It’s been two weeks since my 1st beta from my 1st IVF cycle. I can tell you this waiting game hasn’t been easy.
Here’s what I recommend to help you get through Beta Limbo:
Keep yourself occupied
I am on pelvic rest which means NO exercise, lifting or sexual activity. My RE recommends doing the bare minimum daily.
It can be challenging to keep your mind occupied when your ass is glued to the couch. Find some easy tasks to occupy yourself.
Here are a few things I did:
- Made two burlap wreaths inspired by Pinterest
- Started online Christmas shopping
- Enjoyed Netflix marathons. You can watch ENTIRE seasons of shows on Netflix. This will eat up many hours of your time.
- Coloured Mandalas
- Wrote in my journal
- Invited close friends over for a visit
- Ordered take-out via delivery J
- Enjoyed stillness in nature. I sat under the tree in my backyard. You don’t have to go far to get outside.
- GOT OUT OF THE HOUSE! I went to the bookstore, picked up a few groceries, and went to lunch with a few fertility friends. Just because you are going through a hard time, doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit. Quick, effortless outings can easily take your mind off what’s going on at home.
If you find yourself loosing focus and feeling anxious, I highly recommend breathing exercises and meditation. I also used some essential oils to help ease my tension.
Limit your time on Google
I know realistically you are NOT going to completely avoid Google. Everyone faced with infertility knows the power of the Google.
If you have to give into the urge to search the internet, I recommend a small dose of realistic, sad stories combined with many, many successful ones. I’m not saying this to give you false hope. I’m saying this because you don’t have much left in Beta limbo except hope. Feed it. Let it grow.
I wish that your story will be the next miracle I stumble upon online.
Allow yourself to feel
I’ve lived the past 2 weeks in increments of 48 hours waiting for my next blood draw with uncertainty, fear, hope and many, many prayers.
My betas continue to very slowly rise, but I have grieved for this child. Some days, I can barely hold it together. Other days, I’m fine as if I’m regular not pregnant Lindsey. And then, I even get excited. I dream and hope and wish for a positive outcome. I visualize my baby in my arms. I feel happiness.
Don’t hold in your emotion. Hide in the washroom where there’s a steady supply of snot wipes. Put a few Kleenex in your purse for those spontaneous outbursts while driving home, or after being stuck in line between two pregnant ladies at the book store (True story).
Go with the ebb and flow. Be gentle with yourself.
If you can’t be gentle with yourself, you can blame it on the hormones. :)
Lean on those who support you the most
I’m not sure if it’s because people think we are hiding out to announce our pregnancy or if they are just afraid of catching me in one of my emotional moments, but I can sure tell you that many of my friends and family have disappeared since we got home.
Toss ‘em aside. You have bigger worries on your mind. Those who don’t care to support you don’t deserve your attention or time.
Show gratitude for the ones who are there for you.
These are the people who show up unannounced for a visit when you are wearing two-day old stinky sweats, a greasy pony tail, and “obviously been crying” red eyes. They don’t care about your appearance; they just want to know HOW you are doing.
These are the friends, who may be miles and time zones away, but still send a “Thinking of you” message each morning on testing days.
These are the people who send flowers, not because they have to, but because they know you love fresh flowers. This act of kindness brightens a dark and uncertain future.
These are the women who have never met you personally, but anxiously wait for your blog update knowing that you may need their sympathy. They have been in your place before. They understand the heartache and the fear.
This is your support circle. These people are your cheering squad, your shoulders to cry on and your ultimate strength when Beta Limbo becomes unbearable. Don’t try to do this alone. Lean on those who support you.
Be your own advocate
Even though I trust the professional expertise of my RE and the nurses, I have read way too many misdiagnosed miscarriage stories (courtesy of Google) to have them tell me that my pregnancy will not be viable without proof.
Stand up for yourself. Ask for validation by getting another blood draw or ultrasound.
I’m not saying to ignore what the doctor says. I’m just saying we all have the right to a validating test, a second opinion, or an opportunity to think about it.
Make those difficult decisions when you are ready to. Consult your partner and ensure you get their opinion and blessing.
Trust your instincts. Do what’s best for you and your baby.
I believe that a miscarriage plan is much like a birth plan. You can hope for a natural occurrence, but when the time comes, you may have to accept medical intervention if necessary.
And if that time doesn’t come, you are a miracle! Share your story and give hope to others.
Don’t forget to laugh
My husband and I were laying in bed the other morning. He said something funny and I couldn’t stop laughing. I also couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed. Wow. That’s not like me.
Beta limbo is scary and emotionally draining. Don’t let it completely engulf you. Find those simple pleasures that bring joy into your life – even if it’s just for a moment.
Best of luck to you in your 2WW or Beta Limbo. I send you baby dust, love and light. <3