Unexpectedly Expecting

How three couples coped with a surprise visit from the stork.
Unexpectedly Expecting
Image: Juliya Shangarey / Shutterstock

Marriage is the on going adventure of getting to know someone. No matter how much you think you know, there's always something new to learn. And although job changes, financial issues, or family dynamics provide great lessons, a couple's greatest growing opportunity often comes delivered by the stork.

Anticipation and preparation usually help provide a smooth adjustment into parenthood. But for some couples, becoming Mom and Dad is unexpected, and even traumatic. How can spouses reinforce their "oneness" when surprised by a situation that redefines who they are?

MP interviewed three couples in three different stages of married life: newlywed, married with young children, and married with teenagers. We asked them to share the secrets of how they dealt with unexpected pregnancy.

Jamie and Eric met as freshman in college and were married after their sophomore year. Working full-time and planning to complete their degrees, their lives were full, and they enjoyed their togetherness. The only thing they hadn't planned for was a baby.

How did you feel when you learned you were pregnant?

Jamie: We had been married only four months when I found out I was pregnant. I was really excited, but anxious at the same time. I wasn't sure if I wanted to tell Eric right away, but I couldn't keep it from him. When I told him, his first words to me were, "You're not joking, are you?" He sounded very serious, but then he said, "That's great!" Then we went to celebrate over fries and shakes. It meant so much to me that Eric responded positively.

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