Surviving The Two Week Wait – 2WW

DOUBLE CLICK THIS GRAPHIC SO YOU CAN SEE IT BETTER. I WROTE IT FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BTDT OR WATCHED SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS. My hope is that you will laugh your ass off, really. It’s a PITA to go through, we may as well laugh when we can…..

(c) Mommy Needs Vodka

The 2ww is a mind-fuck.

I couldn’t decide which was worse: the treatments, or the 2ww. The 2ww makes any woman going through this process a little crazy. Or a lot crazy. Because you just might be pregnant, but you probably aren’t (there’s a success rate of around 20% per cycle for an IUI). Which leaves you hanging and looking for signs of pregnancy.

I’ll tell you straight up:


No pee stick in the world can tell you that, no “sign” will appear. Does this stop us from trying to discern the impossible? Hells, no!

Some crazy things I and my comrades (fellow board members) have done during the 2ww:

  • I wrote out 80 minus signs on a piece of paper, and 20 “+” signs. I cut these into tiny, individual squares, then put them in a paper bag, shook the bag, and reached in to grab one of the squares. I did this daily. During the first IUI 2ww, I usually pulled out a “-“ sign. For the second IUI, I nearly always pulled a “+” paper. So, maybe there IS something to this idiotic practice.
  • A friend of mine started POAS about 24 hours after her IUI. Of course, it will show a strong positive for the first few days, due to the HCG in the trigger shot. So she would do these tests daily to find out when the “false” HCG was gone. Once the tests starting showing up negative, she’d do 2-3 tests per day looking for the pregnancy pink to return to the second line.
  • Another woman went jogging for long hours during the 2ww and refused to look at a pee stick until a day after the RE said she should test.
  • Some people would avail us daily of possible symptoms, and asked if this meant they were pregnant. Could it be? As in, “My left nipple felt a little sore this morning and I was tired last night—are these signs?”
  • Oscillation between “knowing” we were pregnant and absolute despair that such a thing was even possible.
  • Posting photos of pee sticks to ask if that tiny pink speck on the second line was real.
  • Fits of crying.
  • Petty fights between women who were cycling around the same time; if one got a BFP and another got a BFN, sometimes a board war flared up.
  • I constantly analyzed my boobs to see if they were sensitive or looked different in the mirror. I banged the shit out of my poor boobs to the point where they truly were sore, thus convincing myself that this had to be a sign of pregnancy.

So what can you do to get through the 2ww? Wait. That’s why it’s called a Two Week Wait. Actually, what I really mean is to do the opposite of irrational obsession. You just have to accept that there is a waiting period here. Here’s why:

Supposing an embryo does form, it takes days for the thing to travel down your fallopian tubes and snuggle in to the uterine wall. Once that occurs, it’s a few more days before enough HCG is produced to appear on even the most sensitive pee stick. When I was ttc, I think a beta of around 25 was necessary for the earliest tests. Today there may be some on the market that are even lower than that. Regardless, it’s the HCG that will be your first clue to pregnancy. You just have to accept that and wait it out.

Some suggestions for surviving the 2ww:

  • Schedule tons of activities to take your mind off it.
  • Don’t POAS before your RE says it’s time.
  • Avoid movies or shows about pregnancy or babies.
  • Use this time to give your body a rest from the shots, the ultrasounds, and all the invasive procedures that go along with IF treatment.
  • Most importantly: have a back-up plan. Even if that back-up plan means this is your last cycle. If the cycle fails, how many IUIs are you prepared to do before trying IVF? Is IVF even on the table? How much money are you willing to spend on treatment? All of this is something to decide prior to your first cycle, but once you are on this roller coaster, only then can you really decide when it’s time to get off.
If you want to use an unwatermarked version of the graphic I created for your own blog, email me at [email protected] and I will send it to you; all I ask is for proper credit and a link back to this post.
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