TWW (the Two Week Wait)
You’ve just had IVF and now…you’re waiting. Feelings like anxiety, fear, excitement, confusion…it can be excruciating or wonderful or anything in between. And if you’ve done a previous cycle, even more so. Recommendations if you’re feeling like you need a little guidance here: Do things you ENJOY. Releasing endorphins through creative or joyful activities (whether it’s talking with your besty on the phone or watching a funny movie) will help give your brain a good message that everything is safe and this will calm your anxieties and your central nervous system, which is good for you.
Another idea when you’re trying to figure out if you should test or not with an at home test: wait for the blood test. Avoid false positives or negatives and wait for the real deal (a beta test) when your doctor tells you to come in. If you had any sort of ART like IUI or IVF and you took an hCG trigger shot, remnants of hCG can stay in the system for almost 16 days, causing tests to read a false positive. It generally takes one day for each 1,000 units to leave your system[JJ1]. Best thing for you and your brain? Let the nurses handle that part of it.
Want to take it to the next level? Get spiritual. Have feelings that need to be expressed? Talk it out. Try talk therapy with a professional therapist who has a background in fertility therapies, or journaling. Get out a pencil and paper and go – nothing is too much, whatever you want to write. You don’t even have to keep it – shred it! Just the act of writing and expressing your feelings is powerful, and studies have shown that it is therapeutic.
What to do about symptoms? You may feel that your body and your mind get really sensitive and/or you may start feeling things like nausea or cramping, although most women do not feel any symptoms after an IUI or an IVF unless there was is some bloating from medications or previous procedures. Getting worried or upset about certain symptoms or feelings (or lack thereof) is in some ways a waste of time (and energy that you should be putting into being calm, happy and receptive!) If anything worrisome comes up, call your doctor right away. Tender breasts or mild cramping or nausea may be a side effect of the medication.
What else to do? TLC. You’ve likely been injecting yourself with hormones or drugs, taking medications, adding things in, taking things out, charting your basal body temperature (BBT charting), and going to doctors appointments. The two week wait in some ways is a 2 week break, and likely a much needed one – take advantage of it and do the things you’ve been putting off or feel where too indulgent to do before, like taking yourself to the movies, going to the beach, or taking the time to go to a cool spot you’ve always wanted to check out, like a beautiful nature area or a spa you’ve always wanted to try, and enjoy life before that all changes (and all you’re doing is changing diapers).
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