In one of my TTC Facebook groups, someone asked this question:
“If you could wave a magic wand and change any part of the TTC process what would it be?”
Most answers sounded like this one- “I would change it so that you could know right after having sex if you are pregnant. Screw the 2-week wait!”
& to be honest, I couldn’t agree more!
WHAT IS THE TWO WEEK WAIT?
The two-week wait (2ww) is the timespan between ovulation and your expected period.
For those that are trying to conceive, this is (roughly) the amount of time that you have to wait before a pregnancy test will be able to tell you if you’ve finally conceived or not.
The two week wait is an exhausting emotional roller coaster for nearly everyone trying to conceive.
It’s hard not to spend every minute thinking about the possibilities and letting your imagination go wild (which it totally does). There’s also a tendency to be hyper aware of your body and obsess over what each change could possibly mean.
After 2.5 years (or about 25 two-week waits) of trying to conceive, I’ve figured out exactly how to keep myself from going cray-cray.
So below, you’ll find a list of ideas and activities that you can use for surviving the two week wait.
SURVIVING THE TWO-WEEK WAIT
Before the list, I want to explain something.
I’ve categorized my 2ww survival strategies into 3 categories:
The first strategy is to lean into the 2-week wait. What that means is to save certain activities that you love and do them only during the time period of the 2 week wait. It gives you something significant to look forward to and reshapes the way that you think about that period of time.
The second strategy is to distract yourself.
I would say this is the most common.
Distracting yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll forget all about getting pregnant (come on we all know that’s not happening).
But… you know how time seems to slow down when you can’t stop thinking about something (like the day before Christmas or when you’re anxiously awaiting an upcoming trip)? Yeah like that.
You distract yourself so the time doesn’t drag out as much.
The last strategy is to focus on self-care.
There will be months when you feel emotionally burned out from TTC and need something that’s going to soothe your soul and help you articulate your thoughts and feelings. In those times, leaning into the 2ww isn’t possible and distracting yourself ignores your emotional needs. This is when self-care becomes priority.
Ways to Lean Into The 2ww
1. Focus on making love instead of making babies
The highs and lows of trying to conceive can suck the romance and spontaneity right out of making love. Sex becomes a timed chore and believe you me, it can really put a strain on the relationship.
Well, a good way to start looking forward to your 2 week wait is to designate this time for sexy love-making.
Since the window of ovulation has passed, make the 2ww your sacred time to focus on having fun in bed and finding that spark again.
2. Buy yourself something nice for each cycle
Lean into the 2 week wait by buying yourself something you really like every 2 week wait (only within the 2 week wait).
This isn’t the cheapest idea but if your love language is gifts, it could be one of the funnest ideas for you.
You can either make yourself a list of things that you’ve always wanted or how about signing up for a monthly subscription box (like this Penny + Grace jewelry subscription box) so that you have a delivery to look forward to every single 2ww.
3. Designate the 2ww as baby planning time
Instead of trying to forget all things baby during the 2ww, you can lean in the opposite direction and welcome all things baby.
The two week wait could be your time to brainstorm baby names or put together a Pinterest board of nursery decor or read pregnancy books and/or to research the best OBs in the area.
Remember, the trick is to only do the planning during the 2-week-wait.
Ways to Distract Yourself During The 2ww
4. Work on a fertility-themed Jigsaw Puzzle
This gorgeous 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle will keep you busy for days (maybe both weeks) of the 2-week wait!
Did you notice that this puzzle shows a woman with a rainbow across her belly? This would be especially significant for women with a history of pregnancy loss. What a beautiful way to distract yourself while you await your rainbow baby.
5. Deep clean your house
Cleaning can be therapeutic; you can get all that nervous energy out by scrubbing, wiping and organizing.
The best part is that at the end of the day, you get to enjoy a peaceful and tidy home.
6. Write about your fertility journey and submit it for publication
A great way to distract yourself would be to write an article and work on it a little at a time during each two week wait.
7. Color in a fertility coloring book
Destress by coloring in the fertility symbols in this adult coloring book.
In fact, I have a free trial for a meditation and wellness app that you can use right here!
You can also meditate on God’s promises with these bible verses about fertility.
9. Get a Massage
Run, stretch, weight train, swim, et cetera.
