Anyone actively attempting to get pregnant has been there. The dreaded two week wait (TWW). Many women are/were there more times than they would like to admit and it’s always the same thing each cycle:
The excitement starts to build with each day you tick off the calendar as you near ovulation day and you wait with bated breath with every OPK—begging your friends or online forum buddies to help you decipher if it is positive yet… or at least darker than yesterday… maybe… please?!?!
Then it’s here! You get your smiley or the two matching lines and it’s GO TIME!!! The baby dancing (BDing) starts. Your dear husband, especially if he is not in the loop, wonders what has gotten into you, but he does not DARE question it as he LOVES the increase in your libido. ☺ At this point you are on a TCC (trying to conceive) high… you’re hopeful, excited, and enthusiastic. You are able to stay that way for a while. You get your crosshairs on your chart and ovulation is confirmed!!! Hooray!!! You check and double check your BD schedule… and then sometimes you check it once more just to make sure you didn’t miss something the first two, alright seven… times you looked at it.
It’s usually around this point that your mood begins the downward spiral because you DON’T FEEL ANY DIFFERENT… or maybe you do… or maybe you’re over thinking it… or under thinking it… or just need to relax… or stop counting… ??? It’s this part of the cycle that you get the TWW blues and begin to wonder if you’re timing really worked. You usually text/post to your TTC girls that you “think this cycle is a bust” or “AF is just around the corner” or you’re “just not feeling it this time around.” And, the good friends that they are, assure you that “you’re not out until AF shows” and strangely, even though you know that and have heard it before, it helps keep your spirits up just enough to go back and take a second look at that pee stick or dig yesterdays out of the trash (even though you’re only 7, 8, 9, 10 DPO and the likely hood of seeing anything is outrageous!!!) and when that second line still hasn’t magically appeared your spirits are dashed ALL OVER AGAIN! ☹ Boo!
But then… sometimes… that stupid test you took 5 minutes ago has a line!!! Holy cow!!? Was that there a minute ago??! No way… you held your breath as you watch the line cross over the window and were sure there was just the stupid, lonely control line before you walked away. Your heart begins to race. Your hands start shaking and while you haven’t felt nauseous ever, you feel it now. You snap a picture and pray it shows up on camera. You text your friend (or post it on your boards) and pray that they can see it too. They do… or are they just saying that to be nice?! They tell you to buy a more expensive test and you look at it the dang thing again (safely tucked into your pocket where you can peek anytime you want to make sure you aren’t dreaming) and now you just aren’t sure. Maybe you’re going crazy. No, you ARE certainly crazy… but you get into your car anyway and drive to the drugstore and you buy the more expensive test and tell yourself that you are NOT going to touch it until tomorrow morning!!! It’s only 8:00pm but you want to go to bed NOW… it’s like Christmas Eve when you were a kid. The sooner you go to sleep the sooner Santa will come… but just like when you were 5 sleep does NOT come so easily. You wonder if that elusive second line will show up. You pray that it will but part of you still doubts and these thoughts chase the sandman away.
Around 2:00am you have finally managed to doze after checking the TWW boards again for some sort of distraction and around 5:00am you wake up and desperately need to pee but really want to hold it in so it’s a good long hold for that expensive test that holds your sanity in it’s stupid window and pink line(s). 6:30- you’re about to wet the bed and can barely hold it long enough to get the wrapper open… you are dancing by the toilet and remember to grab a cup to catch your first morning urine sample just in case the test doesn’t work properly or the results are iffy and you decide to use a different type of test. You try desperately not to pee on your hand but the raging river of urine can not be tamed and now you have to wash your hands before you can dip the stupid stick. GRRR!!!
You look at the sample… you pray again… and then you question yourself – it’s only 11 days past ovulation (DPO)… it could be negative. Can you handle that???? You pull the test away from the sample still dry and you bolster yourself with the “it’s still early” idea or the “well at least I will know and can move on to the next cycle” but deep down, either way, you just need to know so you re-read the directions for the 100th time, dip the stupid stick, and count to 5 very slowly. You watch as the line passes through the window like you have for each of the previous cycles in the past… and then, after the longest two minute wait you have ever experienced, you see it. A real live second pink line. The bathroom starts to sway and you sit, stick in hand, on the toilet seat and stare. Holy Crap… I’m pregnant.
This was written in early 2013 just after finding out that I was pregnant. My husband and I decided to “stop preventing” (i.e. I stopped taking birth control) 8 months before this moment. I knew that it could take up to 6 months for birth control to leave my system but many people get pregnant right away. I was not that lucky. Every month I tracked. Every minute of the day it was on my mind. Every single time, I got my hopes up. And for 7 of those months my heart was broken when that elusive second line never showed.
I know that I am lucky because that second line did appear for my husband and me. I know that many women have been through the constant struggle- it is all consuming. They plot, plan, and track each cycle. They wake up and take their temperature which initiates the cycle of thinking about pregnancy and babies ALL DAY. They pee on ovulation predictor sticks during lunch and stare as the sample passes over the window and they silently pray that THIS TIME it’ll work. They wait painfully for two weeks over analyzing every twinge and every tingle that might signal that this time will be different. They start peeing on pregnancy tests at the first possible chance to know as soon as they can. And, for so many, they cry silently in the bathroom when their cycle starts and any inkling of hope is dashed… again.
It’s a vicious cycle that I can’t really even claim to fully understand. I consider myself very lucky.
It is this brief glimpse into the struggle that many men and women facing infertility deal with that led me to pursue becoming a surrogate.