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When PMS Symptoms Tricked Me Into Thinking I Was Pregnant

I thought we did it. January seemed like such a good month for us. We increased our baby-making efforts, which were timed beautifully with a positive ovulation prediction test and cervical mucus consistency. It seemed like the fertility stars were aligning in our favor. It was a fun, yet exhausting cycle. We even had a real date night!

The wait to see if your period is going to arrive or not is rough, though. About midway between my estimated ovulation day and the expected end of my cycle, I had very, very light spotting. Thinking positively, I hoped it was implantation bleeding. Shortly after that, I experienced increased fatigue and nipple soreness.

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I tried really hard not to get too excited, but those were good signs to me. The first symptom I had when pregnant with my daughter was being extremely tired, followed by tender breasts. We thought I was stressed out by work or coming down with something until I was tipped off by my boobs hurting. With my second pregnancy, being more tired than usual accompanied by increased nipple sensitivity were early signs.

Tiredness can be difficult to gauge when parenting young children, but it was hard not to notice the struggle to keep my eyes open before dozing off on the couch after dinner. Nursing sessions were uncomfortable and cut short due to soreness. I kept looking out for more early pregnancy signs. Perhaps seeing what I wanted to see.

My sense of smell seemed heightened. I mentally made note of how frequently I visited the bathroom.

I felt like my period was mocking me. Teasing me. Misleading me.

I started to get really excited as I waited for the expected (and predicted) first day of my missed period. Oh yes, I was convinced it would be missed—so much so that I couldn’t even wait for that day to arrive before I busted out a pregnancy test.


OK, maybe it’s too soon, I thought. Even though the package says it can detect pregnancy before the first day of a missed period. I chided myself for jumping the gun and wasting a test, but I really hoped it would be positive so I could share the news with my husband. I really thought I could be.

How could we NOT be pregnant? We had sex before ovulation, so there should have been swimmers stationed and waiting. We also did it during ovulation (if the predictor test was accurate) so either way, someone should have been ready to get acquainted with my egg.

I waited a little more patiently for Aunt Flo’s guesstimated arrival date. Another negative test, but no period either. I was bummed, but figured as long as my period didn’t start then there was still hope I was pregnant with Baby No. 3.

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After waiting a few more days, I took another pregnancy test first thing in the morning. I couldn’t believe it. Another negative? That couldn’t be right. I examined it trying to find the faintest trace of a second line, but no such luck.


Then as I wiped, there it was. The spotting that signaled Aunt Flo was on her way and would be staying for a few days.

I felt like my period was mocking me. Teasing me. Misleading me. Everything I was experiencing made me feel pregnant, except I wasn’t. It was just PMS. It sucks how similar early pregnancy and PMS symptoms are, especially since I don’t always feel like that right before every period. I have to stop getting excited when I think I feel pregnant until I have a positive test to prove it’s real.

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