The Dreaded 2 Week Wait…& How to Survive it

When I say “the two week wait”, what do I mean? I’m referring to those looonng two weeks between ovulation and the day you take your pregnancy test.

The stress of pregnancy begins here, especially if you are super eager (like I was) to get pregnant as quickly as possible. Side note: If you have been having issues conceiving I encourage you to read my free Definitive Guide to Conception and Ovulation. Inside there are many ways to help you regulate your cycle and take that big fat positive test.

Compared to the nine months you have to wait to see your child two weeks doesn’t seem like a very long time. Trust me. When you’re waiting to see if you finally got the good news two weeks can seem like forever. You may feel impatient. Anxious. Some days you might even feel discouraged, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive for a while with no success. Here are some helpful tips on what to expect during these two weeks and ways to decompress while you wait to test.

PMS or Period?

To begin with, you’re going to feel like your period is about to start. PMS symptoms closely mirror those of early pregnancy because they both occur from a rise in progesterone levels. For now you’re likely to experience some or all of the following: bloating, breast soreness and tenderness, acne, anxiety, mood swings and fatigue. If you’re not pregnant these symptoms will begin to subside a day or two before your period starts. If you are pregnant these symptoms will grow in severity as your hormones increase during your first trimester. You should get as comfortable as you can with any symptoms you experience. This is only the beginning but remember: it’s all worth it in the end.

Bleeding & Spotting

If you experience any bleeding during these two weeks don’t freak out. It could be a sign of the embryo implanting in your uterus lining. Implantation bleeding is very normal and occurs in about 30% of pregnancies. To determine the cause of the bleeding you need to pay attention to your body. I’m going to assume you’ve had enough periods to know what your regular period looks like: how heavy it is, when it occurs each month, etc. Implantation bleeding is often much lighter than the average period. It might only be a few spots here and there. It shouldn’t be a continuous flow. Implantation bleeding is also more likely to be light brown or black instead of a bright red color. Not every woman will experience light bleeding during these two weeks but if you do be happy. It’s a sign of fertility.

Pump Up Your Nutrition

Many women experience nausea during the first trimester. Morning sickness usually hits around week 6 or 8 of your pregnancy. Some women will experience it throughout their pregnancy at all times of the day and around 25% of women will be lucky and never have any queasy days.  It’s important to build up a store of nutrients for your baby now while you can eat properly. I’ve covered pregnancy nutrition in the conception section of this blog. Basically you’ll want to eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies every day, snack on whole grains and eat complex carbs. You’ll want to replace junk foods with healthy fats (like avocado) and natural sugars (choosing honey over artificial sweeteners). I hope you’ve been taking a complex, raw prenatal these past few months. If not you’ll want to start taking one now. I’d recommend Vitamin Code’s Raw Prenatal Vitamin. It’s what I take and I believe that there’s no better prenatal on the market today.

Take Care of Yourself

Just in case you are pregnant you’ll want to treat yourself well during these two weeks. It’s always a good idea to cut out bad habits (like smoking, drinking, and recreational drugs) before conception. If you haven’t cleaned up your lifestyle, you’ll want to do it now. Go the extra mile and start to change your diet in preparation for the baby. For example, fish provides a healthy source of omega fatty acids for your baby but you’ll want to avoid large fish that are high in mercury. Undercooked meat, seafood and eggs should also be avoided because they could contain bacteria that will hurt your growing baby (remember: babies aren’t born with immune systems).

Get Moving

With drinking and smoking off the menu, how’s a girl supposed to de-stress? The best coping mechanism for stress or anxiety these two weeks is exercise. (Hint: It’s also the best coping mechanism you can use during the entire pregnancy, so make it a habit now). Light to moderate exercise releases natural feel-good chemicals into your nervous system. These work to improve your mood and help you to calm down when you’re feeling overwhelmed. The key during pregnancy is to do the right exercise for you. The general rule is however active you were before pregnancy dictates your level of exercise during pregnancy. For example, if you were a cyclist or a professional runner before trying to conceive you can continue this exercise now with your doctor’s permission. If you simply walked down the block a few times a week, then now is NOT THE TIME to engage in strenuous exercise. It could affect your ability to get pregnant. Women with low activity levels pre-pregnancy will want to try some light walking, swimming or prenatal yoga. Check out my list of great prenatal yoga videos for the first trimester. They’re free.

