It’s hard to say what’s more debilitating. The stress involved in the logistics and process of IVF, or the emotional stress that can, for so many, seep in afterwards. A go-to tool kit is an absolute must, to help balance things out and give you some equilibrium. From questionable TV to long chats with friends (or switching off entirely), you do you.
You-shaped care, with the Bay Area’s best
The team at California’s boutique clinic Laurel Fertility Care aren’t just experts in treatment – many on the team have navigated personal journeys through IVF and embryo transfer. They know that two week wait only too well. Here are our combined top ways to handle emotional stress after transfer, tried and tested.
Looking for top notch care in the Bay Area? Connect with Laurel Fertility Care for next steps – their boutique clinic network is located across Modesto, Oakland, San Francisco and Fresno, with virtual options too.
Cr*ppy TV & your fave movies
There’s something unspeakably comforting about watching Pretty Woman for the 23rd time (yes, guilty here). You know exactly how it goes, how it ends and even the perfect point to hit pause, and grab the snacks. Same goes for those TV shows you simply can’t justify at any other time. For The Ribbon Box founder Eloise, during her recent transfer, it was Married at First Sight (which, by the way, is always justified).
Prioritize the laughs, and the binging. Committing to an entire season of fluff helps time pass more quickly, and takes your mind off the googling, testing and what-ifs.
Make peace with the doubt
Speaking of those what-ifs – it is ok not to be ok. After embryo transfer you’re almost guaranteed to start second-guessing every twinge and symptom, doubting the process and outcome. It’s all part of it, and perfectly normal, especially if you’ve been through an embryo transfer before, experienced loss or a tough journey to get here.
Whether it’s woo-woo, too crunchy or very you, one fact remains – fighting against your feelings and emotional stress won’t help. Recognise it, make peace with it, and sit alongside that doubt for this stretch after embryo transfer. For more help with the mental load, check out our top tips for IVF mindset and resilience with Angela Shaba, from Fiercely Fertile.
Paint, make or learn something
Being realistic, any list which tells you to go and find a new hobby or start a creative project during the two week wait doesn’t get it. But, for some of us, this is the perfect time to throw a little weight behind something we love doing, but make little time for.
Maybe it’s mastering a cool recipe (to then eat in front of some cr*ppy TV). Or, it could be creating a garden nook, with a freshly painted wall and pot plants. It doesn’t have to be anything this involved – it could just be clearing out a cupboard while listening to a podcast.
Enjoy a few treats
We talk a lot about diet, nutrition, supplements and taking our preconception regime to the max. But sometimes – especially during a testing period like the two week wait – you need to factor in the treats.
Whether that’s committing to the McDonald’s French Fries after IVF superstition (again, guilty here, and we call it ‘ritual’), stocking up on your favorite sweet treats, or going hard on the comfort food (we tend to stash the freezer beforehand with mac cheese and such), whatever brings the sunshine and makes you feel good.
Move your body
We’ve put together a 101 guide to movement during the two week wait, with the fabulous Jen, founder of Element Pilates. Check that out, and remember, resting is all good after transfer, but being sedentary isn’t necessary, or even helpful. What you’re looking for is blood flow to all the right places – nothing high impact, just gentle exercise that doesn’t create unnecessary stress. Pilates, yoga and walking are all ideal, avoiding any hot or heated classes.
Book things in (& cancel if you need to)
Plotting out the diary with a few things you’ll really look forward to is bound to make the time pass more quickly, and take your mind off the whole process. Whether it’s a lovely lunch out with a friend, or a day at your mom’s with everything taken care of, book it in and know that each event is a tick towards bossing it through the two week wait.
And, if you don’t feel like going and need to cancel, that’s totally fine too. Your support network will get it. And on that note, pre-two week wait, make sure you know who gets a spot in yours. A support network is there to support you, and what you need at the time.
Keen to hear more from Laurel Fertility Care? Second to none in the Bay Area for patient-centered treatment, their wonderful team are ready to connect, listen and create next steps around you, today.