As any woman who has lived in two week fertility cycles, the Two Week Wait, also called TWW, can be an excruciatingly grueling exercise in patience and sanity. Because we tend to be more atuned to our bodies, we are aware of the slightest thing. For example, I can tell when a particular red blood cell leaves my heart and gets to my brain to provide oxygen necessary for filtering out the insantity that is the TWW. Knowing our bodies helps us find that perfect time to get pregnant, but it also wreaks havoc on the “I wonder if…?” factor of signs and symtoms being indicative of pregnancy, or…an oncoming period, or…a typhoon off the coast of Japan.   I’ve had my share of TWW’s.  The first two were the worst, or wait, maybe it was the next seven.  I cried like losing my favorite cat and watching Beaches, Pay It Forward, and Remember The Titans all at once.  After the first two, I stopped buying home pregnancy tests.  I figured either my period would come, or it wouldn’t.  By the third TWW, I had stopped charting my temperature.  It was too much to go to bed hoping and praying that my temperature would stay up.  I think I had a laparoscopic surgery somewhere in there.  The 4th thru 6th TWW’s were on Clomid – and BEFORE my friend Lexapro.  Let’s just say: NUT JOB!  The 7th TWW was like another first because it was my first experience with ovarian hyperstimlation injectibles.  That cycle produced six follicles, so you can imagine the disappointment when I wasn’t pregnant.  I had been on a “work trip“, far away from my support system. I had to take a month off due to cysts.  Lucky me.  That’s about the time I met my friend Lexapro.  Suddenly, I could see light again, and it wasn’t a train.  By the 8th TWW I was practically going through the motions – I hadn’t gotten pregnant YET, why would this time be different?  And sure enough, it was very much the same.  Two injectible cycles with the IVF clinic were very expensive.  And, well, I had enough injectibles to make it through a 9th cycle.  So I convinced my OB/GYN that I needed an ultrasound (i’m crazy, but not crazy enough to do injectibles without monitoring!) and did the shots myself – I felt so undergroundrailroadish.  Did a doctor-assisted IUI, and spent my 9th TWW consumed with the joyous birth of E!  It was the best TWW resulting in a negative I had ever had. We decided to take a couple months off to enjoy the births of our nieces, (E! and BaileyBug) and prepare and partake in Brother’s wedding nuptials.  We figured we’d start the IVF process in early summer.  And so we did, but had a minor detour due to cysts. So by the time we reached our IVF, you’d think that 9 TWWs would have created in me a seasoned veteran of the experience, able to get through the Wait with no problem, all weathered and stoic.  Nope.  I would say that the 10th TWW has been the hardest one ever.  Maybe it’s because it was it was so different (and not exactly two weeks).  Maybe because we had been talking about this for over 18 months and trying for 14 months to no avail.  Maybe a lot of things.  I don’t know. For kicks, the remainder here takes you for a little spin in my head during this 10th TWW.  But before I go on, I should define for the inexperienced:  “DPO” means Days Past Ovulation, or in the case of IVF, Days Past Retrieval (because this is the same day that the eggs were fertilized). Also, if you see something like this “3dp5dt”, it means Three Days Past a Five Day Transfer.  Add the two #s together to get the # of DPO.  So, in this example, 3dp5dt is also 8 DPO.

  • 1DPO, 2DPO – cramping – can’t be anything since the eggs are cozied up in a petri dish. Oh, that’s right! Maybe I’m cramping because a needle about 8 inches long punctured my vaginal wall more than once to aspirate follicles and fluid from my ovaries!  
  • 3DPO – crap!  What if we get to the clinic and they tell us none of my eggs made it to Day 3?  Oh, good, several made it and now they want to do a Day 5 transfer to give us the best chance.
  • 4DPO – What if we don’t have any Day 5 blastocysts?
  • 5DPO (aka Day 5 Transfer) – Sure enough, we had 2 blastocysts and 1 to freeze.  The procedure was just like an IUI, except for the expensive people behind lab coats, masks, and surgical attire.  Oh, and the Vicodin knocked me out for an hour and I had a nice nap. Bedrest the remainder of the day.
  • 1dp5dt – light cramping at the end of the day. Maybe it was implantation cramping? Whatever, it’s too early.  Last day of bedrest.
  • 2dp5dt – light cramping throughout the day. Is it implantation cramping? It really could be.  Or it could be gas.  Either way, I’ve experienced this all before.  Back at work.
  • 3dp5dt – creamy CM. Could be a sign of pregnancy. Could be a yeast infection coming on due to 4 days of antibiotics (which almost always causes the latter for me) that I had to take after the Retrieval.
  • 4dp5dt – it’s definitely a yeast infection. Awaiting confirmation from IVF coordinator that I can take a Monistat vagibomb, I research the risks of so doing, and find out that, lo and behold, a yeast infection can be a sign of pregnancy. Great. More confusion. But I still think it’s the antibiotics.
  • 5dp5dt – Feeling crampy. Shit, is my period coming early, as usual? Or is it late implantation cramping?  Late implantation is not necessarily good.  I’ve had this before and it was nothing.  Don’t get your hopes up.  But wait, maybe it’s my uterus stretching? 
  • 6dp5dt – Boobs are a bit sore. Could be pregnancy. Could be the progesterone in oil shots. No way to tell.  Is it test day yet?  Maybe I should buy a home pregnancy test?  But they discouraged it.  I better not.  I don’t want to be disappointed early.  Tiny red raised bumpy rashy thing on my chest.  Could it be a sign?  Then again, my skin is very sensitive and I was wearing a fun costume jewerly necklace all day.
  • 7dp5dt – Get in the car of a co-worker and head to lunch and OMG it STINKS like dirty feet! Something awful! Three men in the car with me. So I ask (or maybe yelled?)  “Guys, do you SMELL THAT!?” “What?” they ask. “That horrible smell of dirty feet or something rancid!” “You are out of your mind!” Made me think: hmmmm, just maybe this is a sign. Or MAYBE, just MAYBE one of the guys passed gas and they totally had each other’s backs to cover it up! It’s absolutely possible!  Later that day, another co-worker (who smokes) stands at my office door to ask a question, and I could have sworn that he was smoking a cigar ON MY LAP!
  • 8dp5dt – No spotting, no bleeding. Hmmm. Oh, wait. That would be because I am getting progresterone in cooking oil shot into my ass through a needle as long as your pen cap and as thick as the lead on your mechanical pencil!  Get home and can barely stay awake – and it’s only 8:00 p.m. My last thought: it could be pregnancy, OR, it could be that I didn’t get home until 9 p.m. last night due to a late meeting at church.  Let it go, it’s probably psychosomatic. 
  • 9dp5dt – Beta Day 7:30 a.m. Nervous, but emotional dissassociation and a busy day at work sure help. Don’t want the call coming to me. The Beloved is to be contacted instead.  She sends me a text message later that day that our IVF Coord still had not called.  Crap, that must mean bad news.  That must mean the nurse wants to call us both when we’re at home so I can have a shoulder to melt into.  That evening, and I’ll forgive the Beloved for lying about the phone call from the nurse, I come home to this.