The added bonus is that exercise can improve your fertility and health, decrease your stress and boost your mood!
11. Reflect with this ‘Trying To Conceive’ Devotional daily
This “Trying To Conceive Through Faith” devotional features a daily scripture, reflection questions about how you are feeling, your level of hope, and what you are grateful for and weekly themes.
It is such a great way to check in with yourself spiritually and foster your faith and hope in God.
It also has a daily prayer that is so raw and real- I love it!
12. Start a new book
Have you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility?
It’s widely recognized as a must-read for reproductive health and fertility.
13. Try Acupuncture
14. Find and read other womens infertility journeys or TTC stories
A quick way to start is to visit my fertility journey page.
Then, you should google up “infertility blogs” to find many other stories that will encourage you.
15. Catch up with friends
Schedule and plan a nice dinner, game night or just a phone date with the people who love you.
16. Try a new recipe (or 2)!
Maybe even improve your fertility at the same time by trying out these fertility smoothie recipes.
17. Pamper yourself with beauty treatments
Get a mani/pedi, get waxed, take a luxurious bath or get a facial- you deserve it sis!
18. Keep your hands busy with arts and crafts
A little knitting? Perhaps some crocheting? How about DIY?
19. Start and binge a new show
20. Join a ‘Trying To Conceive’ community
Online communities offer a lot of great support. Many women post their stories, ask for advice or share funny things that will help you pass the time. Group members will even help you interpret your vague ovulation or pregnancy tests- just start a post with the topic “line eyes”.
Also, you can work on your self talk and mindset towards life by joining my e-mail community!
22. Take up a new hobby or perfect an old one
Blogging, surfing, fishing, composting…. there are so many options!
Here’s a huge (500+) list of hobbies to get you started.
23. Pick up extra shifts at work (or start a side hustle) for your baby fund!
Not only is the extra money a great perk, but work can be therapeutic, if you like what you do.
24. Plan a trip for during this time
One of my favorites- Travel!
Even if just for a day trip.
The planning and the anticipation are bound to make the time pass by quickly.
25. Declutter / Organize
Can you imagine how organized your home would be if you chose one room to declutter for each 2ww?
Marie Kondo would be proud.
26. Play video games
27. Start an online course
Learn the latest skills or something fun (like a new language) with Coursera, Udemy or Skillshare.
28. Go online shopping
Maybe for some super chic maternity wear that you can wear in the future?
29. Make ‘To Do’ lists
Am I the only one that finds this therapeutic?
30. Do Implantation Yoga
Yes, it’s really a thing. Youtube it!
31. Make a playlist
Ways To Self Care During The 2ww
32. Snooze keyword “baby” in your social media newsfeeds
There’s something especially torturous about seeing baby announcements or baby updates from people you know when you’re scared that this month will be a big fat failure.
It either makes you anxious or sad about your prolonged TTC journey or it sends you into daydream mode which can make the end of the two-week wait much more difficult to cope with.
For your peace of mind, I suggest that you make take a break from social media or at least, snooze trigger words like “baby” if you want to use social media unbothered.
Don’t internalize all those hopes, concerns, expectations and fears.
Use journaling prompts to get them out of your mind and onto paper.
You can also use a specific simple fertility journal if you want to collect all your TTC thoughts in one place.
34. Get in a positive space with fertility mantras and affirmations
Work on your positivity and this will benefit your overall quality of life.
Related : The bright sides of infertility
35. Talk to your therapist
Schedule your support group or therapy sessions right during the 2ww.
36. Schedule obsessing time
Let it out!
All the worries, anxiety, questions can build up within you and it’s okay to let it all out.
What you don’t want to do is to stew in all that stuff and meditate on it day and night.
Instead, designate a short amount of time when you allow yourself to think, worry and obsess, then after that, let it go.
37. Go to bed early
Finally, skip the excessive googling and go to sleep! Your body (and mind) will thank you!
One good thing to remember about surviving the two week wait is that your needs may change with each cycle.
You may be strong enough to lean into the 2 week wait on some cycles but may have to focus on self care and distract as much as possible during other cycles.
Listen to your needs and most of all, HANG IN THERE!
The 2-week wait is tough but you are tougher!