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How to Cope With The Two Week Wait (TWW)
The two week wait – affectionately known as the TWW to trying to conceive (TTC) couples – refers to the nerve-wracking 14 days between ovulation and when a pregnancy test provides potentially good news. For some, it passes in a hopeful flash. Others find the suspense agonizing. Whether this is your first or fifteenth TWW, here are some tips to help you cope.
Understand the Fluctuating Emotions
Mood swings are par for the course during the TWW thanks to shifting hormones after ovulation. Stress and anticipation also play a role. Don’t be shocked by emotions swinging between excitement, anxiety, sadness, irritability, and doubt from one hour to the next. These feelings are all normal. Recognize they often intensify the TWW but will pass with time.
Stay Busy and Distracted
One of the best ways to survive the wait is keeping your mind occupied. Dive into work projects, house tasks, hobbies, exercise routines, social events – anything that engages you and passes time quickly. Having less free time on your hands to obsess over symptoms or test results helps a lot. You can even schedule specific distractions like movies to look forward to.
Limit Time Online
Reading endless early pregnancy forums and symptom spotting often fuels anxiety. Consider avoiding Google and TTC boards during much of your TWW. Apps and groups provide great support, but don’t let them dominate your life. Same goes for taking countless pregnancy tests too early – step away from the pee sticks if they distress you.
Talk It Out
Venting your swirling emotions to a trusted confidant can be cathartic. Your partner, best friend, mom, or even just writing in a journal allows you to feel heard. Find support sources you can open up to about this rollercoaster journey to conception. Just be sure loved ones know your boundaries if you don’t want constant “any news?” questions.
Don’t neglect self-care while in TTC mode. Treat yourself to relaxing activities like hot baths, massages, pedicures, comfy loungewear and favorite foods. Pregnancy restrictions will come soon enough – enjoy yourself and de-stress now. Little luxuries also provide pick-me-ups after letdowns each cycle.
Acknowledge Irrational Fears
The TWW mind plays tricks, conjuring up worst case scenarios. Recognize these exaggerated “what if” fears as hormonally charged and unlikely. Talk back to negative thought patterns. Focus on what you can control day-by-day, not hypothetical disasters. Anxiety often melts away once your period comes or tests finally turn positive.
Of course some sadness and tears are expected when hopes are dashed each month. Let yourself feel these emotions fully. But try to keep your overall mindset hopeful. Appreciate that getting pregnant for most couples takes several cycles. Believe your time will come soon, even if doubtful some days. Positivity truly helps.
Make Plans Post-TWW
Having fun things to look forward to, whether a relaxing getaway or dinner with friends, provides light at the end of the TWW tunnel. Don’t put your whole life on hold during the wait. Schedule pursuits that bring you joy while you continue trying. You want to strike a balance between staying occupied and not overexerting yourself.
Consider Confiding in Your Doctor
If the two week wait takes a significant mental health toll each cycle, don’t hesitate to discuss this with your OB-GYN or fertility specialist. They can talk through coping strategies, suggest counselors, or explore fertility treatment options. You don’t have to suffer extreme TWW angst alone in silence.
Patience and Perspective
Above all, be patient and keep perspective during the grueling two week wait. Look at the big picture and remember your end goal of a healthy pregnancy when frustrated. Surround yourself with support and positivity. Take the TWW one day at a time, finding healthy outlets for your emotions. Soon enough you will reach the moment of truth.