‘We will see you in two weeks for your blood test.’ This simple phrase is loaded with excitement, anticipation, and anxiety. Two whole weeks until you are able to find out if the cycle was successful. What do you do for two weeks? How do you keep yourself occupied? What about all of those anxious ‘what ifs’? I receive a request for help regarding the two-week wait almost weekly. This is an incredibly common challenge for our patients- and I remember that terrible, sinking feeling myself.
Recently I posted a response to the CNY Fertility Discussion Forum (found here: Discussion Forum) regarding how to cope with these moments of anxiety and questioning during this dreaded wait. Although I cannot tell you exactly how to free yourself of these feelings, I can hopefully offer some advice and a process that worked for me. Below you will find the process I used, and also posted.
In regards to getting through this final week, try not to let your worried thoughts become repetitive. This can sound challenging to do, but it is incredibly important. If we allow our mind to continually travel to negative thoughts and questions, it can cause a cycle of greater anxiety and depression. Although we cannot completely prevent negative or anxiety producing thoughts, we can actively work towards moving past them.
One way of doing this is to follow a few simple steps:
1. Acknowledge the emotion or thought. If you find yourself feeling anxious, don’t just bury the emotion. Instead recognize the emotion, and allow yourself to feel it. This helps to speed up the process of moving past this difficult time. I know it can seem crazy to actively feel these emotions (anxiety, depression) but if you constantly bury them, they can cause physical complications such as high blood pressure.
2. As you feel the emotion or thought, remind yourself that it is normal to feel this way. You are undertaking an incredible task, that is so important and meaningful – it will naturally cause all sorts of emotions. If it didn’t mean so much to you, then it wouldn’t have such an emotional impact.
3. Remind yourself that you are doing everything right and this emotion is not helping you achieve your pregnancy at all. It is not necessary. You are actively working with your cycles, and you are taking care of yourself. You have placed yourself in an amazing position to accept this new life that you are working towards.
4. Let the emotion go. Once you have completed 1-3, you have fully acknowledged and accepted the emotion. Now it is time to let it pass. These thoughts and emotions are not permanent and they will flow fluidly throughout the day. The key is to let them move as they wish instead of harboring them, and turning them into repetitive cycles.
If you have acknowledged and accepted the emotion but are still having difficulty letting it go, try taking a break by participating in an activity you enjoy. Changing your environment and action may not immediately remove the emotion, but it will help to bring something new into the mind’s focus. A great activity for this is yoga!
I also suggest attending any of our support groups or CNY Healing Arts offerings. The calendar of events can be found here: CNY Healing Arts Calendar
I finally want to bring your attention to a new support group offered at the Syracuse CNY Fertility location called ‘Hopeful Again’ this group is specifically for those experiencing secondary infertility, or difficulty conceiving another child. We will be meeting tonight at 5:30p in the Syracuse CNY Fertility Reception area. Please RSVP to me at Lstack@cnyfertility.com
If you have any questions or would like to further discuss coping mechanisms during your cycle, please don’t hesitate to contact me.