How to Survive The Two Week Wait While Trying to Conceive

Monica Caron •May 18, 2020

After almost three years of trying to conceive and over 30 two-week waits under my belt, I am an expert on how to survive the two-week wait. and I have come up with a foolproof plan that makes the two-week wait fly by. If you follow these tips and tricks, I assure you, you won’t even notice you’re in the midst of the two-week wait!

That’s what we are all looking for while waiting to find out whether or not we are pregnant, right? The magic thing that will speed up time, keep our minds occupied so we aren’t obsessively googling different versions of “the earliest signs of pregnancy,” and distract us from taking pregnancy tests well before we should.

After so many two-week waits, I wish I had the secret recipe for survival. But, I don’t. And candidly, I don’t think one exists. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every single article out there on how to survive the two-week wait. I’ve tried to implement every strategy — Keep Busy!, Meditate!, Don’t Test Early!, Don’t Obsess Over Pregnancy Symptoms!, and my personal favorite, Just Relax!.

Well, this article is a little different, folks. This article gives you permission to go a little crazy during the two-week wait. Some months will be better than others, and some months you will be paralyzed by the constant wonder and speculation. But I assure you, you are not alone on the wild emotional ride of the two-week wait. And sometimes knowing that you aren’t alone in your crazy is just the thing you need to survive.

Let’s break it down. Whether you’re trying naturally, on a medicated cycle, going through IUI, IVF, or anything in between, you’re waiting for news that will change your life. And you’ve been fed articles and stories about early pregnancy symptoms, so from the minute you know it’s possible that you could be pregnant you’re over-analyzing EVERYTHING that is happening with your body.

I spent way too much time groping my boobs during every two-week wait, testing out their soreness. I would also tell everyone I wasn’t going to test early – that I would wait until I was actually late, or until I went in for a beta blood test. And every month, without fail, I would buy pregnancy tests, test way too early, hold the test up to every light possible looking for a pink line, tell no one, and assure myself that I would test when I actually should test the following month. And then, of course, I would rinse and repeat.

And let us not forget early pregnancy symptoms, PMS symptoms, and the side effects from the hormones you may be pumping yourself full of are all similar. Honestly, whoever decided that all of these symptoms and side effects should be similar is a giant asshole. The complicated dance of deciphering if that mild cramp is PMS or pregnancy is incredibly frustrating. But don’t worry – there’s Google for that.

“What is the difference between early pregnancy symptoms and early PMS symptoms?”

“Early pregnancy cramps?”

“Can early pregnancy cramps feel like early period cramps?”

I’ve searched them all in Google., and if you’re reading this, the chances are good that you have, too. And if you’re anything like me, when you find an article that provides an answer you don’t like, you immediately close it and find an article that tells you what you want to hear.

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In addition to symptom-spotting, there is also the emotional component of the wait. Maybe it’s your first two-week wait and you’re filled with such immense excitement that you can’t focus on anything else. Maybe it’s your 45th two-week wait and somehow you have mustered up the strength to once again find hope that maybe, just maybe, this time will be THE time. Maybe it’s the two-week wait after an IVF cycle and you’re imagining what that embryo is doing. Maybe it’s the two-week wait after losing a pregnancy and you’re caught between the hope for the future and the reality of the past.

No matter where you are in your journey the two-week wait consumes your life. And if the wait ends without a pregnancy, the devastation is real. No matter how you slice it, you’re mourning the loss of what could have been. And if you have been doing this two-week wait thing for a while you may begin to question whether you have the strength for another one.

The one thing I have learned throughout my infertility journey is that in every single phase I am always searching for the answer on how to survive. But there isn’t a magic pill or a single answer that puts your mind at ease, takes away the anxiety or makes time go faster.

Infertility is a waiting game, and the best way that I have found to survive is to acknowledge how hard it is. I’ve found the more I try to tell myself to be less of a lunatic, the more I find myself feeling like I’m teetering over the edge. The more rules and restrictions I put on myself mentally during the ride, the more I feel like I’m trapped and can’t escape.

However, the more grace and compassion I give myself in understanding that this is traumatic, overwhelming, nerve-wracking and a big fucking deal, the more I am able to mentally ground myself. Searching for “the fix” never worked for me because “the fix” doesn’t exist. What does work? Allowing myself to acknowledge that every phase is hard, especially the two-week wait.

I opened up to my friends who have been through infertility about the insanity of the two-week wait. And suddenly instead of taking secret pregnancy tests behind closed doors, ferociously googling symptoms, and trying to hide that I felt like an absolute lunatic, I started to feel normal. I realized that everything I thought I was the only one doing, was actually everything everyone else was doing behind closed doors as well. So, I opened up the door and started wearing my two-week wait of lunacy loud and proud.

Remember, the two-week wait is a culmination of sorts – that doesn’t necessarily provide the ending you’ve been praying for, for months or even years. So, my best advice? Know that you aren’t alone in this. Know that no one has truly mastered the two-week wait. Know that it’s normal to be consumed wondering what the answer will be. Know that symptom spotting, feeling emotionally distraught, and that time is suddenly creeping by is normal.

Know that however you decide to take on the two-week wait is the right way. And know that all of the articles out there on “how to survive the two-week wait” are filled with good tips – if only it were that easy to “just relax.”

Monica Caron is an Atlanta based digital business development expert, wife, and mom of one. She underwent IVF after being diagnosed with Secondary Infertility. She has been open about her struggles in attempting to make baby number two and is documenting her journey on Instagram. After three years she is expecting a baby and is due in October. She approaches infertility and IVF with humor (though it's really not that funny - but hey - you may as well try to laugh while you're miserable) and encourages conversations around what pumping your body filled with hormones does to your sanity, how infertility impacts your relationship, and why this whole IVF and infertility thing needs to be normalized. Follow along at @my_so_called_ivf as she tries to make sense out of a situation that doesn't seem to make much sense at all. And be sure to drop her a note. She loves connecting with other people in the infertility community.