I Convinced Myself I Was Pregnant Every Month For Two Years

shutterstock_169649558__1393448144_142.196.156.251Now that I am on the other side of infertility – I’m starting to remember certain things I was dealing with on my three year trek to become pregnant. I’ve heard of phantom pregnancies – but what I experienced was a little different. I guess I’ll call it “phantom pregnancy symptoms.”

Almost every month, a few days before my period, I would absolutely convince myself I was pregnant. I was nauseas. I was tired. I had splitting headaches. I would go to the store and buy a pack of First Response. Don’t ask me why I never just ordered the cheap dollar ones that come in bulk. Something about doing that felt too much like I was admitting I was part of a group that I didn’t want to be a member of.

I drove myself crazy. For about five days every month I waited for that magic time when pregnancy test were finally able to work. I always had a regular period, so it’s not like I couldn’t have waited a couple days to really be sure I was late. I never did though. I always took the walk to the Target in downtown Brooklyn and bought those damn expensive pregnancy tests. I spent hundreds of dollars on those things.

Then there was the torturing myself over when to take it; should I wait until morning? Nope – too excited. I stared at those sticks so long and hard it’s actually amazing that I didn’t will a line to appear. I’ve read The Secret; I know how this stuff works. I’m pretty sure the only thing I managed to do during this time was convince my husband that I was totally insane.

Because Mother Nature is a total bitch, early pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms are really similar. So when you are waiting for that day to come when you can actually test – it is really easy to convince yourself that something way more monumental than PMS is happening.

This obsessive testing didn’t do me any good. Had I waited, one of my miscarriages probably would have passed completely unnoticed. If I could give anyone who is so anxiously anticipating a pregnancy advice it would be – don’t test the first day of your missed period. Just let the week pass. If you aren’t pregnant, your period will probably come in that time and you will save yourself the agony of taking the test, waiting and seeing yet another single line.

Actually, screw the advice. I’ll just say, you’re not insane for putting yourself through this. A lot of us have been there.

(photo: nanka/ shutterstock)

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  • Harriet Meadow

    “Because Mother Nature is a total bitch, early pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms are really similar.” SO. MUCH. THIS. Breast pain, cramps, fatigue, headaches, moodiness…It’s soooooo not fair. My husband and I are trying to conceive again, but I haven’t gotten my period back from having the first kiddo almost 10 months ago. So every time I feel crampy, headachey, or uber-tired, I’m like, “Well, I’m either pregnant or about to start my period.” So far neither has happened, but I’m testing every week just to make sure (and I am going with the dollar store tests)… The last couple of days have been pretty rough. I’ve been so fatigued and actually a little nauseated – but with my luck it’ll be like the last time I felt this way, and it’ll just be an oncoming stomach flu. Seriously, it would be so nice if there were an undeniable “you’re pregnant!” symptom that wasn’t shared with anything else. I mean, I guess a missed period is pretty close to that, but when you haven’t gotten one since July of 2012 that’s not really helpful either…

    • Totally Nuts

      Good luck!

    • Jallun-Keatres

      Yup, although I thought it was PMS and it ended up being Mini Keatres!

    • Magrat

      Like those things that you put in a turkey and the button pops up when it’s done! “Ding! Pregnant!”
      Get on it, science.

    • Harriet Meadow

      Yes, exactly! Also, when I first read this I saw “Get it on, science.” Which led to lots of fun mental imagery.

    • Megan Zander

      Yea! I know how you feel, when I went off the pill and we started trying I never got my period, so I thought SWEET we got lucky on the first try- nope. Turns out I had premature menopause which the birth control hide, so each week was a waiting game to see if i has pregnant or if my body was just acting like a 70 year old that month. Good luck!

  • Totally Nuts

    It is honestly creepy how perfectly-timed this post is. We have been trying to conceive for more than two years and I absolutely convinced myself I was pregnant every month. I stopped testing after a year, just because I was devastated every time. Now, I am three days late and am completely terrified to test. I really can’t take another negative. I know that I will have to eventually figure it out but, for now, I just keep telling myself my period is about to start (I have been wearing a pad for 5 days! Not the same one, gross). Half-thinking that I will just wait until I start to show and then test.

    • Harriet Meadow

      Best of luck!

    • Amber Starr

      Sending you best wishes and lots of good vibes <3

    • Rosa

      I totally understand. Good luck.

    • Maria Guido

      Good luck!

