One morning, I groaned and grabbed my stomach on the way to the bathroom. My son, looking very concerned, asked “what happened mommy?,” and I said “Oh, my uterus is just trying to kill me.” It was the day I loathe, the day my monthly fate was decided. I had spent the previous three days convinced I was pregnant, but not this month, not again. I allowed myself a short pity party while my husband gave me his always positive pep talk.
If you have ever actively tried to have a baby, then you know what the “two-week wait” is. It is the time between ovulation and possible pregnancy. You wait for two weeks to see if you have conceived, and those two weeks are a brutal wait. It doesn’t help that the symptoms for pregnancy and PMS are basically the same; for me at least. So you could spend a few days convinced you are pregnant, and then BAM. Period. Also, why do they put the ovulation tests right beside the pregnancy tests? Not fair. It just creates havoc in your baby fevered brain.
To make light of something that can be stressful, I have come up with a short list of ways to endure the two-week wait. At this point, I am a professional at it. Much like a toddler who won’t stop whining about getting what they want, I need soothing and distractions.
Visit a therapist
This should be a top priority if you have anxiety about trying to conceive. There is nothing better than to bare your soul to a completely unbiased individual who is not afraid to tell you the advice you need to hear. Recently, I visited my therapist to help with my anxiety. I kept saying the word failure to describe my last year trying to have another baby because I went through two miscarriages. Feeling like a failure comes naturally sometimes when acquaintances will ask me “so, no second baby yet, huh?”
I have worked with my therapist on a new mantra when these feelings of failure flood over. “I will conceive.” I will keep this attitude until the doctor tells me conceiving is impossible. You cannot allow yourself to feel defeated, which is much easier said than done. I have to check-in with myself almost daily, and visiting the therapist can give you that boost you need to stay positive.
Pack Away the Baby Stuff
I can’t stress this enough. If you have a child already and are trying to conceive again, pack away the baby stuff. Physically seeing the baby stuff will only give you unneeded and negative reminders during your two-week wait.
I have saved nearly every baby item from when my son was born. Clothes, bottles, tiny booties; you name it, I’ve saved it. I have several boxes of unused diapers, and I had them sitting in our basement next to the treadmill, stacked nearly to the ceiling. Every time I went down there, the boxes would stare back at me as a reminder that I don’t have a baby to put those diapers on, and it would send me into a negative spiral. I packed them away into our basement storage room and now I don’t have to see them.
Work, work, work it out
If you work, a good distraction is to stay busy at work. However, you can’t stress yourself out while trying to conceive. This is an oxymoron, right? Work hard to distract yourself but don’t get too stressed. I’m convinced that stress is a major factor in not conceiving. Taking several short breaks has helped me to not over-stress my body during the two-week wait. Breathing exercises and stretching also helps.
Working out is good stress relief, which I know is very obvious. As someone who doesn’t naturally make the gym a priority, I always forget how great I feel after I work out. Even if it is simply walking on the treadmill, do something to get those endorphins flowing.
Wasn’t there an article published recently that said women are happier when they see their friends on a regular basis? It’s SO TRUE. Go out with friends and enjoy yourself. Go to a long lunch, go to Top Golf or hit up a dive bar and play pool until three in the morning. Going out with friends is free therapy from people you love who won’t judge you!
TV and Books
When you are catching yourself logging into your tracker app to see how many days until your period (for the third time that day), watch your favorite episode of your favorite show. For example, anytime I catch myself over-analyzing things, I watch the Snake Juice episode of Parks and Recreation (In case you wanted to know, it is Season 3, Episode 13). It puts me back into a happy place. Seeing Ron Swanson drunkenly dance with a tiny fascinator on his head does the trick for me.
Lastly, my absolute favorite hobby is reading. I love diving into a new story to help me forget about my worries. I’ve read ten books this year! That is a lot of books for a full-time working mother but some nights after putting my son to bed, I get right into bed to read. Of course, I wash my face and brush my teeth, but you get the picture. The website Goodreads is a great place to find good book recommendations. This is probably one of the best distractions for your two-week wait if you are a book lover.
If there are any other tactics to help endure the long wait, I would love to hear about them from my fellow Indy moms! We must stick together and keep each other calm so we don’t over-do it on the pregnancy tests.