The two week wait

How to handle the two week wait

The dreaded two week wait, the daunting two week wait…whatever off-putting adjective is used, the time following an IVF treatment is an extremely difficult period for women as they try to figure out whether they could possibly be pregnant.

As an experiment I asked women who were going through an IVF treatment to write down their feelings during the two week wait. I was amazed at what I read. Their initial feelings of optimism and excitement were quickly overtaken by anxiety and negativity by day 6 or 7, with many women finding it difficult to sleep, worrying about whether or not the IVF had worked, and becoming aware of every ache and pain, trying to work out whether these were associated with pregnancy.

This is why it is really important to get support. You need to be able to share these feelings with a partner, a family member, a close friend or with someone else who is going through it – there are many useful forums available on the internet that are there to help you through this difficult time.

I always tell my clients who are about to go through a transfer that it is really important to be prepared. It’s a very stressful day, so eliminating as many stress triggers, no matter how small, can help reduce your stress levels, ensuring that you are relaxed and that you are in the right frame of mind before ‘T Day’. I’m talking about even the littlest of things like making sure you know where the car keys are the night before to prevent having a last minute row with your partner over who had the keys last.

Support for one another is extremely important in making sure that you are mentally and emotionally in the right space. Some women find transfer much easier than others but for the majority it is a very worrying time. It’s not unusual to feel a bit isolated and insecure because, after all those tests and scans, suddenly there is nothing more to do. Make your mind up now to put your energy into being positive no matter what. I would suggest exploring relaxation techniques to ease and manage anxiety. I believe visualisation is a powerful tool in helping women to remain positive.

There are different views as to whether one should rest after a transfer or not. I don’t think it does you any harm to rest especially for the first day or two.

My top tips for the two week wait

Aim for:

  • Rest, relaxation and early nights
  • Visualise what is going on in your womb
  • Banish negative thoughts
  • Explore self help techniques – deep breathing / yoga/meditation
  • Eat well and drink plenty of water
  • Keep your tummy warm
  • Leisurely walk or do gentle yoga after 5 days

Avoid:

  • Alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, drugs
  • Heavy lifting, strenuous exercise and swimming
  • Overheating – sunbathing, saunas, Jacuzzis, hot baths
  • Sexual intercourse

Most of all, talk.  Don’t keep your feelings and anxieties to yourself.  However, so many couples we see either do not feel they have anyone they can confide in, or they really don’t want to discuss issues of such an intimate nature. This is where counselling can help. Fertility counselling is a process through which individuals and couples have the opportunity to explore their thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to come to a greater understanding of themselves and their present situation.  I have seen counselling help so many women deal with their anxieties in a practical way.  Visit our Counselling during IVF page for more information

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