Monday, January 18, 2016

Oh Nooo...It's the Two Week Wait UPDATED

For anyone facing infertility whether through IVF, IUI or even those just trying to conceive for the first time, they've probably heard or experienced...


ARRGGGGHHHH...the two week wait, shortened to TWW is the excruciatingly slow and hypochondria inducing time period between the day you ovulate or do an IUI or an embryo transfer and the date you take a pregnancy test, or in the five years I spent TTC without science, the day you find out you're still not pregnant...oh hey, no need to pee on a stick honey, you got your period!  

It's the time you take note of every cramp, every twinge in your ovaries or your lower back, every wonder if your sense of smell is heightened or if your friend forgot to shower, you're hungrier than yesterday, you get dizzy, you're nauseous, and with every single "symptom" you feel you're wondering IS THIS IT??  AM I PREGNANT?  SHOULD I TAKE A TEST??  

You search the Internet for clues.  With envy of those ladies who ended their TWW with positives, and shared heartache with those who did not...every single month becomes a TTB (ticking time bomb) while you're on the TWW roller coaster.  There is even a website dedicated to this time period...aptly 

As someone who's spent five years TTC naturally, I can tell you, I've had every pregnancy symptom known to man and even some that are not.  And I think it's a cruel punishment to have so many symptoms be similar between AF and a pregnancy.  I've spent countless dollars on early pregnancy tests, I've put hope into it, prayed for it, wished on it, dreamed about it...and every month ended the same way...a hopeless blubbering woman rationalizing the 50 ways I could have been better so it would have WORKED!

Ladies, we are all guilty of it...going over every detail of the TWW with a fine comb, wondering, did I eat something wrong?  Did I sleep wrong?  Should I have rested more?  Did I have to have that Coke last week?  Did I forget to wear socks?  Was my womb not warm enough?  Where did I go wrong!?  These negative thoughts and emotions and pinpointing where YOU went wrong for not getting pregnant are unhealthy and mind numbing.  I have spent hours pouring over internet articles telling me what to do and what not to do and I ended up with a BFN every time.  

The reality is, the TWW is different for everyone...  

A symptom that one woman experiences does not mean you will experience it, and being absent of that symptom does not mean you won't get pregnant.  I've put together some tips to carry you through this precarious time period in hopes we can all survive the TWW with a positive attitude no matter the outcome.  

I'm a seasoned BFN'er which means getting a BFN at the end of the TWW is neither new or as devastating as it once was...and if you ask Daddy Bun, it once was a terrible time for us both.  Oh yes ladies, if there is a partner in your life, that TWW is weighing on them too!

My Tips and Tricks to Get You Through the Infamous Two Week Wait

The first thing I do during the TWW every single month is read a book that is NOT related to pregnancy, infertility, or TTC.  This month I picked up What Alice Forgot (available at Amazon here).  Reading from areas that are not pregnancy related keeps my mind off the TWW.  I usually read from my Kindle or my iPhone or my iPad but I also love to read an old fashioned book.  I chose this book off a recommendation from a TTC sister from Instagram and it's a great read about a woman (Alice) who wakes up after a tumble at the gym to discover she'd forgotten ten years of her life!    

Next, I try to choose one room in my house to clean...and I don't mean sweep and vacuum, I mean I start at the baseboards and work my way through every inch of that room, I clean the blinds, I wipe down the windows, I even rearrange furniture (with help, don't move big things without help!).  The corners are clean, even the closets get a really good cleaning.  Walls get wiped down, doors get fingerprints washed away, and I go through the rooms and select items to save and items to donate to our local church and Salvation Army.  This takes a day or two of my work week or an entire afternoon on a weekend.  I realize cleaning your house is not a FUN task, but you make a goal and focus on that goal to get you through.  It's important to set goals unrelated to the TWW and conquer them.  You get a good feeling when you accomplish things and's a clean room!

