.” You end up Googling things like “how many DPO can I get a BFP?” or “symptoms at 10dpo but bfn… still hope?” and scouring forum threads looking for situations that match yours.
This can do one of two things: 1) give you some sense of comfort that you’re not “out” until your period starts and there is still hope, or 2) leave you feeling disappointed because you don’t “feel” pregnant and you won’t know for sure for a couple weeks… and all you can do is wait. It’s typically the latter.
So how can you make this two-week-wait bearable? Or better yet, how can you thrive instead of just merely surviving the longest two weeks of the month? Because truly, thriving is possible! Here’s how.
DON’T Do These Things During the Two-Week-Wait:
- Don’t Symptom Spot
Stop trying to dissect everything going on in your body every moment during the two week wait. You’ll only be left questioning, and Googling won’t help! Chances are, you won’t be able to “feel” pregnant until after you get that positive test, because the hormone changes may take some time to cause noticeable symptoms anyways. Plus, PMS symptoms and early pregnancy symptoms are eerily similar.
Don’t Google every symptom you feel, and try to stay away from reading the online forums all about “big fat positives” and “symptoms certain days past ovulation.” These things can lead to that black hole of wonder and worry, that can only, ultimately, be answered by simply waiting.
2. Don’t Test Early
This is Another activity of the two-week-wait that typically only ends in disappointment, worry, or hours of Googling. If you start testing well before the day you’re supposed to miss your period, here’s what will usually ensue. You take the test… and it’s negative. You feel disappointed and a little heartbroken. So you Google if it’s too early to get a positive, and if there’s still hope if it’s negative. You convince yourself it was too early (which it likely was), and you take another test the next day. You do this until you either get a positive, or your period starts.
Yes, testing early if you’re pregnant can give you a positive sooner. But usually only a couple of days sooner! To me, it’s not worth the extra possible days of disappointment, anxiety, and wasted money on pregnancy tests. Do yourself a solid and just be patient. I know it’s hard… but it really is worth it to just wait to test. I know it’s hard to resist the urge, so I say start testing the day before your period starts if you really can’t wait until the period has been missed.
3. Don’t Let it Control You
When you symptom spot and start counting down the days until you can start testing early, the two-week-wait has the power to control you. It can weigh on your mind, it can affect you physically when it causes mental and emotional stress, and it can affect your day-to-day mood and relationships when you think about it all the time. Don’t give it that power!
Time is precious, and two weeks is a decent amount of time that you can either spend well or spend worrying. It takes effort, but I highly encourage utilizing the following tools to help you overcome the natural symptom-spotting tendencies during the two-week-wait. Spend this time doing things that will help you thrive not just for two weeks, but throughout this pregnancy journey.
DO These Things Instead to Center Yourself:
- Meditations and Affirmations
Start your day by breathing deeply and focusing on the good that you have in your life. Write out some affirmations that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day to lift your mood. Write out what you’re grateful for as a meditation. Take some time to yourself to enjoy the outside world. r Whatever you decide, meditations and affirmations are powerful tools that can uplift the soul and can bring new perspective to the two-week-wait and beyond.
2. Try New Hobbies
Give yourself something to look forward to! Keep your mind and body active! I don’t mean to say to keep yourself mindlessly busy and distracted, but trying out new hobbies and finding new things to do can be a cathartic and powerful tool to help keep you productive and uplifted.
Try journaling out your thoughts. Find a new walking or hiking trail. Go sign-up for that knitting class you’ve been wanting to try. Learn a new language through an app on your phone. Plan a weekend brunch with friends. Continue to live your life and thrive during the TWW by going out and trying new things! Yes, the two-week-wait means waiting, but who says waiting has to be boring?
3. Service for Others
I love this one because it’s two-fold. When you actively serve someone else, you get to step outside of yourself and help others, which also helps you feel great, too. This doesn’t have to be a major effort that feels daunting and time-consuming. It can be something simple like bringing something fun to a neighbor, letting someone in check-out line go ahead of you, paying for the beverage of the person behind you in the drive-thru while on your morning commute, or just paying a compliment to a stranger. Simple acts of service that brighten someone’s day can be a great way to spend your time and energy!
4. Focus on What You Can Control
When things surrounding fertility start feeling out of control (which can happen often… I get it), start focusing on what you DO have control over when it comes to boosting fertility, so you can tell yourself you’re literally doing the best you can and leave it at that. Focus on eating nourishing whole foods, focus on managing your stress in healthy ways, focus on getting regular, good-quality exercise and sleep in your routine. There are so many things you can do to help boost your fertility naturally that will ease your body and mind during the two-week-wait.
Yes, it can feel like a long two weeks. I’ve been there, friend. But when you focus on spending those two weeks wisely, when you get outside of yourself and when you give yourself new things to look forward to, you can seriously thrive.
Christine Sellers is the Founder of Real Food Fertility and The Functional Fertility Protocol, a site and program designed to give women the resources and support needed to boost fertility naturally.