A week has passed since the transfer, You are in the dreaded two week wait and the wondering is killing you. Questions like “How on earth am I going to be able to hold in these emotions as I’ve got another week to go” Recognise this?
The two-week wait can be the longest and most stressful time as you wait to see if your IVF has worked or not.
You gone through leaps and bounds and climbed obstacles you never thought you could go through and yet the two week wait seems to be the time when you feel most alone, stressed and out of control.
Since elevated stress levels may prevent conception through hormone disruption, doesn’t it seem practical to find ways to improve your two week wait, thereby increasing your chance of successful implantation and pregnancy?
Many patients ask ‘how can I help myself deal with the stress in the two week wait’? but there is not one easy answer as many people react differently to stress, however I encourage patients to manage stress with the following practical advice.
Eat to support healthy hormone levels and to nourish a healthy uterine lining.
Think fiber to promote healthy estrogen metabolism and digestion. Foods like ground flax seeds, dark leafy green vegetables like kale, collard or beet greens, whole grains and nuts.
Create and support a rich uterine lining by eating blood nourishing foods as we call them in traditional Chinese medicine. These foods include meat, eggs, salmon, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, quinoa, spirulina and seaweed which are all iron-rich blood building foods.
As progesterone levels rise, so does your temperature and a warm nourished womb is an inviting womb. Think soups and stews, or adding some warming herbs to foods such as cayenne, ginger, cinnamon.
Note changes in your body, but be mindful of your expectations.
Women in the two week wait have high expectations especially when they have been trying to get pregnant for so long. The thing about expectations, they are deeply filled with emotions and when they aren’t met, the floodgates open. This creates a situation in which stress hormones are at a higher level, which is a signal to your body to prevent conception from happening. It is like a siren going off, “Now is not the time to get pregnant, I need to put my focus elsewhere.”
The most common obsessions for women in the two-week wait are all about a real lack of patience. Yes, there may be signs of implantation, or some slight spotting, or symptoms of early pregnancy such as nausea, feeling more tired than usual, and cramping, but these symptoms are also very common during the luteal phase, as estrogen drops off, progesterone increases and for some women, PMS kicks in.
Ask these questions of yourself:
Notice how your body feels when you note these changes. Are you holding tension anywhere?
Remember, it is vital to be realistic during your two week wait. Rather than focusing on each little sign, or symptom of pregnancy, focus on nourishing, nurturing and cultivating patience in your life.
Hold off on taking a pregnancy test until the right time.
Can you believe you are anxious for two weeks out of every month? Early pregnancy test manufacturers want to relieve that anxiety by helping you detect if you are pregnant before your next period begins.
Pregnancy tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG ). In the first few weeks after implantation HCG levels double every 48-72 hours. This means that the level of HCG in pregnant women goes from nearly nothing to a lot in just a few days, but this can vary and not every women has the rising HCG levels and you can get a false negative test.
Rest and Nurture Yourself.
Rather than focusing on symptoms you associate with early pregnancy or PMS, notice where in your body you are holding tension. You will notice you may be clenching your jaw, stomach, or holding your shoulders higher. These are all signs of held stress. Taking time to nurture you is going to help reduce stress and help you focus on creating a healthy environment for baby.
Take naps and go to bed earlier. Elevated progesterone levels make you sleepier, so sleep when you can.
If you love to exercise, down shift. Swap running or spin class for fertility yoga and brisk walks.
Nurture and pamper yourself.