Surprise, you're pregnant!

Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy


I couldn't help but laugh when I saw a news report about a 71-year-old Oregon man's surprise pregnancy. According to the article, John Grady Pippen went to the hospital with stomach pains, and was subsequently given a written diagnosis telling him that he was pregnant. Of course, it was just a computer gaffe. But, I'm guessing that it momentarily shocked the pants off of Mr. Pippen.

I was pretty shocked when we got the news of our own surprise pregnancy with my son, Charlie. And even though we'd been trying to get pregnant with our first baby, Julia, I can't say that the news was any less shocking when I first laid eyes on those two little pink lines on the pregnancy test. In the space of 30 seconds, I think my emotions ran the gamut from shock, to elation, to panic, to fear, and then back to shock and elation again.

Whether you've been actively trying to get pregnant, or whether you just got the surprise of a lifetime, your mind is probably already spinning, wondering what lies ahead. For Mr. Pippen and the rest of you who may have found yourselves unexpectedly expecting, here's our guide to coping with a surprise pregnancy and the mixed emotions that go along with it. If you're not exactly feeling the glow, don't worry—you're not alone. It's more common than you might think.

Now that you're officially pregnant, it's time to see how well-versed you are in the finer points of building a healthy baby. Take our quiz to see how pregnancy-savvy you already are. Then, check out our first trimester guide for a primer on what to expect in the coming weeks and months. You may also want to sign up for our pregnancy calendar to track your pregnancy and your growing baby week by week. And, don't forget to sign up for our free newsletter to get our bi-weekly updates on product recalls, free baby gear, and more.

When all's said and done, you may just find that the biggest surprise of all is how much you're going to miss being pregnant.

Dana Rousmaniere is's Managing Editor. Her own surprise pregnancy was the best surprise of her life.