Am I Really Pregnant?

The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.


Like most women who've missed a period, Jessica picked up a few pregnancy tests to see if a new baby was on the way. Her first test was negative, but her second, "slightly positive." Then, a few days later, she started to bleed, as if she had a regular period.

Since Jessica had miscarried once before, she had a few questions: "Do you think I was pregnant again, and my body rejected the baby? Or could this be some fluke thing, and this is a normal period?" Let's break down each concern.

"Was I pregnant again?"

Since the second test was "slightly positive," that's an indication that you might have conceived. Hormones are weird, though, and you may have had enough pregnancy hormone (HCG) floating around to signal a conception, but not enough to indicate that this was a pregnancy that was going to "take." On the other hand, you might not have been pregnant at all.

"Did my body reject the baby?"

"Reject" is a harsh word. It makes it sound like your body is being obnoxious, and it doesn't know what it's doing. I think we should use a different word. Maybe your body was being wise, knowing full well what's best for you. As hard as it might be to hear, if your body was ready and able at this time to continue developing the fertilized egg into a baby, than it would have progressed on to implantation. If all of those conditions weren't on track for a normal, healthy pregnancy, then your body made the wise choice to start your period. It's a hard thing to accept, but not every conception is meant to progress into a nine-month pregnancy. That doesn't mean your body is doing anything wrong. It means it knows what it's doing.

"Could this be some fluke thing, and this is a normal period?"

Yes, I totally think this could be a fluke thing and a normal period. But check with your general practitioner. If you want to get pregnant, talk to her about how your previous health issues might affect your chances for conception.

As for this weird period—reject the idea that anything's wrong with you. My guess is your body is taking the best care of you that it can.

"What if I had a positive test, and a discouraging ultrasound?"

Sharon has a different problem: Her pregnancy tests indicate that she's pregnant. But when her doctor did an ultrasound at six weeks, the sac was irregular and there was no heartbeat. She had a little brown discharge and now she's wondering if she's miscarrying.

Sharon, it's possible that you're still pregnant, but not as far along as you thought. Having some brown discharge is so normal at this stage of pregnancy that I wouldn't consider that an indication that you're going to miscarry, but unfortunately, it's still a possibility. As long as you're not having any other health problems associated with this pregnancy, take a few deep breaths and let time and your body figure this out.

I know that the "wait and see approach" is torture when what you really want is reassurance that you're pregnant right now and that in a matter of months, you're going to have a healthy baby in your arms. Be here now, because really, there's not a whole lot else you can do. Be patient, let time do its thing and take really, really good care of yourself. Then, as I said to Jessica, your body will take the best care of you that it can.

Jeanne Faulkner, R.N., lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and five children. Got a question for Jeanne? E-mail it to

This Fit Pregnancy blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician. Before initiating any exercise program, diet or treatment provided by Fit Pregnancy, you should seek medical advice from your primary caregiver.