Taking a pregnancy test ranks among the most nerve-wracking moments of urination in a woman’s life. But the only thing more agonizing than the two to five minutes spent waiting on tiny pink lines to appear, is the two week wait before you can actually pee on said stick. It can be incredibly hard to manage your anxiety when you're waiting to take a pregnancy test. Those 14 days can feel like an eternity. Like you may feel like cobwebs are growing on the unopened EPT box… tumbleweeds rolling past your feet.
So how to not lose it during this seemingly endless stretch of hours? How to stop the cycle of repetitive thoughts, the obsessing over every gas pain, and generally staring at your stomach like it’s a foreign object about to spontaneously combust?
Romper reached out to Latham Thomas, a master birth doula and wellness leader. The founder of Mama Glow — a maternity lifestyle brand — she's also one of Oprah's Super Soul 100. So yeah, she's fancy. And as she seems to be one of the most zen mamas around, I asked her for some tips on how to keep calm and carry on during the big, never-ending wait.
The first? Meditation. Yes, I know it's boring and can make five minutes feel like five centuries. It's oh-so-easy to tell ourselves we simply don't have the time to spare for sitting in silence with our own wretched thoughts! (And yet we always seem to have five minutes for Instagram, don't we...?)
But meditation really is calming and centering, especially when you're feeling at loose ends, or are obsessing over the same idea. Thomas is personally a fan of what she calls "Fertility Meditation", where women "use awareness practices to help you ground your psyche and focus on bringing awareness to your body."
So delete Candy Crush and put an app like Expectful or Calm on your phone. You can even set a daily meditation reminder, which you will be very tempted to ignore and instead get back to googling "Chris Hemsworth shirtless." But don't. Thor is of no use at this juncture.
You can also try massage — another obvious one, I know. But also something that can really help. Massage is a tried and true stress-reliever. Says Thomas: "A healthy touch can be so lovely and supportive and help to decrease the anxiety one might feel when waiting on confirmation."
So get thee to a spa, or hand your partner a bottle of coconut oil and tell them to get to work.
Thomas also suggests keeping a journal to vomit all of your anxiety into. Though she of course says it in a much nicer, doula-y healer way: "Write and reflect on your thoughts, wishes, dreams, goals for this process."
Just get all that anxiety out on the page! Your brain will thank you, as will your partner, who no doubt could use a break from your broken record ramblings. And later you can either laugh at your madwoman rants, or throw your Moleskine onto the barbecue.
I know this can feel like a scary one — putting such big hopes out there into the world — but getting a friend's support can help to bolster you up, and if it's a very good friend, maybe even provide you with some much-needed laughs. So yes, says Thomas, "Confide in a buddy. Share with a close friend or family member that you are waiting on the news and check in with them."
I would like to add to this that it can also be good to call up a friend who only loves to talk about herself. Maybe call Allison and ask her how her latest audition went? Or if she's getting back together with Neal? No need to tell her anything about your own life (she won't let you anyway), but at least it will take your mind off your own uterus for a few blessed moments.
And finally? Try to relax! Yes, I know, there's nothing more relaxing than someone in your face screaming at you to "relax!" But as Thomas points out, "stress is the antidote to fertility and good health." So you need to chill.
If ever one needed an excuse to treat themselves, this is it. Thomas encourages women to "practice self care and engage in practices that help you feel good. Get your feet rubbed, watch Netflix, cozy up with a good book, etc." All excellent suggestions!
So carpe diem that remote, and inform your partner that you will be watching Sliding Doors this evening, and yes you know it is old and you have already seen it 23 times, but you are practicing self care and now will they please go get you more Terra Chips.