August 16, 2021
The Two – Week Wait (TWW) …. and a few different things
The ever-dreaded TWW (Two-Week Wait)…..every woman who wants to have a child will, at some point, go through the 2WW. This waiting period is not just for women going through IVF. Technically, the two week wait refers to the luteal phase of pregnancy. This is the phase of the menstrual cycle which begins after ovulation and lasts until either pregnancy occurs or the breakdown of the corpus luteum has begun. Of course, the two week wait time frame only applies to women who have the standard 28 day cycle. For those with longer or shorter cycles, this waiting time will vary. Where the TWW differs for us IVF gals – is we know EXACTLY what day we will be tested on…..and that makes it so much harder. For those who are Christmas fanatics (that is me….) the 2WW feels like a November before December. In that month you really want to start throwing on the Christmas tunes, put the tree up, wrap the house in tinsel and get the outside of the house visible from space …. but it is November 01 and no one else wants to celebrate that early. So you bounce around in your own pre-December/Christmas bubble and sing yourself the tunes and mentally think about every corner that can be filled with decorations (and by now most of the holiday candles and goodies are purchased).
So you wait, and think about, then put it out of your mind, then wait……till finally December 01 rolls around! That is what a 2WW felt like to me the first time around, this time…..it is a watered down version, ever so slightly, so you are not as crushed as the first time if things do not work out. This is the guarded heart phase, and this is where many women, who have not been through the doctors appointments or medication cycles may not understand. Now, this is not to say that any woman/family/couple who gets a negative test at the 2-week-mark would be devastated, for me, there is just that little extra layer of hurt. However – that is not the point of this blog….in this round I really wanted to share what I have done differently. I really wanted to share what the first round has taught me about myself, my body, my mental health and above all – my bodies needs. I challenged myself as soon as I found out we needed another round – what could I do to make myself love myself more, and make this experience something to cherish – not dread.
First things First….
This round was WAY easier than the first. Why? No needles, no surgery, no hyperstimulation syndrome, no pain! I felt like a whole free woman who took tablets 3x a day. Honestly….that was the hardest part. Remembering to take the medication at lunchtime….I would be on the road or in a meeting and light a lightbulb going on in a dark basement I would think “SH** MY AFTERNOON MEDS”, and for those first few weeks they would be at home on the kitchen bench – right where I left them when leaving that morning. *FacePalm* I tried alarms, and having hubby remind me, I tried putting them in pockets or containers. Finally I got smart, picked up another script and stashed one in my work bag and one at home. Phew – no more panic moments!
What I have done differently this round….
- Bed Rest. I took the prescribed bed rest – and not the “just do less” version. I actually stopped for 3 days. Early to bed, a long sleep – and I read a book cover to cover.
- Pineapples. Pineapple contains a mix of enzymes called Bromelain, which, according to the N.I.H., may debride scar tissue and decrease inflammation. People use Bromelain topically, to remove dead skin from burns, and orally, to reduce inflammation and swelling — particularly of the nasal passages. Bromelain is also used as a digestive aid, for osteoarthritis, and to reduce soreness in aching muscles. I have increased my daily pineapple consumption (fresh) to 3-4 pieces a day.
- Heart Rate Tracking. Post this transfer I have really watched my daily heart rate – not just during exercise but during laundry, walking the dogs, riding my bike. I was advised to not exceed 80% of of Max HR – but what I have realised is how large my hear-rate range actually is, which means…I need to keep my heart rate lower than the 80% to keep my body temperature low.
- Fertility Specific Meditation. I did A LOT of this after out first transfer. I really love the IVF Mindfulness app, but I do wonder if I over-pressured my mind and body with these. I would do one every night during each stage of the IVF cycle, like clockwork, before bedtime. This time around – I have only listened to 3 meditations. I have selected 3 that I can listen to during the day rather than last thing at night. I have used these 3 meditations as a moment to re-set myself during the day when I could feel heart rate elevated or increasing stress.
- Added in Vitamin C & CoEnzymeQ Supplement *please consult with your practitioner before starting any supplements*Vitamin C regulates hormone levels, especially the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is important in the development of uterine lining, and medications containing progesterone can increase the chance of successful implantation after repeated failure. Additionally, Coenzyme (Q10) is an important antioxidant and ‘energy nutrient’ within every cell.
I have really turned this 2WW into “just another week” and really tried to live as if I did not need to worry! I stopped reading into symptoms, early testing, googling and so on. This one is not easy, but I highly recommend it. As far as I am concerned until that beta blood test anything else is not a guarantee and can cause undue obsession or heartache. Stress is no-one’s friend!!
Yoga (I will post more about this in depth) but I can not stress enough how helpful Yoga has been, both help with hormones regulation, de-stressing and mind-body connection. It is in my quiet moments of a yoga practice that I help my body with blood flow to support the embryo and I found myself talking quietly about the future. So, no matter how this month turns out for us – this little embryo has a photo on the wall, in a room that will one day be a room for our family.
From our AWP Family to yours. xx