14 Things To Do When 14 Days Seem Like Forever
by Lynn Steen
As any woman who is trying to get pregnant can tell you, the two weeks from ovulation to the due date for your next period are pure torture. You promise yourself you’ll just wait it out, distract yourself with other activities and you won’t even THINK about taking a pregnancy test until you’re at least a day overdue. Then something happens – your breasts start hurting in a slightly different way than they did before, you get slightly nauseous, you have some spotting …Or nothing happens, but you find yourself waking up wishing you could go to sleep again so that it would be another day closer to knowing. You can’t think, you can’t sleep, you can’t work, you start taking HPTs days before they are even possibly meaningful. You are deep in the abyss of THE TWO-WEEK WAIT!
In my opinion, it’s no use advising women to stop obsessing, it’s impossible. Instead, I give you a list of more productive ways to obsess. Please note, however, that there is a limit that each woman must define for herself, between indulging in some baby-daydreaming and going overboard. I’ve included some examples below:
1. Take a walk around your neighborhood and figure out what will be the best route for strolls with the baby. Find areas with nice sidewalks and easy curbs. Go ahead and daydream. But do NOT buy a stroller for the dog.
2. Clean out your closet to make room for the maternity stuff you’ll be buying soon. Try on anything you haven’t worn for six months. Yes, if you wish, you may put a pillow in your undies to see what will work as maternity wear. But taking a picture of yourself like that is going too far.
3. Start a journal. Write down everything you’re feeling. It will be a great opening chapter for your child’s baby book. If you can’t put your feelings into words draw something, try to create a symbol that expresses the frustration you’re feeling. Don’t get that symbol tattooed on your ankle.
4. Plant a hope garden. Or a hope rosebush. Or a hope citrus tree. You want to grow something inside of you, well start by growing something outside of you. Nurture it. Feed it. Give it water. Talk to it. But do not send out birth announcements.
5. Get better at photography. Really learn how to work all the buttons and settings on your camera. Experiment! If you have a digital camera, get all the downloading and editing stuff worked out. You will be well-prepared once you have a baby, and will be able to get some great shots and get them emailed to your family before the child’s graduation. Do not take photos of your cervical mucous, even if Toni Weschler begs you.
6. Make an appeal to the committee meeting going on inside you. Sperm, egg, uterus, corpus luteum, progesterone…they are in there either making a baby or not. Treat them like any other unruly committee you’ve ever addressed. Yes that’s right, go ahead and talk to them. Put your hands on your stomach and tell them how much you respect them. Make your best argument in favor of a baby, and then let them decide. It’s out of your hands. Addressing the committee within earshot of normal people is not recommended.
7. Paint your toenails. Imagine how difficult this will be when you are pregnant. Go shopping for the perfect pink and blue nailpolish in preparation for a celebration polish. Alternating colors on the day you find out you’re pregnant, or a single color for the day you find out the baby’s sex. Don’t be tempted to paint a cycle day countdown on your big toes.
8. Make a cup of herbal tea. It is a nice ritual: boiling the water, adding the tea leaves, pouring into a nice china cup, adding some milk or sugar, sipping peacefully. Ahhhh. There’s nothing that a nice cup of tea won’t help. Yeah right. Well it does kill a little bit of time.
9. Swim laps. Think about the sperm and how they need to swim to your egg. Imagine that you are a sperm, the end of the pool is the egg, then GO, GO, GO! Don’t wear a tail or anything. Just imagine it quietly.
10. Make lists. List who you will tell when you get pregnant and in what order. List all the chores you need to get done instead of obsessing about this. List all the healthy activities you intend to do this week. List all the girl and boy names you like. Lists are helpful for all sorts of things, most of all for passing time rather than actually doing something.
11. Create a fertility dance. Choose whatever music speaks to your soul and make up a dance routine as a prayer to the universe for the growth of an embryo. Move your hips, rotate your belly, let your arms flow… but close the curtains.
12. Prepare a folic acid feast. Cream of broccoli soup appetizer, followed by spinach lasagna, enriched whole grain garlic bread and frozen orange juice sorbet for dessert. Dedicate the meal to your baby-to-be. Just don’t set a highchair at the table in his or her honor.
13. Delegate the burden of the two-week wait. Clearly someone has to worry constantly during this time, but does it have to be you? Divide the days up among your best friends and closest family. On their assigned day they are required to think,wonder, and worry all day about whether you are pregnant or not. At the end of the day they have to call or send you email describing how agonizing it was. Also they have to report to you if they had any “symptoms,” such as sore breasts, excessive urination, nausea, bleeding, fatigue…You will be surprised how many people, male and female, have early pregnancy symptoms if they just look for them.
14. Write a list of 14 things to do during the Two-Week Wait and post it to the Bulletin Boards! For me, this killed nearly 3 hours. Now what? I’ve still got 9 days to go…aaaarrgrhhhh.
Lynn Steen is a busy professional working in the Silicon Valley. When she turned 38, she decided to become a single mother by choice and, at the time of writing, was trying to conceive via donor insemination. In addition to taking her temperature and checking her cervical mucous, Lynn enjoys writing (sitcom and feature screenplays) and being an aunt to three wonderful nephews.