The two-week wait, or 2WW as it’s often referred to in online forums for people TTC (TTC = Trying to Conceive), is a torturous time between an embryo transfer and the first beta test to confirm pregnancy.
Following each embryo transfer, hopeful Parents and Gestational Surrogates are thrust into a purgatory-like space as they wait for that first pregnancy test to find out if the embryo transfer will result in a pregnancy.
The two-week wait often feels unbearable. Surrogate Mothers result to posting in their Facebook transfer groups, obsessively Googling pregnancy symptoms, peeing on pregnancy tests multiple times each day and squinting at the results, and find it hard to think about anything else.
So how do you make it through the waiting period between an embryo transfer and your first beta test? Proud Fertility has a few tips for you!
1. Get off the internet.
Support is important and in today’s technology-based world we often go to our favorite forums and groups online to get the understanding and visibility we need in stressful times. The problem is that our forums are not always filled with the most knowledgeable people, and it can become an emotional rollercoaster to compare your symptoms with others or read through lists of pregnancy symptoms while monitoring your body’s every twinge. Relentlessly searching your symptoms can lead to anxiety.
Whenever possible, seek emotional support from people in your real life that you can call or meet with face to face. Speak to your agency, chat with your Intended Parents (or Surrogate if you are an Intended Parent) and share your excitement and fears. They’re likely feeling just as anxious as you are!
2. Stay distracted.
Before your embryo transfer, have a game plan for how you are going to stay busy and distracted during the two-week wait. Maybe you’ll download an e-book from your favorite author, fill your podcast queue with shows not related to pregnancy, set dates, and schedule activities with friends and family, or whatever it is that will keep you from going online and getting caught up in trying to figure out if you might be pregnant or not.
3. Write about your feelings.
Start a journal to document how you feel throughout the IVF process and your surrogacy journey. You may want to start a journal as soon as you begin your surrogacy journey to share your thoughts and feelings. It can become a beautiful memoir of your surrogacy journey that you will treasure.
4. Use Mantras and Meditation.
Try meditation to help you cope with the stress of your two-week wait. You can even add in mantras like “I surrender to my body.” Or “I am doing everything I can to become pregnant.”. Take some time out every day to just be aware of your breathing, and feel love and gratitude for your body.
5. Act like you are pregnant.
To really be actively doing everything you can to become pregnant you should start treating your body as though you are already pregnant as soon as you plan to become pregnant. For Surrogate Mothers, this means acting like you are pregnant as soon as you choose your Intended Parents. Take your prenatal vitamins, avoid alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and second-hand smoke. Get rest and be gentle and loving to your body.
6. Stay active.
The right amount of activity will be different for everyone. Be sure to follow any instructions from the fertility clinic about how much activity you should be doing. In most cases, you can resume your normal level of activity a few days after your embryo transfer. Get out an walk the dog, play with your children, hit the gym if that’s your thing. Physical activity reduces anxiety and being active will help you have a healthier pregnancy and birth experience.
8. Pee on all the sticks if you must.
Amazon Prime will overnight you a box full of pregnancy tests for under $20. If you just know you’re going to be an obsessive tester, order them in advance. I have to admit I love seeing a carefully placed layout of steadily darkening pink lines, all labeled X DPT (days post transfer).
To save your sanity, stick to testing once per day, morning urine is the strongest. If your tests aren’t coming up positive, remember that hCG, the hormone your test is looking for, develops differently for everyone and every pregnancy. Sometimes Surrogate Mothers will never get a positive result on a home pregnancy tests but go for their betas and discover their hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) levels are increasing steadily and they are indeed pregnant.
The two-week wait isn’t easy for anyone who is trying to conceive. Even here at Proud Fertility, we sit a bit on the edge of our seats for every family we work with, sending sticky vibes, and baby dust to every Surrogate Mother. Please know that if you ever need to talk, the support staff are here for you. We know the two-week wait is one of the hardest parts of the Surrogacy process and we see you.