real life

"Oops, I'm pregnant."

Guess how many kids are the result of ‘happy accidents’? Go on, guess.

When I called my doctor to confess that I’d accidentally fallen pregnant he said, “Jo, 80 percent of my business is the result of accidents.”

I felt instantly better.

I already had a five-year-old and an eight-month-old when I felt a wave of dizziness wash over me as I attempted to wash breakfast dishes in the kitchen. I immediately knew that I was pregnant. And I was horrified.

We’d just lost every single cent, plus my husband’s business, our home and a car to bankruptcy. We had no money to support another child and were having trouble feeding the two we did have (both boys and both oblivious to the reason behind our hasty move to a crappy house closer to my family).

I put the boys in the car and drove to the chemist to buy a pregnancy test. I was already crying – hormones and horror merging together. I took the test as soon as I got home. When it came up positive, something strange happened. I felt a enormous surge of joy wash over me and I smiled the first real smile since our financial woes began.

"My daughter was unplanned."

I phoned my husband to share the amazing news. I blurted out, "I'm pregnant", and he said, "I'm thrilled".

My daughter was an accident. Actually, I try not to use that word because whenever I call her an accident people seem shocked, but she was. Don't worry, I'm not planning to tell her she was an accident. I know what teenage girls are like. She's five now, but if I tell her my secret in ten years time, every time we'll fight she'll say, "You didn't even want me," and wail like a lunatic before slamming her bedroom door in my face.

So, I won't tell her and when I tell the story to others I will use one of the following expressions instead:


My daughter was unplanned;

My daughter was a happy surprise;

My daughter was a gift from God (we go to a Catholic school and they all seem to like this one).

"I phoned my husband to share the amazing news. I blurted out, 'I'm pregnant', and he said, 'I'm thrilled'."

Or I could just not elaborate at all. Because someone will eventually tell her. And then I'll be in strife. It won't matter how many times I tell her that unplanned DOES NOT mean unwanted.

Chris, a friend of mine, also has a 'happy surprise'. She said, "We very much had a surprise pregnancy when I was 42. I never expected that I would have children, but strangely enough had been lamenting that decision for a few weeks before.

"When I found out I was both terrified and elated and of course, now five years down the track, could not imagine my life without my adorable princess."

Caterina was unplanned, but boy am I happy to have her. Thank goodness for 'happy accidents'. Once the birth was all over and I was holding my doll of a daughter in my arms, I was really really happy that we'd completely stuffed up our birth control.

By birth control, I mean we thought it was 'safe' while I was breastfeeding. Not safe peeps. So not safe.

So while not all of our kids are planned, they certainly are treasured.

Were all of your children planned? How did you family react to the news you were pregnant with a happy accident?

Like this? Try these:

The story of a woman who didn't know she was 33 weeks pregnant.

10 post-birth surprises I never expected.