Expecting the Unexpected: Dealing with an Unplanned Pregnancy

Silence filled the room. We sat waiting, wondering. The doctor who delivered my last son arrived to perform the ultrasound. Within seconds, she found it. A tiny little blob on the monitor. A tiny little blob that would rock our world.

“It looks like you are about 5 and a half weeks along”, she said. “And see, there’s your IUD, still in place.” We barely acknowledged her, or the ultrasound images. We were in shock and disbelief.

Over the next few days, we did not talk much about the elephant in the room. What do you say when you are unhappy with the two pink lines? The two pink lines that you coveted for so long with your first child, the two pink lines that you were ecstatic to see with your second are now making you cringe with terror. Terrified of the possibility of uterine perforation, terrified of the possibility of three kids in four years, and terrified of yet another pregnancy loss.

Just a few hours before, I was telling my friend I was late this month, and I would take a pregnancy test, since testing always made my period appear. Not this time though. This time, I sat alone in my bathroom, crying and shaking, hoping the test was somehow wrong. The thought of telling my husband, who originally wanted only one child, was making me nauseous. Or maybe the nausea was from the pregnancy itself. I had to tell him though. Not telling him would not make this less real.

“I took a pregnancy test….and it’s…..positive.” I cried like a 15 year old telling their mother. Only I was 31 telling my husband.

He had both our two and one year olds sleeping on his lap, so he couldn’t exactly yell or cry, but I’m pretty sure he wanted to do both.

“WHAT? Are you serious?” He quietly exclaimed.

Shaking, I could only bring myself to nod.

With my other children, it took a combined 18 months to get pregnant. How could this happen to me? How could I of all people end up with an unexpected pregnancy? I had to see a specialist before conceiving my first born for crying out loud! Fertile Myrtle, I am not.

We had no idea how we were going to do this, again. Our house was too small, our kids were too young, money was extra tight … these and other concerns were our main focus for quite a while. We were so fixated on the negative aspects of bringing another child into the world that we were unable to focus on the positive, which of course brought a hefty dose of guilt. I was overwhelmed with guilt for not being excited. Didn’t I know how many people would give anything to be pregnant right now? How could I not appreciate this? I remember sitting and rocking my son, crying and telling him I loved him and would not replace him, all the while being excited about giving him the opportunity to be a big brother. The emotional roller coaster was making me sick…or again, that could have been the pregnancy.

Thankfully, I have some incredibly supportive friends who assured me that my reaction was normal. They reminded me that just because some people had trouble getting pregnant did not mean I had to jump for joy when faced with an unintended pregnancy.

From Disbelief to Acceptance

I cannot pinpoint the day I became excited about the baby. Maybe it was the day of the gender reveal party, or the day we settled on a name? All I know is slowly but surely, the fears were replaced with acceptance, the dread was overtaken by joy, and the guilt was all but gone. Though it has been over two years since I saw those two pink lines, I still sometimes feel guilty about my reaction to the pregnancy. I have to remind myself that it was okay to feel less than thrilled. It was okay to be scared. It was okay to react the way I did given the circumstances.

Nine months later, when this little guy arrived, I felt nothing but joy and gratitude for his presence. He was perfect.

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Our little surprise is now nearly 20 months old, and I could not imagine life without him. He is so sweet and happy and funny. He fit right into his role as baby brother, and he loves playing with (and fighting with) his siblings. Though we thought our family was complete with two children, Dylan came along and filled a void we did not know existed.

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Myndee is a 35ish year old New Orleans area native. She's an author, speaker and self-love advocate. As an introverted extrovert, Myndee loves being part of the generation where most of her friends live in her computer. She and her husband, Luis, live just outside the city with their three kids.

40 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this! I just found out I am expecting my fourth. My youngest are 3 year old twins. I just started going back to school this fall to get my MBA. Our family was complete I got rid of all our baby stuff we were done expanding our family, but I am trying to come to terms with it. There is just so much that needs to be done before this little miracle arrives.

  2. I was told years ago that to have children I would need a minor corrective surgery so we thought no big deal we will get it done when we are ready to have kids. Surprise number 1 came in Sept of 2011 and surprise number 2 came in Feb of 2014……surprise number 3 will be here in March 2015. I did not tell my husband for about a week when i found out about this one. I still haven’t told anyone but my best friend and my mom. I’m embarrassed. I have a 6 month old and i’m pregnant again. I was on the pill and it didnt work but i dont want to hear the jokes….”don’t you know what causes that” and ” let me introduce you to the pill” I am wondering how long i can go before people start to figure it out.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your personal journey with us. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today! Just found out a few minutes ago that we are unexpectedly pregnant with #2.

  4. Thank you, just found out our 3rd is on the way. We also have lost several pregnancies. You brightened my day, when I felt so scared.

  5. Thank you for this. I know you wrote this post years ago, but a quick desperate Google search brought it right up. I found out today I am pregnant with #2. My boyfriend is out of state for 2 weeks and I don’t want to tell him till he gets home. We have a 9 month old and he has a 11 year old, and he doesn’t want any more kids. Our house and budget are way too small for 5 people. I’m terrified to tell him and I hate having this huge secret. It helps to know I’m not the only one. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • I’m so sorry you are dealing with this, but I can promise you, everything will be okay. The baby in my post is such a wonderful addition to our family. We didn’t know our family was incomplete without him until he came along. Sure, it’s hard at times, and we are still in a “too small” house, but it is worth it. Hang in there.

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