The Two Week Wait | Trying To Conceive
So, you've decided to try
for a baby.
Congratulations! Trying to conceive is such an enjoyable time: full of love, hope and dreams for the future, right? Well, yes to an extent, but it can also be a time of enormous stress, disappointment and just plain insanity. The first few months of trying for a baby are amazing: more action between the sheets, you feel closer to your significant other than ever before, but what happens after those first few BFN’s (Big Fat Negative’s-fertility speak for negative pregnancy tests)? Some of us turn into obsessive crazed lunatics! We become so obsessed with every possible pregnancy/PMS symptom, every twinge and we go to the bathroom every 10 minutes to check if Aunt Flo has arrived (no it’s not just you).
This does not apply to everyone, but if this is you, just remember this is perfectly normal! The two week wait, also known as the luteal phase or 14-day purgatory is the time in your cycle between ovulation and either getting your period or finding out you have indeed conceived. While it is difficult to wait patiently, there are some strategies you can adapt to cope with the waiting, especially if it takes a while to conceive:
1. Know your cycle
The first thing you can do to help you increase your chances of getting pregnant and minimising the amount of time you spend in the two-week wait is to know the length of your menstrual cycle, when in the month you ovulate and how long your luteal phase is. Knowing this information will help you and your other half to plan sex in a way that maximises your chance of conceiving. You can track your cycle using basal body temperature, cervical mucus, ovulation test kit or simply by keeping an eye on your calendar.
2. Arm yourself with knowledge
When you make a decision to try for a baby, the best thing you can do is get as much knowledge as possible to allow you to have the best chances possible. Read books, visit your GP, research online but don’t forget friends that are moms already as they can be great sources of practical advice, not to mention moral support.
3. Try to relax
This is by far the most difficult pill to swallow when it comes to advice from others. It is so easy to be told to relax about everything but very difficult to put into practice especially after an extended amount of time but studies have shown that stress can decrease your likelihood of conceiving significantly so it is worth taking heed!
4. Allow yourself to obsess, but just a little
This, for me, is a very important one. If you tell a child not to do something, it will inevitably be the first thing they want to do and similarly if you are told you cannot think about conception or pregnancy, it will be something you think about non-stop. The key here is allowing yourself to think about it, talk about, research it but only a little. You don’t want to overload yourself or anyone else with constant conversations about babies, pregnancy or cervical mucus because you and everyone else will quickly get fed up!
5. Distraction is key
It is vital that you distract yourself during the conception process, in particular those dreaded couple of weeks. Take up a new hobby, start a home décor project or plan a holiday for both of you. Make a list of things you would like to do before a baby arrives. Try to do something that you really enjoy to remind yourself that you are more than a baby-making machine!
6. Avoid telling too many people you are trying
Unless you are prepared to answer question after question about whether you have conceived yet, I would advise keeping this under wraps until you have news to share. By all means share it with a couple of close friends or family but avoid making it public to save yourself stress and frustration.
7. Admit when you are finding it hard
It is okay to admit that you are not superwoman aka the woman of steel and that you are finding the conception journey difficult. Discuss your feelings with your partner, they may well be feeling the same way. There is comfort in knowing that you have support and that there are people who care as deeply about the outcome of this as you.
8. Admit when things are not working
So you are in good health and in your prime for baby-making purposes but you have been trying to conceive for over a year? It may be time to see your doctor to discuss the difficulties you are having and what to do next. It will do you no good to suffer in silence. Your doctor will be happy to discuss the issue and possible next steps with you.
Above all else, remember that although you may feel like a crazed lunatic at times, that is also perfectly normal. Unfortunately, that is one trait of the journey to motherhood that many of us share!