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How to Survive the Dreaded Two-Week Wait for a Pregnancy Test

The two-week wait, aka the 14-day purgatory, between a fertility treatment, such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization, and the pregnancy blood test is not a fun place to be. While you're scrutinizing every cramp and pelvic twinge as potential early signs of pregnancy, you're supposed to be following your doctor's advice to relax. I don't know about you, but relaxing is never in the cards during my two-week waits. Here are a few ways to cope with the wait and come out on the other end healthy—and, hopefully, still sane.

Don't overanalyze

Sometimes the pinches, twinges and cramps in your pelvic area are just pinches, twinges and cramps. While it might be difficult, thinking that every discomfort is a sign that your procedure didn't take is not healthy for your mind or body. I can't tell you how many times I have Googled "implantation cramping," only to find that my cramps could be either implantation or the precursor to my period. In the end, it wasn't worth the extra stress and time online. Instead, I found that redirecting my thoughts to my work, or even scouring Pinterest, was a better use of my time than overanalyzing my symptoms.

This advice applies to any pregnancy symptoms you convince yourself that you have during the two-week wait. I've Googled it all—bad taste in my mouth, nausea, fatigue. Honestly, pregnancy symptoms don't usually present themselves until a few weeks past the completion of the two-week wait. Your symptoms are caused by hormones and could be pregnancy or PMS.

Beware of the Internet

Are you in your two-week wait right now, and you found this article by searching online? While you might find an online chat room comforting, be careful not to spend the whole two weeks in cyberspace. Too much time online can lead to too much obsessing. Too much obsessing can make two weeks feel like two months. Monitor your online usage and catch yourself if you start to meander onto too many two-week-wait websites.

Act like you're pregnant

When it comes to your health, act like you're pregnant during your two-week wait. Take your prenatal vitamins and avoid alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Prenatal care can start as early as implantation, so until you're sure one way or another, err on the side of caution.

Stay active

Doctors have different opinions about exercise during the two-week wait. Ask your doctor for her stance and follow it. No matter if your doc prefers that you keep your heart rate low or if she tells you it's OK to run your typical mileage, all doctors agree that moderate exercise is a great distraction and stress buster during the two-week wait. So grab your partner and dog for a walk around the neighborhood, or take an early-morning bike ride to get your day off to a positive start.

Try to forget it

While it's impossible to completely forget the looming pregnancy test, I found that planning fun things during my wait helped to distract me for a little while. Plan a fun day trip with your girlfriends or a solo pedicure to help pass a few hours at a time.

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