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Surviving The Two Week Embryo Embedding Wait

Clock ticking on two week fertility egg retrieval wait
The agonising 2 week egg retrieval wait

This wait is hard, right?! It is possible to thrive during this stressful time.

Either following ovulation, or between IVF embryo transfer and testing, the two week wait is stressful! And, you aren’t alone. It is an incredibly stressful time for anyone on the fertility journey! Maybe the two weeks goes a little like this …

You’ve done all you can possibly do. You’ve been careful with your diet and eaten plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and good quality proteins. As hard as it’s been you’ve stayed away from alcohol and been careful not to over exercise.

You’re relaxed, you’ve tried acupuncture, done yoga.

Maybe you’ve even taken it a step further and roped your partner into meditating with you.

Everything in your power has been done to get the best result!

If you’re on the IVF journey, eggs have been collected and responded well. The magic of sperm meets egg has happened and you’ve got a viable embryo now onboard …. OMG this is so exciting, woohooo!

Then … the fear starts to hit and you find yourself quickly taking a complete U turn and going from excited to petrified.

In a matter of minutes you find yourself spiralling down, down, down that road from trusting and celebrating your body to fear. Maybe you feel a sense of failure or complete powerlessness.

Now you’re hyper alert noticing and focusing on every single sensation.

Every change to your body is noted and interpreted. If you have a squeezy tummy or discomfort in your abdomen it brings fear. Every time you go to toilet you find yourself holding your breath.

All of these feelings are normal, although it’s important to wait this time out as best you can.

While stressful, this is the time to keep your mind and body as healthy as possible. Don’t try to rush or wish this time away. Don’t waste this time. Your body needs you more than ever right now.

This all sounds great … it is possible to not just survive but thrive through this time? But how? As a psychologist and wellbeing practitioner, these are my tips:

  1. Trust your body – we know, easier said than done! Remember though, your body has its own wisdom – you can’t will it into fertility – but your continued questioning will detract from its ability to stay healthy and calm. Consider this your new mantra: “I trust my body, my body has its own wisdom”.

  2. Notice your wandering mind – and use an anchor to bring you back to this present moment. Notice your thoughts wandering into the future, worrying about what might happen or how you will cope. Notice when you find yourself revisiting the past with thoughts of “what if …. Happens again?” or “last time was so bad, I can’t go through that again.” Take notice and instead of getting caught up in these disaster stories that keep you anxious and depressed, bring your mind back to whatever task is in front of you no matter how boring or uninteresting it is.

  3. Surround yourself with people – find people who will travel this road with you and embrace them. Look for people who will listen with compassion and concern without smothering you or dismissing your fears. This is a time you need the right support and only you can determine what that looks like. Don’t forget to have fun and do the things that nourish your spirit.

  4. Say ‘no’ – to social media – if it helps remove yourself from seeing posts about pregnancy announcements or cute pictures of babies. Remove the pressure to accept invitations – nights out, brunches or even lunch in the staff room … if it helps. Saying ‘no’ now doesn’t mean you say ‘no’ forever, it’s just giving yourself a break and space to focus on you.

  5. Keep journaling – consider keeping a journal of your thoughts during this couple of weeks. Set yourself a time limit – 10 – 15 mins should be enough – and write it all down then put it away and leave it. Don’t revisit it or keep it.

  6. Write down your gratitudes every day – you might like to do this just before bed so you can reflect on what went well today. If you’re struggling with this, check out my gratitude journal prompts.

  7. Keep up your meditation practice – now is the perfect time to focus on calming your mind and in turn healing your body. All the women who work with me through the MindBody Program for Fertility know the power of the relaxation response and mini meditations. Meditation will be so helpful during this period.

Feeling scared and stressed right now is completely normal. You are not alone. Learn more about how your stress impacts fertility and reach out for a chat if you’d like to learn more about unlocking your fertility through mindful moments.

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