Speaking of cleaning...this TWW I started a series called The Great Makeup Swap.  I'm trying to remove some of the harmful products I use on my face and replace them with paraben and phthalate free options.  For a littl emore on that journey, you can check my blog posts under The Great Makeup Swap.  But beware, this can be overwhelming and sometimes disheartening.  But remember, the idea is to do what's best for your body during this TWW.  So don't feel like you must replace anything, or everything for that matter.  Just check out the idea that there are safer things to beautify your face.   

If there is one thing I hate to do, that is cook.  So why am I suggesting it?  Because it's a great time consuming and productive thing to do!  You spend time looking at recipes, choosing something to create, making it and then you get to enjoy the result.  My Grandma was a great cook and she passed some of her recipes down to me before she passed.  I like to pull out her old recipe book and take on a challenge.  This TWW I will be tackling her famous chicken and dumplings and I'll share the recipe in a later blog.  If you love to cook or hate to cook, the idea is the same, keep your mind focused on accomplishing that goal, and take it on with a positive attitude.  This gets you out of the house, unless you have every ingredient on hand (which I NEVER have), and gives you an opportunity to do something different.  I like to invite friends and family over to try my recipes.  They are sometimes met with squeals of joy and sometimes the silence while trying to figure out how to say it is horrible.

When TTC with science and no insurance coverage for infertility, funds to pamper can be hard to find.  Maybe you're just TTC and short of funds.  But pampering yourself is a great way to take the focus off the TWW.  I like to pamper with a facial at home.  I make way to the kitchen and boil some water with a little lavender oil.  Be careful because it gets hot!   Once the water starts steaming, I pour it in a glass bowl.  I use a hand towel to cover my face and I lean in (about 6" from the steaming water) and I breath deeply.  This smell relaxes me and calms my nerves.  The steam hydrates my skin, opens my pores and loosens yucky dirt and grime.  After ten minutes, I pour out the water and using cool water I rinse my face.  I pat dry with a towel and apply my favorite clay mask.  I prefer TruSelf Organics detoxifying mask (available here) but any clay mask will do.  WalMart has some great options for under $5.00.  While I'm waiting on my mask to dry, I scrub my toes and the bottom of my feet with a foot file.  I add lotion and massage them a little while I rub in the lotion.  Then I paint my toes.  While they dry, I wash off the mask and I add some moisturizer.  I use the moisturizer to massage my face like shown in this Wiki article (HERE).  When complete, I'm relaxed and pampered and painted!  And BONUS, I've massaged away that stress of the TWW.

 This is something I am not so good at, praying.  I have trouble finding words to speak to God without asking for what I want.  So I try to focus my prayers on God's Plan for our Little Bun.  The TWW may end in a negative, and I know that.  I pray for my family, I pray for others TTC, I pray for peace during the struggle, I pray for calm in a storm of symptoms that may or may not wind up with a BPF.  I pray for clarity so I can understand the plan.  I pray for guidance so I know what to do next and how to start over if a negative comes my way.  And I thank God for this struggle.  Because were it not for this struggle, I would not be the woman I am today, sharing these tips with you right now.  Everything I have been through, every mistake I have made, every struggle I have overcome has brought me here.  To this point.

Have you seen any good shows lately?  How about Making a Murderer?  It's a documentary about Steven Avery who was wrongly accused of rape and later accused of murder.  If you're wondering what to watch, check that series out on NetFlix.  It's sure to get your mind off of the TWW.  Not up for a documentary?  Check out New Girl, a funny comedy that I love.  Looking for a fictional drama, try Scandal.  The possibilities are endless with NetFlix and you can always pause to pursue another TWW activity if you don't want to sit in front of the TV.

You may hit a BFN at the end of your TWW.  But it's not the end.  It's not over.  It begins again.  There is another chance.  And you can make it through...I have made it through years of TWW's and I am here to tell you that you too can survive the TWW.  Besides, what else can you do?  

I hope these tips can help you get through that horrendous time.  I hope you smile when you pick out that book or you cook that recipe and think of NoBunInTheOven...because I am thinking of you!

Do you have any ideas for the TWW?  Is there something you suggest to help see a TTC'er through?  Comment below and I'll be sure to add it to the next edition!