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The Two-Week Wait

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a blog by CGD, April 1, 2011

No matter how many times you have been here, the two- week wait (luteal phase) is hard. I sometimes get that IVF veteran cockiness and think “Hey, this is nothing — I have been here countless times before." But the reality is, veteran or not, there is no easy way through it.

For me, there seems to be a predictable pattern. The first few days following the embryo transfer feel easy. There is a calmness that takes over me, as I feel secure in the knowledge that not only were we capable of creating healthy enough embryos, but also that those embryos are safely on board and back where they belong (as opposed to a dish in the lab at my fertility doctor's office).

This time, I even felt kind of giddy, so grateful to have gotten enough embryos to both freeze and transfer, especially after having the experience of two past in vitro fertilization cycles in which nothing was able to be transferred at all. I was glowing. I almost convinced myself that these happy, calm feelings would carry me through the rest of this cycle, and I would just float through on to Beta day unscathed.

Well, easier said than done.

While I will admit that I have had harder times during the 2WW, sometime around five days after my embryo transfer, my heart and head got the best of me. The typical over-analysis of symptoms and feeling overly emotional started to happen, of course. It is really hard not to give in to these things, as you experience cramping and night sweats (all of which can be attributed to either the progesterone supplements or pregnancy symptoms— lovely). And of course, there is the crying at TV commercials.

It’s enough to drive an infertile girl crazy — and for that girl to drive her husband crazy along the way as well.

Despite all of this, I have to say my four years and countless two- week waits have taught me a few things. Initially, I had all these lofty goals for myself and visions of the perfect way in which to behave as you wait out your beta day. While, this sounded great in theory, what it actually accomplished was to make me feel bad about myself when I had my freak-outs and could not live up to my high expectations. I have learned to be easier on myself and just sort of accept my moods when they come, instead of fighting against them so much or beating myself up about things.

Now, I try to keep busy, but only with things that I know will make me feel better. It just feels simpler that way. I do things like mani/pedi’s, chick flick movies and favorite restaurants (which for me is yummy brunch food, as I am lucky enough to live in NYC where they serve brunch all day long on the weekends). I also try to surround myself by people whom I feel comfortable around; for me this is my husband, closest friend, and my parents. I try to give myself permission to turn down invites and not return phone calls too if need be.

Of course there are occasions that I can’t get out of, this weekend, that was a dinner with friends at which I was the only non-mother of the bunch. But still this “keep it simple” approach works well most of the time.

Right now, I have two days to go until my Beta. I can already feel that restless, uneasy feeling in my stomach, hard to avoid at this point. I am just closing my eyes, crossing my fingers and toes, and letting myself hope……

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