When you think about it, infertility is really just one long-ass waiting game. And unless you’re a monk, the waiting game sucks.
It’s arguably one of the hardest parts of the process. And the toughest part of the wait is usually the two week wait (2WW) between either your peak ovulation day, your IUI treatment or your embryo transfer and when you find out of if you’re actually pregnant or not. And those 10-14 days can feel like an eternity…
The only thing that helped me during that anxiety-filled 10 to 14-day streak was keeping my hands busy and my mind distracted. Here’s a list of some of my favorite activities, chores and errands to do during that long wait that seemed to make the clock tick a little faster.
- Binge-watch a funny, light-hearted series – Make sure you pick a show with a LOT of episodes and that’s infertility-friendly (aka no surprise pregnancies or miscarriage plot lines). My favorites include: Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, Master of None, Seinfeld, etc.
- Bake treats for your friends – Baking or cooking can be a great way to keep your monkey mind in check. And if you don’t feel like indulging yourself, feel free to bring in your goodies to coworkers, neighbors, family or friends. Everybody wins!
- Take a walk or a hike – Walking outside (either with friends or solo) can be incredibly meditative and a great way to get your feet and mind busy. No one ever feels worse after a walk outside.
- Start a new book – Find a nice, big juicy book you’ve been wanting to read; the genre doesn’t matter as long as it’s something you’re interested in and it’s not about pregnancy/fertility/miscarriages. Even better? Start a SERIES like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.
- Listen to a new podcast – Podcasts are a great way to keep your mind distracted. Find something fun and lighthearted or compelling and controversial…whatever it is, just make sure you’re into it. Some of my faves include: 99% Invisible, 2 Dope Queens, Revisionist History, and Reply All.
- Color – The coloring craze has caught on for a reason. It works! There’s something just so soothing and nostalgic about choosing the perfect shade of purple. Just plop down on the couch, blast some Neko Case and get that hand moving. It’s the perfect amount “creative” without the pressure to do anything actually artistic.
- Go shopping (at an actual mall or store) – Remember malls? They’re still a thing! Going shopping can be a nice little getaway, especially if you’re on a mission…like finding the perfect gift for your sister or husband. I also always liked trying on shoes after fertility treatments because usually I still felt bloated from meds so clothing was a hard NO. But shoes? They’re always your friend.
- Have a picnic – Obviously this one depends on weather and climate and logistics a bit…but having a picnic or going on a day trip with a best friend or partner can be just what the doctor ordered.
- Plant flowers – Ugh. ANOTHER seasonal one…but there is something so beautiful and therapeutic about planting flowers…getting your hands dirty…encouraging life to grow. Damn…there’s just so much beautiful symbolism here I can’t stand it…
- Play with a pet or a friend’s pet – Teach your dog a new trick. Buy a laser toy for your kitty. Go for a run with the pup. And if you don’t have any furry friends, borrow some time with a friends. Pets make the best therapy!
- Take a nap – Not only are naps deeply enjoyable, they’re also a great way to calm wild minds. If napping is hard for you, might I recommend downloading a guided meditation app or recording? (Circle + Bloom has some pretty solid fertility-related guided meditation options, and as for apps, I enjoy “Deep Relax”).
- Go to the movies – Put on your shoes. Put on your pants. Go outside and go to the movie theater. Don’t sit on your couch and just stream something…if you do that, you’re probably just going to flip through your FB feed and see 290 pregnancy announcements (roughly). There’s nothing like sitting in a dark theater without your phone and truly immersing yourself in another world for 2 hours to get that mind off the TWW.
- Clean your closet / pantry / refrigerator – Cleaning is not only a great distraction, it’s also highly productive so you feel double awesome about yourself. Honestly, I feel like I won a Nobel Prize every time I clean the refrigerator (roughly once a leap year).
- Write a letter – Do you have a pen pal? You should! They’re the best! You get to buy adorable cards with puns on them and actually sit down and update your friend about your life…like NOT on Snapchat. It’s a lot of fun…everyone loves getting snail mail and honestly sending it is just as much fun!
- Do an art project – If you’re feeling super ambitious you could try something more advanced than just coloring. Whip out those water colors. Try your hand at calligraphy. Make a collage. Restore an old dresser or piece of furniture. Write a poem.
- Make tea – Ok, fine…this one is kind of cheating…making tea really only takes about 10-15 minutes…BUT it’s still a beautiful act of self-care and warmth and ritual.
- Go to a concert – Live music has the ability to transport us out of our bodies, even if it’s just for a few minutes or hours at a time. Try to find some local live music, whether it’s a famous rock band at a huge arena or a small bluegrass band at a bar down the street…just hearing new things and having new experiences is a great way to keep that mind moving.
- Take a short mini-vacation – If you have the time and the resources to do so, try to take a short road trip or vacation with your partner or girlfriends. Maybe it’s finding a cheap hotel in your home city or going camping a few hours away…whatever it is, mixing things up and going on an adventure seems to immediately make time fly by.
- Call an old friend – That BFF from middle school who you haven’t talked to in 2 months? Give her a call! How about that cousin you’ve been meaning to FaceTime? Reconnecting with loved ones is a great way to reenergize your support group! Plus, when you hear the hard times other people are struggling with, you have the chance to be there for OTHER people for once (which can feel really good if you’re used to always being the anxious one).
- Practice a new language – Please tell me you’ve already heard of Duolingo. It’s free language learning software and it makes time evaporate. Whether you’re looking to freshen up your high school Spanish or start speaking Italian from ground zero, learning a language is a productive, fun and exciting way to stay distracted.
What are some of your favorite two-week wait activities? Any tricks to make time speed on by a bit faster? Share your favorite tips in the comments below.