When three at-home pregnancy tests all had positive results, Whitney Way Thore was shocked, nervous, and as someone with polycystic ovarian syndrome, thrilled that she could actually become pregnant. Which made finding out that they were all false positives — and that she wasn’t actually pregnant — difficult to take in.
“I started thinking that maybe this was meant to be, because I’ve always been worried that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. So that’s what made it all the more traumatic,” Thore, 32, tells PEOPLE. “Even though the doctor said that I was never pregnant, I thought that I was. So to find out that I wasn’t, after a week of thinking that I was, it felt like a loss, and I grieved it like a loss.”
After two episodes of believing that she was in fact pregnant, and informing her ex-boyfriend, Lenny, that he would be a father, the truth was finally revealed on Tuesday’s episode of My Big Fat Fabulous Life.
“The worst part is, that happened back in August, so I’ve had a lot of time to sit with it and get over it. But when the episodes started airing, so many people in my real life and on the internet were congratulating me,” Thore says. “I felt so awful, and especially for the women who said to me, ‘I have PCOS, and you gave me hope that I can get pregnant.’ The last thing I want to do is diminish hope for women with PCOS who want to get pregnant.”
And she says it was tough to tell Lenny, who had started gathering baby clothes from his sisters, that he wouldn’t actually be a dad just yet.
“We didn’t work out as a couple, but the one thing that I never questioned was that he would be an amazing father, because I see him with his nieces and nephews, and he’s amazing with kids. I think we’re both happier that it turned out this way, but it was awful, and I think it was just as hard on him.”
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Thore says that her doctor told her that the false positives were likely caused by her PCOS, and cysts on her uterus that can secrete pregnancy hormones.
“With PCOS, there are so many unknowns. I mean, we still don’t know how to fix it. We don’t know why some women struggle with weight while other women don’t,” she says. “If anything comes out of this, I hope it’s just that we need to keep fighting. It’s aggravating to not be able to understand your own body.”
Now, though, she’s just relieved that she can open up about the experience.
“It’ll be a big release to get it out in the open, and hopefully be an outlet for other women to talk about their experiences,” Thore says. “I hope it turns into something positive.”
My Big Fat Fabulous Life airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.