    • Emily

      Yeah absolutely me too – it took me a year of negative tests to force myself to stop testing on day 26 (or, more accurately, the Friday morning that was before day 28 so I knew whether I could have a few drinks that weekend).

      What makes it even MORE annoying to my crazy self is the fact that the one time I DID get pregnant (subsequently miscarried), I tested negative at 35 days and positive a week later so I spent a year of testing every 2 or 3 days until my period came.

      Now my period has become so irregular (PCOS) that I have no idea when to test and I just live my life as though I’m pregnant just in case (which basically just means that my drinking is limited to a couple of glasses of wine a week, because that’s better for trying to conceive anyway).

      Fingers crossed tightly for you, Totally Nuts!

    • Surly Canuck

      Good luck to you!

  • Rachel Sea

    I bought a test with my first IUI, after that I said fuck it, and just waited not to get my period, except that I did, every single time. Sometimes I was sure it had worked, the rest of the time I just hoped. There are few things as wretched as the 2 Week Wait.

  • Crusty Socks

    Oh you hypochondriacs and your “I’m kinda pregnant today” complaints

    • Kay_Sue

      I felt kinda pregnant yesterday, but it turned out to be gas.

    • Valerie

      Totes happening to me right now. But I’m thinking it’s the half plate of Brussels sprouts I had for dinner.

    • meteor_echo

      I ate beans yesterday. I think I might be gestating a dinosaur.

    • Kay_Sue

      Everyone knows that beans are actually dinosaur embryos waiting to be implanted. Makes perfect sense to me.

    • meteor_echo

      It’s a big one, too – not one of those puny little velociraptor types. Soon I’ll be a proud mommy of a stegosaurus or something similar.

    • Kay_Sue

      Shoot for a Tyrannosaurus Rex. If my kid were a T. Rex, I’d certainly at least invest in a bumper sticker or two to show my pride.

    • Karen Milton

      Giving birth to those back plate mohawk situations would not do you any favours. Brontosauruses aren’t pointy, pick that.

    • Emily

      My favourite are the “I felt a little movement in my lower abdomen! Am I pregnant?!?!” women. No honey, you will not feel an embryo move, that’s gas.

    • Kay_Sue

      But of course you feel that embryo doing a mambo….;)

  • Emme

    Yes, yes, yes. I’m not trying to compare myself to those who tried for years, but I wanted a baby so much that I went five cycles tracking every twinge, pain, cramp, metallic taste, food aversion, smell aversion, headache. The sixth cycle I had no symptoms at all and that was the one where I was pregnant. Because, of course.

    • Harriet Meadow

      The one month I was SURE I was NOT pregnant was the one I ended up being pregnant with my son. Funny how that happens, huh?

  • Valerie

    Pretty much every time we have The Sex in the middle of my cycle I get myself convinced I might end of pregnant and start browsing mini vans on Car Fax. Women be crazy!

  • Rosa

    When we bit the bullet and started fertility treatment (six long months ago) I decided to stop testing and actively ignoring “pregnancy symptoms” because they are the same as PMS. If I’m paying a clinic to help me get pregnant than I’m not shelling out any more money for pee sticks.

  • Cheapo

    I was 21 days late and I wasn’t pregnant… But I got the dollar store pregnancy tests, thanks to you ladies!! (I just stopped birth control and my cycle was getting back in sync)

    • Darras

      I had a 64 day cycle once! When I came off the pill my cycle just kept getting longer and longer and longer.. Turned out that I had been pregnant for a month by the time I actually decided I was probably late and should test. On the plus side I then had less time to wait before my doctor would see me. Over here for low risk women they won’t see you until week 12..

  • Kay_Sue

    “Because Mother Nature is a total bitch, early pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms are really similar. So when you are waiting for that day to come when you can actually test – it is really easy to convince yourself that something way more monumental than PMS is happening.”

    So much this. So much. Last month, my period decided to show up TEN DAYS LATE FOR NO GOOD GODDAMN REASON (because there is no good goddamn reason for it to be that late when one does not wish to become pregnant and one has taken precautions to prevent said pregnancy). For the entire week and a half, and a few days before it was due, I had all of the PMS symptoms…that could also cross for pregnancy. Mother Nature is a bitch. A royal bitch. By the time it showed, I had convinced myself I was either pregnant or dying, and I was kinda sorta hoping for the latter….

