Coping with the Two Week Wait (IVF)
September 2, 2016 2:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently at Day 8 of the Two Week Wait for IVF. This is the first time I've had an embryo implanted. As an added complication, I'm doing this as a single woman. My anxiety levels are sky high. I'm looking for stories of people who have been there. How did you survive? What helped? What didn't?
posted by daybeforetheday to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Woo hoo! That was us six times. I used to call it pregnant untill proven otherwise. I just braced myself for the worst and hoped for the best. I can categorically tell you that I was completely unable to guess the outcome correctly based on any symptoms. Ours were all blastocysts- two fresh and the rest frozen. One fresh and one frozen worked.

I hung out in online fertility fora and read all the stories voraciously. Those women were my rocks through the highs and lows.

But just be kind to yourself and indulgent...because if you're not pregnant this round, you will be soon on your next round. I liked to think of it as a few extra months of pregnancy.

But the times it didn't work, I allowed myself to fall apart big time. I grieved and I'm glad I did. It meant I was ready to move on with fresh and uncomplicated hope for the next transfer.

I'm crossing all my bits for you in your two week wait. It's hard. But totally worth it. Yay for you!!!
posted by taff at 3:08 AM on September 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh this is so tough! When I was struggling with infertility, I used Circle and Bloom's meditations every day to just feel like I was doing something, ANYTHING, to make it happen for us. And it did work, but obviously I can't show any causation. You can probably find similar meditations for free online. Good luck!!
posted by heavenknows at 3:45 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

You should go check out the two reddit communities /r/infertility and /r/infertilitybabies!
posted by colfax at 3:50 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

To be honest, I did home pregnancy tests pretty often from about day 9 onward. They had specifically told me not to but I couldn't help myself. When I finally did get a positive, it was still three days before I was scheduled for the confirming blood test. I spent those days buying a series of progressively fancier and more expensive home tests and using those.
posted by ficbot at 4:12 AM on September 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

I find running grapevines and writing stream-of-consciousness good for getting rid of obsessive thoughts. Watching something really complicated like the Wire also helps.

If you do end up going crazy buying preg tests, you should know that the $1 ones work just as well.

Good luck!
posted by Trifling at 5:00 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I didn't get to the IVF stage, buy still had the wait after IUI. I tried the distraction method and threw myself into work and personal projects. Didn't stop the intrusive am I /am I not thoughts, but I could give myself 2 minutes to think about it, give myself a mental shake and redirect the energy.

I also found a few good days of indulgence helped. For me that was some binge Netflix with crafts to keep my hands busy as well as some gaming sessions with hubby and/or friends.

I refused to do home tests, which was very good for me. I think getting negative results early in the wait would have broken my spirit.

Best of luck!
posted by MandaSayGrr at 9:02 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I kept myself distracted with hobbies and television. No knitting baby sweaters or anything -- that would have been depressing -- but I made lots of stuff for myself. I couldn't indulge in any of the things I would miss if I were to successfully become pregnant because I had to consider myself pregnant -- anxiety meds, alcohol, Diet Coke, hot baths, even running and other strenuous exercise (my RE was very conservative and I obeyed him).

I started taking tests very early, as soon as I noticed something that might have been a pregnancy symptom. After my first positive test, a few days before my official blood test, I started taking home tests daily to watch the line get darker. I had a chronological stack of sticks going in the bathroom. After a chemical pregnancy earlier in the year, I wanted to be sure that wasn't happening again. It gave me something to do and made me feel like I had some insight into what was otherwise a totally invisible thing.

Good luck!
posted by liet at 10:00 AM on September 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

I read a lot of people suggesting to make the two week wait as busy as possible: see friends, go on outings and generally fill your time in order to take your mind off it as much as possible. However, for me, that just didn't work. There was no taking my mind off it; it was all I could think about and all I wanted to think about (and talk about to those who knew)! It was just such a major part of my life and every day was filled with endless 'am I, aren't I?' wondering.

The only thing that maybe did help was that I wrote a diary / journal (I have done throughout the whole IVF process), and writing down my thoughts and ramblings helped somewhat. I also rested a lot and gave myself the excuse to be as lazy as I liked. I figured I wanted to give my body the best chance I could to help everything to work. Unlike many people, I didn't test until the date I was told to. I wanted to hold on to the hope as long as possible! Good luck!
posted by schmoo at 12:28 PM on September 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

The wait is so hard, no matter what. In my case, we had a trip to the Caribbean planned for a couple days after the procedure. So getting distracted by a new location helped some. I did test early but honestly can't remember what it said! I had major heartburn a week or so after the procedure which pretty much convinced me it worked (my friend said the only time she ever had heartburn was during early pregnancy). In fact, it did work, but I was still on pins and needles waiting for confirmation.

Be kind to yourself. Think about whether you are most comforted by staying busy, or doing something soothing like adult coloring books. Or maybe reading online forums about personal IVF stories. I think if I didn't have a vacation planned I would have binge-watched some interesting series on Netflix. Good luck, my thoughts are with you!
posted by JenMarie at 3:55 PM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Been there! I filled my days with activities: took a road trip on the weekend and took many photos, helped a friend with a massive art project, read a lotta graphic novels, watched a ton of "light" TV like Project Runway, tried a few new recipes out, made dates with several friends.

The toughest was at work, where I am never super busy. I took a lot more walk breaks than I was probably allowed.

But yeah, mainly just lots and lots of fun and light distractions. I have terrible, terrible hamster brain and it was mostly a success. I have to be honest that the actual day that I was waiting on my beta results from the clinic was THE WORST. They said they would call at like 10AM and they did not call until about 2PM. Those four hours...damn.

Best of luck to you!
posted by medeine at 5:10 PM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just as a counterpoint, I started pregnancy testing at day 9 (along with all the other women in my online group who had transfers my same day) and never got a positive. My husband convinced me to have the blood test (I was going to skip it) just for closure and now I have a giant 14 year old man/child. My tests didn't turn up positive until about 3-4 days later. So, if you do test and it's negative, try not to freak out.

I worked during my 2ww and at night I read nothing but positive stories about IVF. To be honest, there's probably not really much that can effectively distract you-it's always on your mind.

Best of luck!!!
posted by hollygoheavy at 5:14 PM on September 2, 2016 [5 favorites]

Thank you all- these are great suggestions!
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:00 AM on September 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I did the same thing, starting to test on day 9. That way I was seeing a negative but there was still a great deal of plausible doubt about the final outcome. It was like a way of easing into the potential for failure. And eventually one day I tested again and shockingly got a positive and that day will always be an epic day in the minds of our cats who witnessed the song and dance routine that followed.

p.s. yoga every day.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:53 AM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, all your suggestions helped a lot- and I just got a BFP at my beta! Thank you!
posted by daybeforetheday at 12:05 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Holy moly! Congratulations!!!!
posted by taff at 3:08 PM on September 7, 2016

« Older Tell me about ordinary life in apartheid South...   |   Size does Gmail that is! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.