Friday, August 1, 2008

The Insanity of the Two Week Wait

Anyone who is or has TTC probably already knows this: The two-week wait (2WW) is torture. I heard this before we started TTC, but it wasn't until I experienced it myself I realized quite how much torture it really is.

Oh, it starts out all well and good. The first few days are full of the excitement of seeing my temperatures rise and I getting those oh-so-anticipated crosshairs on my Fertility Friend chart. The next few days are not so bad either. But once 5 days past ovulation (dpo) hits, the craziness sets in.

I read somewhere on the internet that 5 dpo is the earliest the embryo may implant in the uterus, meaning it is the earliest pregnancy symptoms may be felt. And thus, it is when analyzing every possible body twinge begins: Was that implantation cramping or just gas? Am I nauseated due to very early morning sickness, or is it that sour yogurt I had with lunch? Do my boobs hurt because I am pregnant or because I did 40 push-ups last night? Is my tiredness caused by a growing fetus or getting only 5 hours sleep last night? And on, and on it goes. I will even admit to randomly grabbing and fondling my boobs just to see how much they really hurt, and sticking my finger in my chacha to see how much creamy cervical mucus I really have (because, did you know, that can be an early pregnancy symptom?).

And then 10 dpo arrives. Ah, the magic of 10 dpo. This is supposedly the earliest you can reasonably start taking pregnancy tests, although I have heard of people getting positives as early as 8 dpo. And, yes, I have caved and tested at 9 dpo in the past. But 10 dpo is the first day listed on the "dpo accuracy chart" for PG tests. Still, the tests are only 37% reliable at this point - not very good odds, and many women wait a few days more to begin testing. Not me. I am a self-proclaimed pee on a stick (POAS) addict. I am actually proud of myself that I have only taken two tests this cycle, and I am 13 dpo. Thank goodness for the dollar tree, where they have very reliable pregnancy tests (according to for $1 a pop. Otherwise, I'd probably be dropping $25 a month on pregnancy tests.

The problem with being a POAS addict is that it drives you to insanity. First comes the decision to POAS. For me, this usually happens in the evening. Because I know the insanity it causes, I really do try to resist the urge to POAS. I am usually very good about this when I wake up in the morning, but, in the evening, after I’ve had a glass of wine, my self-control goes out the window. At first I sit there debating it with myself…well, I have some symptoms (that could be PMS) temps look good (they looked like that last month)'s only a dollar. That last one gets me every time. So then, it's off to the bathroom. And this is where the excitement begins. I think to myself "these could be the last seconds of this phase of my life. Everything could be about to change." I feel my heart rate increase a little. And then I take the test and start at the test window as the urine goes across it. No test line shows up. I walk away for a minute and look again. Still no test line. Well, I should wait longer. A few minutes pass. No test line. Well, I've heard of some people taking almost 10 minutes to get a BFP when it's only 10 dpo. Five minutes later, still no BFP. And then I pick up the test and stare very intently, just to make sure there is no faint line on there. I tip in different directions to ensure shadows aren't hiding a possible faint line. I've even taken a test apart just to make sure.

And then, after wasting 15 minutes of my evening, I sigh and admit defeat. But not really. I think, "There’s still hope. After all, there's only a 35% chance of a positive if I am pregnant.” And those percentages continue to be my lifeline to hope. Even two cycles ago, when I got a BFN at 17 dpo, I held onto the fact that there was an 8% chance it was a false negative (but the arrival of AF later that day brought me back to sanity).

So analyzing symptoms continues. And this just gets worse as PMS kicks in, because Mother Nature likes to be cruel and makes PMS and pregnancy have the exact same symptoms. And even though I know this, the chance I may be PG has caused me to give in to my ravenous PMS hunger even more. After all, if I am PG and this hungry, the baby must need it, right? And then AF arrives and I want to cry when I can barely button my pants and have to resign to dinners of grilled chicken and rabbit food for the next week.

And of course, there is fertility friend, with its multitude of ways to spend endless hours analyzing my chart. My favorite is the "compare my chart" feature, which allows me to compare my charts to those of other people. I love do a search of charts that have the same post ovulation (O) temps as mine and see what percentage of matching charts resulted in pregnancy. Then I will do a search of charts with similar post O temps and coverlines and look at the percentages. Then post O temps, coverlines, and sex patterns. Then post O temps and sex patterns. And then perhaps a few other permutations before moving on to the chart overlay feature.

And then, finally, AF arrives. And it is bittersweet because I now officially know I am not pregnant, but I can also have my sanity back. For a few weeks anyway.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Reading this blog (found it today). What an inspiration! I'm 28 w/ CF also TTC first child with husband. I know exactly what you mean about the 2 week waiting period. Ahh it's hell!! It's comforting to see that other people out there are going through the same things. Good luck to you!

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