  • Jayess

    I had this in reverse. Abstinence-only sex education convinced me that there is NO WAY TO PREVENT TEH BABIES. Even using condoms and birth control, every month for possibly the first year of my marriage I thought I was pregnant and devolved into a weepy, terrified mess because I was NOT READY for that shit. I still have a pregnancy test or two left in my bathroom from the days of panic.

    • val97

      Same here. Even on the pill, I always thought I was pregnant. And now, 6 years after my husband’s vasectomy, there are months when my pms symptoms make me panic and I start googling “pregnancy after vasectomy.”

  • Elisa Probert

    I can totally see that happening. I’ve had crazy-weird periods so far this year and between that and having worse PMS than usual, could just about convince myself of being pregnant. I really hope I have a normal one soon. LOL

    We’re not, like, desperately trying. But, we’re not NOT trying either.

  • the_ether

    I don’t remember writing this article, which is weird because it describes last year exactly. including what may or may not have been a miscarriage that my obsessive tracking highlighted. December I just said fuck it, I guess we need help. We’ll see the doc in the new year. Christmas day, my least anticipated present didn’t arrive, turns out I’m pregnant.

  • Surly Canuck

    I had the same issue with buying the cheap online sticks. I thought it would be admitting that I didn’t really think I was pregnant this month (why else would I need a jumbo pack). Because of my PCOS, I was often late which gave my phantom pregnancy symptoms credence. Gosh that messed with my mind. I’d start counting out due dates and how it would mesh with the next year’s schedule. Then the test would be negative, and I’d worry that I’d tested too early which lead to way too many internet searches about “BFN at __ dpo but still pregnant?”. Now that we are doing fertility treatments, I do my blood test, and if I’m out, I know I’m out. I still cry, but at least the week of worried waiting has been eliminated.

  • JLH1986

    We haven’t progressed to my purchasing tests yet. Mostly because I haven’t been regular and we have been trying to figure out WTF is wrong with me. I’m pretty much refusing to purchase a test until we figure out this mess because what’s the point? Apparently we aren’t conceiving without medical intervention anyway. But…every month for 3 weeks I just wait and hold my breath and pray my period away. So far that has not worked… ugh. But when we were actively avoiding pregnancy, like I was a nut about taking my pill. I still bought them because “what if the pill fails? what if I missed the 2 hour window?” Neurotic. I am neurotic.

  • tSubh Dearg

    We’re trying at the moment and it drives me crazy that my cycle is very slightly irregular. So one month I might be 29 days but the next it’s 36. So whenever it’s a bit longer I get my hopes up only to have them dashed by a negative test and aunt flo appearing later in the day that I test or the very next day, because OF COURSE!
    At the end of November I was about a week late, feeling nauseaus on an off every day, tender breasts, basically a whole bunch of signs that seemed to point towards pregnancy rather than period because they were PMS things I don’t usually get. Turned out to be PMS mixed with some sort of viral infection. Thanks Mother Nature!

  • Guest

    I have had nightmares (that’s right, plural. More than one) about being pregnant. I’ve had nightmares about waking up and suddenly finding myself with two kids. I always wake up from these nightmares sweating and terrified until the “dream fog” clears and I realize that everything is the same as it always was. These dreams baffle me though, as it would be biologically impossible for me to be pregnant. Go figure. Dreams are weird. Must’ve been those oysters I ate before bed.
    I eat a lot of oysters.

  • Glen Victoria

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  • Jude

    When I am cuddling my daughter, I really dare not believe this is true. She is the most precious present in all my life. Our dream has come true. My husband and I have been married for fifteen years. We were hoping to have a baby, but each time I got pregnant, I had miscarriage. We were healthy, but nobody could find the reason for those six miscarriages. While we were getting older, we almost gave up until we had a conversation with Dr. Lee, and we were filled with confidence again. According to her plan, I drank the Chinese Herbal tea for five months. Is it a long time? No, definitely not. It cannot compare with our time of waiting 15 years for pregnancy. The five-month-treatment turned out to be the most precious present. How we can’t thank getyourexbacksolutionspell@gmail.com from the bottom of our hearts! In 2004, I was pregnant again, and I continued with herbs for three more months. I understand that my problem is the difficulty to keep the embryo safe. So, the prevention of miscarriage is most important to me. Now, I believe that with Mama Alisha Lura, you can find your confidence and the answer. her email is getyourexbacksolutionspell@gmail.com or you can also visist her website on http://weeblyalishaluraspell.weebly.com/available-spells.html or call her on +2348115435381