Google Is Not Always Your Friend

If you’re a symptom-checker (like me) it can be easy for you to spend hours obsessing over googling each new symptom you feel. I mean, what if it affects your baby? What if your body is trying to tell you something? What if something’s wrong? This type of symptom fixation is especially common with first-time moms, since the experience of pregnancy is all new to them, but moms who have suffered a loss or miscarriage can fall into this trap too.

Why is Google bad? Google doesn’t have to be something you avoid. The internet can offer you access to a wide variety of support systems and online communities of moms who can offer you the comfort of a listening ear and a “shoulder to lean on”, so to speak. However, these groups are full of conflicting and often inaccurate pieces of advice. If you are able to take advice with a grain of salt (or a bottle) then by all means Google away. If you are prone to worry and anxiety or find yourself stressing over possible pregnancy symptoms I encourage you to write them down and bring them to your doctor. Every woman’s pregnancy is different but a doctor will help make sure that your pregnancy is progressing safely and smoothly in a way that no chat forum can.

Find New Ways to Relax

Looking back on my pregnancy so far, the two week wait was almost practice for the stress of pregnancy. Pregnancy really forces you to look for new ways to relax your body and your thoughts. I’m not always successful at relaxing. Some days it can be a real struggle for me to not feel overwhelmed by my hormones, the ways that my body is changing and what kind of person I am becoming as my pregnancy develops. My methods of relaxing have changed with my moods. I encourage you to find ways to relax that work for you. Here are some things that have helped me:

  • Herbal Tea: Some days when I felt really agitated, anxious and down herbal tea was one of the things that allowed me to relax enough so I could get a good night’s sleep. My favorites have been 100% chamomile, lemon, oatstraw, ginger and peppermint teas.
  • Warm Showers: We don’t have a bath tub in our RV or this would be titled “warm baths”. Sometimes when my thoughts were racing I took a few minutes to focus on nothing but the comfort of a warm shower. This really helped me to get my thoughts in order and focus on what I was grateful for rather than what I thought could go wrong with my pregnancy. Keep in mind that from conception to birth you should not expose your baby to high heat. Stay away from hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and hot baths or showers. Keep it warm.
  • Deep Breathing: I didn’t experience panic attacks until mid-way through my first trimester. When I did, deep breathing techniques helped me to stay in the moment and not let my fears get the best of my mind. I also learned a technique many years ago in therapy that I nicknamed Verbal Focus. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, anxious or out of control (1) sit down and take a few long, deep breaths to slow down your heart rate. (2) Focus on your current surroundings. (3) As calmly as you can, name each thing you see in the room. For example “this is a wood chair”. “This is a yellow pillow”. This technique will help take your mind off of your anxieties and help to anchor you in the present moment.
  • Meditation: Meditation can seem daunting for people who haven’t tried it before. There are some misconceptions out there that you need to meditate “this way” for “this much” amount of time to be successful. This is not accurate. 5 minutes of simple meditation every day can help to calm your body down. Practiced regularly, meditation can leave you feeling a little more refreshed and relaxed each session. (1) Simply sit down and keep your head level. (2) Fix your gaze comfortably on a level point across the room, then either close your eyes or defocus your gaze so your eyes can relax. (3) Look past the point you’ve chosen and breathe normally. (4) Simply notice that your breathe goes in and then it goes out. Five minutes of this every day is all you need to have a more relaxed mindset.

 

Hopefully these tips will help you to have the smoothest two week wait you could ever hope to experience. If you have other tips you’d like to share feel free to post them in the comments section below!

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