I was technically pregnant for a couple weeks, at the beginning of December. Maybe two and a half weeks - not sure if I should be counting until the pregnancy tests started getting lighter (I assume that's when it stopped developing), or a few days later when my period finally started (five days late) and basal body temperature dropped. (Not that it really makes a difference.)
It was still early (four and a half weeks along by medical counting - which is dumb, and a rant for another post; 17 days post ovulation). I started testing way earlier than I should have (was hopeful for an early positive before the race I had in early December, just in case I had an early positive and excuse to take it easy), but only two days before I expected my period. The first one was so light I thought I might be imagining it, but as I continued testing and approached the standard 14-day mark (the presumed "average" luteal phase, or time between ovulation and expected period), they started getting darker and I couldn't deny there was something there.
And then they started getting lighter. (While relative darkness of home tests doesn't indicate levels of hormones, per se (it's also affected, for example, by how diluted your urine is), I saw severe enough changes day to day that it seemed obvious what was happening.)
I hadn't told anyone yet. I wanted to see the test get darker and be able to tell my husband with certainty and excitement, "We're pregnant!!!" Instead, I finally told him with a bottle of sparkling cider in hand, "We're tentatively celebrating, because things indicate that I'm probably pregnant." He had a day to be excited before being disappointed.
I asked advice of two online communities I'm part of. One was a TTC-subthread of an unrelated forum; they were all as cautious as I was, saying they hoped I'd get the "real" positive soon. The other, a very supportive facebook group of internet friends, many of whom already have children, told me that if I was seeing a line at all, I was pregnant. Which was true. (But they were also understanding once it went the other way.) But I couldn't get over my anxiety that something was wrong. I'd like to say it was mother's intuition kicking in early, but it's really just my personality to not believe it was going right until there was really concrete outside evidence to support it.
Having made up my mind to keep the crazy down and take a break from peeing on things every single day, I immediately woke up the next morning and my temperature had dropped significantly (which shouldn't happen in a pregnancy). I had some spotting, and then my period started for real later that day. I took a final test the next morning to ensure it was now blank, and it was really over.
The first couple days were tough. It was definitely worse than the prior cycle where I just had negative tests all along and just had an unsuccessful month of TTC. I felt devastated that it'd actually been happening, and now was gone. For Abe is was pretty much the same as the previous cycle, though - he only had a day of thinking I was pregnant; and knowing others who have lost babies much later on, it didn't seem like that big a deal at this point.
And I know it's not that big a deal; I hesitate to even think of it as, much less call it, a miscarriage, even though it technically is, just a very early one. It's certainly not the same, mentally or physically, as it would be weeks or months later. But, I was pregnant. I spent a week in limbo, trying not to get my hopes up, but still hopeful and knowing that it was possibly really happening. I saw a positive test; I was starting to feel mild pregnancy symptoms. But I don't see it as the loss of a baby, just the loss of hope and a future that I had just barely started planning.
A couple weeks later, I'm pretty much back to where I was the prior cycle when it was just a matter of moving on from the disappointment of it not having worked out this month; with a little bonus frustration of this cycle being almost a week later than it should have been (pushing a potential maternity leave that much closer to encroaching on busy season at work). I suppose I'm grateful that at least, if the pregnancy wasn't viable, it ended pretty much as soon as it possibly could, saving us hard decisions or grief that would have gotten increasingly deep with each month of building an expected future.
It was the very fact that I was trying to be in control of the situation as possible - temping, tracking average cycles, knowing when I could potentially get a positive - that even led to feeling out of control, to knowing that it was more than just an extra long cycle. Many people wouldn't have even tested yet, and wouldn't have known anything happened. It's still good to know, though - it's cliche but true (to think of for yourself; I don't think it would have gone well for someone to tell me this, especially in the first day or so) to at least have assurance that we're capable of getting pregnant in the first place.