How to Survive the 2 Week Wait

The time between having had your embryo transfer or IUI procedure and your scheduled pregnancy blood test, also known as ‘the 2 week wait’ is often an emotionally difficult time for most patients, and can be a time filled with an array of feelings. What is most important to note is that it is normal to feel anxious, irritable or overwhelmed during this time. However, it is just as important to acknowledge any such feelings, ensuring good supports are available, and strategies to cope are in place.

You may feel like you want to ‘bunker’ down during the 2 week wait period – relaxing and giving yourself space, such as keeping distance from family/ friends to avoid any potential conversations around your fertility treatment, or you may feel the opposite and the need to engage in activities to keep busy, such as immersing yourself in work as part of your regular routine. There is no right or wrong way to best cope at this time.

Below are some suggestions for managing the 2 week wait period.

  • Relax. Ensuring plenty of rest the day of (and a day or two after) your transfer. It is not recommended to engage in high intensity exercise, lifting, etc. Take the day at home, if possible, to rest your mind and body.
  • Follow your medical team’s instructions and advice. Most patients are eager to test earlier than their scheduled pregnancy test. However, keep in mind from a medical point of view taking a home pregnancy urine test is not recommended given the HCG in your body can give you either a false positive or false negative result from a home pregnancy test.
  • Where possible, focus on self-care and creating calm rather than trying to predict the outcome. It is normal to have a mix of feelings of optimism and then perhaps times when you might feel less hopeful. Cautious optimism might feel like a happy medium. Focus your energy on being kind to yourself rather than forcing yourself to ‘stay positive.’
  • Feel – allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling. Sad, anxious, worried, frustrated – it is important to give space to your feelings. Name them out loud (“I feel frustrated”) and have someone close by where possible for a chat, whether it be a good friend, family member or speaking with a counsellor at No.1 or your own private counsellor.
  • Laugh – it may sound silly, however laughter really is ‘the best medicine.’ Switching on the tele to watch a funny TV show or movie (whether you laugh or not) speaks to the body-mind connection. When you are laughing you are less likely to feel stressed, so allow yourself a space where humour can enter the room.
  • Talk – as previously mentioned, ensuring you have at least one or two ‘go to’ people as a listening ear during those tougher times, and reach out to the No.1 counselling team to arrange a supportive counselling session for support or your own private counsellor where you feel need.

    Everyone copes differently according to their needs, therefore not all the suggestions above may be right for you. Pick one or two suggestions that you may like to try. The most important thing during this 2 week wait period is to be kind to yourself, knowing you and your body have done everything you needed to do during your treatment cycle. Lots of self-compassion around what you need during this vulnerable time, doing things that make you feel good (eg: baking, seeing a movie, etc), and listening to what your body and mind needs (eg: rest). Keep to your regular daily routine where possible, while also allowing time for extra self-care.

    Dana Peterfreund