Ugh, the dreaded TTW. When time seems to go so slowly it seems like it may have actually stopped. (How is it still only 6 DPO?) There are too many times to count where I’ve googled, “how early can I test” and “things to do in the two-week wait”, so to take my mind off waiting, this time I’ve challenged my impatience to something more productive. A list of the very best 12 things to do in the two-week wait. This isn’t a research article (I’ll write about some nutrition tips for the TTW soon!) More of a distraction technique, because let’s be honest time moves s.l.o.w. in the luteal phase of your cycle and we need all the distractions we can get.
The ultimate TTW activity. Choose something that you will buy yourself as a present if you’re not pregnant this cycle. It can be something big or small but ideally, something that you wouldn’t buy yourself otherwise. (Mine this month? These white pants. Totally impractical if you had a baby so a perfect If Not Then present to myself! ✨)
Not everyone’s cup of tea but sometimes pottering around in the kitchen with a nice podcast in the background can be a great distraction. If you try something new and complicated you literally won’t be able to think of anything else! Save it for the weekend and do some meal prep for the week ahead. That way you won’t be left think, ugh whats for dinner at 6pm every single night (just me?) This weekend I’m making an easy dal and flourless orange cake and maybe my favourite fish curry.
Difficulty sleeping is a common early pregnancy symptom. No, stop symptom spotting, I’m not saying if you’re having trouble sleeping that you might be pregnant. (Actually, it’s thought that progesterone rising in early pregnancy is what leads to the trouble sleeping. And your progesterone will always rise after ovulation. So if you’re having trouble sleeping it might just be an indication that you did ovulate. Yay?) And if you do fall pregnant this cycle, there are plenty of sleepless nights in your future. (Hello 3 am feeds.) So make the most of your sleep while you can. If you don’t have other children already, enjoy a childfree, alarm-free weekend. And while you’re in bed..
If you’re trying to conceive through intercourse, sex can become, well a bit of a chore. Timed intercourse can be stressful and unromantic. So at least once during your TTW try to have romantic, fun, non-baby-making sex. It’ll give you both an endorphin boost and it’s unlikely to hurt your chances of implantation.
Obviously, it won’t always be easy or possible to do, but if you’re googling things to do in the two-week wait… well, you might need it. How good does a cosy cabin in the woods with your significant other sound or how about a breezy beach house with some friends? If you can’t spend a weekend or even a night away, maybe take a drive down to the coast, out to the countryside or even to the next town. The idea is a change of scenery. Change your environment to change your mood.
Write about what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Start a blog, post on Insta or in fertility forums. Or write a letter to your mum/bestie/future child. Or keep a journal that you never show anyone and maybe will end up burning later.
You can choose something fertility-related or something entirely unrelated. (I have one of each on the go at all times). Check out the #ttcbookclub hashtag on Instagram for fertility book inspo. The Brink of Being by Julia Bueno is a heartbreaking and heavy read on pregnancy loss that will definitely make you cry but also feel incredibly seen if you’ve experienced loss yourself. On the other hand, Sally Rooney’s Normal People never mentions fertility or pregnancy but you’ll be so obsessed with seeing what happens with Marianne and Connell that you’ll forget about everything else.
Or a massage. Or some acupuncture if you’re into that. I’m not saying relax, because being told to relax is literally the least relaxing thing in the world. And I can’t promise it’ll help turn off the constant Am I Pregnant? thoughts running through your mind, but it will be physically relaxing which is something. And good for your skin if you opt for a facial too.
TTC, particularly when facing infertility or after loss, can make you feel helpless and that you have no control over your life or your body. Regain some control by deciding on something different to try for the next cycle. Maybe it’s an aspect of your diet or lifestyle that want to work on. Maybe it’s a new way of tracking your cycle. Maybe it’s going to see a new specialist.
Okay, I know this is a strange one, but hear me out. Time seems to move so quickly when you’re busy, right? So saying yes to a little bit more than you usually would can make time feel like it is flying by. If you don’t have time to think, you can’t obsess about being pregnant, right?
If you haven’t gone down the vortex of the internet that is TTC memes, I promise this will suck away plenty of your two-week wait. Start with @infertileanonymous, @theinfertilebestfriends and @hilariously_infertile. You will laugh, probably cry a bit too and definitely feel less alone/crazy for wanting to POAS every single day.
You’re going to need hope to be able to keep going on this bullsh*t journey, so let yourself indulge in it a little, if only for a few hours. Look up what your due date would be, work out the baby’s horoscope, and talk about possible baby names. Imagine that you might actually get pregnant this cycle. Trying not to be hopeful when inside you ARE feeling hopeful is hard! And it doesn’t make it easier if you turn out not to be pregnant this cycle. So go with it a little. Enjoy the hope if it comes to you.
I’m hoping for you too. ❤️
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Fertility dietitian, ovulation expert, lover of food and squishy newborn baby cuddles. I help people get pregnant (fast) and have the healthiest pregnancies possible.