After doing hours and hours of research, you’ve probably become pretty well-accustomed to most terms in the fertility world, including the dreaded “two-week wait.” The two-week wait, or TWW, is an often anxiety-inducing period that can challenge even the most patient people. Essentially, the TTW is the two-week-long wait between the embryo transfer and pregnancy test. This can be a tricky time for both gestational surrogates and intended parents, as the TWW carries a lot of uncertainty, and it all happens during a period where everyone is experiencing a lot of hope and nervousness.
Waiting. It’s often the hardest part of any process, and the surrogacy journey is no different. The dreaded TWW begins immediately after the embryo transfer takes place, often to a rocky start. As a gestational surrogate, you may quickly begin noticing and analyzing every single feeling you experience in your body, sensing that, just maybe, the little twinge you felt in your lower abdomen MUST be related to the embryos and implantation. As an intended parent, you may leave the embryo transfer and almost immediately begin thinking of something that could go wrong and all of the little “what ifs.” The TWW can be a stressful and triggering time, and all of the emotions you have during that period are normal and valid.
How to Get Through the TWW As A Surrogate
As a gestational surrogate, you will leave the embryo transfer feeling a lot of different things. For a lot of women, they begin to become hyper-aware of what is going on in their bodies and fixate on even the smallest foreign feeling. Waking up more bloated than usual? Experiencing a little nausea? Getting cramps more often? These are things you may notice and even may want to share with your intended parents. It’s important to know that all intended parents are different, and some may want to know every little detail, while, for others, knowing just brings more anxiety. While you are waiting for the dreaded TWW to end, consider these suggestions:
Don’t pee on that stick yet! Wanting to take a pregnancy test immediately after feeling some of those pregnancy symptoms is a hallmark feature of the TWW. But don’t give in to the pressure. Even if you take a test just one day before the TWW ends, if it is negative, you may be setting yourself up for a lot of unnecessary disappointment. Put the test down and wait just a little longer. You can do it!
Distract yourself. Find an activity you enjoy. Try a new hobby. Binge-watch a new show. Distract your mind until the TTW is over!
Lean on your support system. Let your partner or another member of your support system know how you feel. Allow them to help you work through your anxiety and worries with you.
How to Get Through the TWW As An Intended Parent
Intended parents, like gestational surrogates, can also experience a lot of anxiety and stress during the TWW. There are ways you can get through this period more easily as well.
Distractions, distractions, distractions. Just like your surrogate, you will want to distract yourself to avoid thinking about all of the scary “what ifs.” Distract yourself by surrounding yourself with friends and family or consider picking up a new hobby as well.
Don’t get discouraged. During the TWW, it’s easy to tell someone to simply not worry about it. Both surrogates and intended parents often hear the same things, like, “Don’t obsess over it so much; if it’s meant to be, then it’s meant to be” or “Why are you so worried about something you can’t control?” These are unhelpful remarks that can lead you to feel even more anxious. It’s okay to be worried, and it’s okay to feel stressed. What is important is that you take advantage of the resources and support system you have available to keep you grounded.
Have a relationship with your surrogate. Your gestational surrogate is likely experiencing similar levels of anxiety as you. Consider reaching out to them. Or, if they reach out to you, have an open dialogue. Talk about the fears you share and what solutions you have for overcoming the TWW.
Overall, while we wish we could offer you the solution of simply speeding up time so you can get over the dreaded TWW faster, passing through this period is a part of the surrogacy journey. It is normal to feel a lot of anxiety and other negative emotions during this time. Waiting is difficult, especially when you’ve done so much to prepare for this moment. Allow yourself to feel how you need to in order to cope, and be sure to use your support system to the fullest extent during this time.