The Two Week Wait

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If you’re on this website, chances are high that you already know what this means. This is the longest, and most gut wrenching, 2 weeks in the life of the woman trying to conceive. Starting from the day you ovulate till the day you expect your period, it is the period when some magic just might be happening in your uterus, and a precious baby is forming… or absolutely nothing but your body just messing with your mind.

Before I started trying to conceive, I never paid any attention to this period. The only time in my cycle I was aware of was menstruation. Outside of this time, my body never felt any different. I usually feel some pangs on the ovulating side of my uterus mid-cycle, but nothing after that until the start of my next cycle. But the minute I started this baby journey, there was no cycle, not one, that I did not positively feel pregnant. For 2 weeks every month, my body would mimic every single pregnancy symptom there is. Name it, I had it! From nausea, to fatigue, to sore breasts, to increased nasal sensitivity…I had everything. At the end of the 2 weeks, just when I had convinced myself I was pregnant for sure, my period would come in all its glory, breaking my heart each time. I would start the next cycle vowing not to symptom spot, but come ovulation day, the 2-week madness would start all over again.

Of course it’€™s easy to blame our bodies. Every month, I would get so angry with mine, accusing it of the highest level of deception and betrayal. Why would it trick me into believing I was pregnant every single time, only to turn around and laugh in my face, red gift in hand?! It wasn’€™t until I started reading more about conception in general that I realised that over 80% of the time, these symptoms are all in the mind. It takes at least 6 days for the fertilised egg to implant in the uterus and start secreting any HCG. It is this HCG that causes the chemical changes that lead to most of the common pregnancy symptoms. So when a woman who is 4 days post ovulation, thinks the nausea she feels is pregnancy related, it most likely isn’€™t. Some pregnant women argue that they started feeling these symptoms as early as 3 days after ovulation, I tend not to believe them. It could simply be the change in the body’s hormonal balance (progesterone especially), or even imagined.

It is possible for some women to experience implantation symptoms as an early sign of pregnancy. But before celebrating, it is important to bear in mind that these could be nothing but PMS symptoms! The spotting, the cramping, the lower back pain, the bloating. the fatigue, the mood swings… all of these could just as easily be attributed to hormonal changes in the cycle as they could be to pregnancy.

In fact, the cycle that I did get pregnant, I felt close to nothing. Save from some spotting (which I suspect was implantation bleed) and horrific thrush, I experienced none of the earth shattering symptoms as my 30+ cycles prior. And that was an IVF cycle…which is another kettle of fish entirely.

There is no worse 2-week wait than after an assisted reproduction (IUI, IVF, ICSI, etc.) cycle!!!!! TRUST ME!!! With a regular cycle, it’€™s just a game of luck. You hope that you had sex at the right time. You hope that your hubby’s swimmers caught your egg. But you’€™re also aware that you might not have had sex at the right time, and that you just might have missed that cycle. But when you have a PROCEDURE…and things are done to deliberately get you pregnant, expectations are definitely higher…leading to a more frenzied, nail biting wait, when every tug, pull, ache, is analysed and analysed some more. It takes the grace of God to just shut down your mind during such a 2-week wait. Thankfully, by my 2nd IVF cycle (which was the successful one), I totally ignored my body and its antics, leaving an open mind for any outcome. In fact, that is what I would advise every woman do, whether that cycle is natural or assisted. Just wait until after your first missed period. Wait a few days, enjoy life, and then take a pregnancy test.