The Dreaded Two Week Wait
Do you see that? That, in case you didn’t know, is a baby. (Okay, a toddler. But I think we can still call her a baby.) And as you might have gathered, I want one. I’d love a girl, but I’m not picky. This one happens to be me, and therefore I think it’s safe to say she looks something like how my own child will look. I look at pictures like this, and they make that evil two week wait, less-than-fondly referred to as the 2ww for those of us who like acronyms, slightly more tolerable.
Because what are we waiting *for*, after all? You can’t just wait and not expect something at the end. Every single cycle, once you’ve determined that yes, more likely than not, you did ovulate, then you have to go through two whole weeks of your life keeping your fingers crossed for that big fat positive that will lead to what you see above. A bouncy, cuddly, adorable baby. Two weeks, a period of time that normally flies by while you’re glancing at something in the other direction. And yet somehow this particular two weeks is the longest two weeks you’ve ever known. Every single cycle.
I’ll look at that photo and dream. I’ll sigh with longing over the umpteenth birth announcement we’ve received in the mail this year (or so it seems). I’ll literally have dreams about my husband and I having a baby girl, or twin boys, or any other variation of us actually having succeeded in procreating. It’s two weeks of sheer torture.
Or is it? I have to say there is something masochistically wonderful about the 2ww. I know, I know. But hear me out. This is the time when we don’t know yet whether our attempts were successful or not. And there is nothing we can do to speed up the process (believe me, I’ve looked). Oh sure, we can gnaw on pineapple cores until our teeth hurt. We can meditate and do visualization exercises. But none of these things make the two weeks go faster.
It’s two weeks where we can let go of the reins for a little bit, because there’s no point in trying to control it. It’s a time of hope. A time where we cross our fingers that maybe our bodies will get all those variables just right, and everything will happen the way it’s supposed to. After all, we just spent countless days taking our temperature, taking Clomid, using OPK’s, having sex when all the signs suggested that we should, and abstaining when the signs said we should keep our hands off each other. But now? We don’t have to do anything. We go about our lives, we will time to go faster, we wait and tell ourselves that maybe this is the time.
I’m not going to lie and say that I fully appreciate this every cycle. In fact, more often than not I am cursing my body by the second week of the 2ww, hating it for leading me on like this. I start, as I know we all do, to overanalyze every little thing. I’m peeing a lot, could that mean I’m pregnant? I’m really tired! I have a weird cramp that’s unlike any cramp I’ve ever had! I’m craving pickles! I can smell my co-worker’s coffee extra intensely!
I’d like to say that after ten months of these phantom symptoms, I know better. But I still fall for it every time. (Okay not the pickles one. I have Jewish and British roots; we crave pickles, pregnant or not). And it really, really sucks, when my least favorite aunt shows up at the end of it. But the miracle of this whole thing is exactly that – I fall for it every time. Which means that I find myself swept away by the possibility of the whole thing. I’m not cynical yet. And as long as I have that – as long as I still get my hopes up every cycle, in spite of the odds seeming to be against me, and in spite of having supposedly learned my lesson countless times before, well then, there is still something good about this whole thing.
Each cycle brings a choice. A choice to either refuse to get my hopes up, or to just let myself get carried away. Each cycle brings its own promise, and I haven’t lost sight of that yet. So many different possible combinations of tiny people, depending on which sperm and which egg happen to find their way to each other. It’s a fascinating and awe-inspiring thing.
So here I sit, in the beginning of my 2ww, and I try to keep my eyes on the prize. The baby. I’ll look at that photo and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that maybe one of those is getting ready to start forming herself in my belly.
(But I fully acknowledge that about a week from now you are probably going to be hearing a very pissy rant from me about what torture the 2ww is. There is beauty in the paradox, my friends).