real life

"I was pregnant for one day."

As I drove home from work, I thought about it hungrily. Were my boobs usually this sore on Day 26? Surely they weren’t last month. I would have remembered. I could do a test. I had two in the drawer next to my bed. Even though I said I wouldn’t do a test until a missed period, even though my husband wasn’t home and we always did them together…

But. I just had this unshakable feeling that that I wouldn’t be let down this time. My boobs were prickly sore. It wasn’t just normal pre-period tenderness. I gently squeezed them just behind the nipple and winced with the pain.

I opened the door, kissed my daughter on her forehead and went straight to the draw and ripped open the pink plastic packaging. It was better off knowing either way. I pee-ed messily all over the stick, put the cap on and wiped it clean. The moisture sucked its way up to the window. A faint smudge of pink was already appearing where the second line would be. Was it? Yes. Yes! The control line became dark pink, and there was definitely a second line emerging. Pregnant. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.

early pregnancy test
A faint smudge of pink was already appearing where the second line would be. Was it? Yes. Yes! (Image via iStock.)

Last month there was nothing. Pure, empty white next to dark pink.

I took the stick to my bedroom to see it properly in the light. Yes, it was a second line. Indisputable. Not even smudgy – a fine, pink line.

I wasn’t going to tell my daughter – not yet – but I was going to tell my husband of course. How delicious! What a wonderful set of thoughts to be suddenly available to me! How would I tell him? Tease him? Make a joke? Say to him something like, “Well I won’t be having any wine tonight hon. Or for the next nine months actually…”

But we had been through so much already. It wasn’t that simple for us. I settled on just telling him however it came out. No puns. I would just tell him straight away.


I picked him up from the station.

“I did something silly,” I said.


“I did an early pregnancy test – and it was positive.” He seemed stunned more than anything, but he was happy. As we got out of the car though, he added, “We have been here before, that’s all.”

I was annoyed by that. I wanted him to be purely positive. I wanted to turn my back on the past, the miscarriage of July, of three years before that. The other positive tests that ended in late periods. All of it. The appointment with the IVF doctor who seemed like he belonged on a daytime soap playing the role of a wealthy doctor.

This week, as part of Never Forgotten: Mamamia’s Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week we’re remembering the babies we’ve lost. Post continues below.

He hugged me in the kitchen. I am pleased. Of course I am. But we had both been through the ringer and you can’t forget. It’s always lingering.

The next morning I woke up – the blissful new reality washing over me. We would do another test at the weekend’s end. That would be Day 29. Book an appointment with our TV Doctor specialist, and talk through the options to help make it stick this time. It was all going to be okay.

We faced each other in bed that night, smiling, kissing, feeling lucky and excited. I slept soundly.

Rebecca Sparrow talks to Mia Freedman about her stillborn baby Georgie…

I woke up the next morning and went to the toilet, and did something I said I wouldn’t do to myself – I checked my boobs, just to see I was all on track. Just to make sure. They should be sore. Sorer.

I squeezed, and the horror flushed through me. They weren’t as sore. Much less sore. Hardly sore at all. I squeezed behind the nipple. No searing pain. No pain at all. It must be an up and down thing I told myself, maybe the hormones are stronger at night.

I told my husband and he agreed we would do another test now. I bought back the stick and I couldn’t see beneath the tears, it was less, it was going, it was a light pink smudge, it was nothing. I sobbed, I didn’t want to see the fucking thing, so he looked for me and he said yes, it was weaker than two days ago, much weaker. We knew enough to know that lines get stronger, not weaker. We’d been here before.

early pregnancy test
Over in one day. I was pregnant for one day. (Image via iStock.)

And so it was over. Again. But this time so quickly. So cruelly. Over in one day. I was pregnant for one day.

Now I am un-pregnant again, and the phone call I make tomorrow will be to explore what went wrong again; more blood tests, more inconclusive results, more options discussed. I am 38 in October. I tell myself we will get there. I tell myself I am lucky to have a husband who loves me so much that he will be happy if we never get there. I already have a beautiful daughter, proudly navigating her way through the teenage years. I know I am lucky. I know I am blessed.

8 weeks. We lost the first one at 8 weeks and heard it’s slow heartbeat at the ultrasound appointment – we didn’t even realise at the time that something was wrong. I was aware of the passing of that pregnancy, down the toilet of my St Kilda apartment. A moment I will never be able to un-see, un-feel.

Then the next time we made it to 5 weeks, with another drawn out miscarriage weeks later. The period that seemed to never end from my grieving, malfunctioning body.

We will get there. In my heart I know we will and that we are luckier than a lot of other couples facing fertility issues. We are conceiving – they’re just not taking.

I know I will feel better soon, I know I will move on, but right now, being pregnant for one day seems worse than not being pregnant at all.

If this has post raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.

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