Infertility has a lot of waiting. The waiting in the doctors office, the waiting for your next cycle, the waiting to see if you are pregnant every month. The two week wait can be the worst. It is known as 2WW in chat rooms and can bring up all kinds of stress and anxiety.
If you were like me when I was going through infertility I was extremely impatient (heck I'm impatient now - yes I'm working on being more mindful and present - but when I'm stressed I go into high gear and find it hard to calm down).
When I was waiting to see if I was pregnant and waiting for the fertility clinic to call me, I drove myself crazy.
I remember I didn't have anyone who really "got it" by my side, telling me to take it day by day.
I didn't really want to talk with anyone about it because I thought it might jinx the results.
Now I know that talking about your fears and worries makes them less scary, but back them I wanted to power through it, all by myself.
Here are my top 3 tips to help with the 2 week wait:
First let's focus on your mind.
It may be like a freight train going a million miles a minute. How can you slow it down and cultivate mindfulness?
What can you do to keep you focused on the present moment? Pick a mindfulness strategy and see if it works for you. I could be journaling, visualization, fertility yoga, meditation, or affirmation cards. The key is to pick what works for you.
Jon Kabot-Zinn (internationally known meditation teacher, author, and founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction) shares that we can cultivate mindfulness in our daily activities, such as the shower.
His mindfulness programs are taught at over 720 medical centres and clinics to help with stress.
Check out his book Mindfulness for Beginners.
Ready to practice mindfulness?
As Jon Kabot-Zinn shares "the next time you are in the shower, check to see if you are really in the shower"
Do you feel the water on your skin, do you smell your shampoo, what about enjoying your daily scalp massage?
The more you bring yourself back to the moment the more you are able to cultivate mindfulness.
"As soon as you check if you are in the shower or somewhere else, you're back!" says Kabot-Zin. That's mindfulness.
When you are in the moment, you don't have to ruminate about the past or worry about the future.
Take one action step that will allow you to cultivate mindfulness and bring awareness to any thoughts that may come up for you. Instead of judging those thoughts, get curious about the thoughts and simply let them go.
Next let's focus on your body.
Your body may be going through some changes during the 2 week wait.
First set realistic expectations for yourself and really cultivate some patience
You may feel nauseous, have cramps, slight spotting and this could be implantation taking its course, or it could be the symptoms that are common in the luteal phase as high levels of estrogen are produced and progesterone which help to thicken the lining. Either way reading into every little sign in your body - during this time can be overwhelming.
Resist the urge to use "Dr Google" and ask yourself - how beneficial is it for me to read into every signal that my body sends me during this time? How can you bring awareness to those thoughts, acknowledge how you feel and then let it go?
How can you focus on nourishing your body with delicious, healthy foods as it prepares for implantation? Grab a smoothie - here's my Fabulously Fertile Smoothie recipe, enjoy a crunchy salad loaded with some of your favourite veggies, or grab a handful of cashews with some dates. Your body is preparing for pregnancy fuel it with food that is made with LOVE (homecooking is always best), but if that's not practical don't be too hard on yourself, do your best to find something nourishing if you need to eat out.
Last but not least let's discuss your connection to spirit or your soul.
You may feel anxious and not yourself during this time. Know that it is okay to release control.
During the wait to find out if you are pregnant you may find yourself questioning many things. You may feel God or the universe is punishing you by not giving you a baby. You may feel you have lost your way and without a baby you don't have a purpose. You may find yourself making a bargain with God or the universe so that you will have a healthy baby.
Know that your thoughts are completely normal. No judgement. Get curious.
What is underneath the thought. In this case it may be fear. It could be that you failed to get pregnant last time so you are thinking the past will repeat itself. Stop and question yourself. How true is it that the past will repeat itself?
When you release control of the situation and realize you are not responsible for everything that happens in life, you can share the burden of tough times with those around you. Reach out for support. Need to talk? I offer a free 30 minute coaching call
What gives you joy? What inspires you and gives you hope?
Think about those questions for a few moments.
Where do you feel that in your body? Focus on that feeling and use it as your anchor. When you feel yourself slipping into worry remember what inspires you and give you hope and use that as your rock or your guidepost.
What works for you during the 2 week wait? I want to hear from you. Please SHARE this article with someone else who may need it.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Ready to gaze into your baby's eyes....but struggling. Download 10 step Checklist here