Many people dream of the day that they can start a family. Some want a full team of kiddos while others are cool with one or two. They want lots of little ones running around and it seems like such a beautiful scene: cooking a healthy dinner while the kids play together or run around outside on a nice summer day. Maybe they want their children to be super close in age or want to space them out a bit more, but either way, having a family is on the mind of many.
The truth is that while many couples plan on having more than one child and welcome many bundles of joy into their lives, others have accidental pregnancies or just didn't think that they would have more than one or two kids. These parents, of course, love their children and would never have done anything differently. It was just a big surprise to find out they were expecting again.
If moms and dads can relate to this, it's nice to hear from others who have gone through the same thing. That's true of anything related to parenting, right? Here are 25 true tales from parents who didn't plan for another kid.
25 "She is mentally, physically & emotionally not ready to go through the entire thing again"
We may not hear about accidental second pregnancies very often, but they do happen. One dad posted on Reddit and said this was his experience with his second child. He said that he and his wife weren't on the same page about it: "I (husband) want to keep it but my wife does not want it. I am devastated and don't know what to do & how to deal with this. Am I being a male chauvinist for wanting to keep the baby? Her reasons for not going through the pregnancy are: She is mentally, physically & emotionally not ready to go through the entire thing again. Our first baby is 3 years old now."
It's always tricky when a couple feels differently about something, particularly the decision to have more kids or not. There are no easy answers here.
24 "advice plz... childcare for three [is] an issue"
When you have a baby and both you and your partner are working, you have to think about childcare, and that becomes especially crucial when you think about having more than one kid.
This mom who's five weeks along shared on Reddit that she called her third child an "oops" moment. She wrote, "advice plz... childcare for three [is] an issue: it's only about nine hours/week (overlap between mom and dad work) but hard to get reliable part-time and expensive."
It would be awesome if money was no object or childcare or daycare was free. One or the other would be so helpful, right?
23 "Life went on"
We always want to think of having children as a wonderful and beautiful thing, and that is still the case, even with accidental pregnancies.
This post on Reddit is really sweet: "I've had a few friends who've had unplanned third or even second children. Each one has freaked out over money, time, responsibility... At first. Then after the baby came, they just became part of the family. Life went on, and was loved and appreciated."
That seems like something that any parent can relate to: there are always things to worry about (money being a big one) but once you have your child, you are so happy and in love.
22 "I am shocked"
"We have three kids, 6, 9, and 11. I'm not worried about any of the logistics, we have stable jobs, enough room in the house, and plenty of experience. But I am shocked!", wrote this mom on Reddit.
Why was she so surprised to learn that she was expecting another baby? Because she was in her 40's. She continued, "And to be selfish for a second, we were finally getting the kids to ages where we could travel and do lots of fun things that would be very difficult with an infant. Now we're back to diapers!" Many parents can relate to that last part, right?
21 "We were devastated"
We always hope that when we're faced with something tough in life, it's all going to work out. People can assure us that everything will be okay, but the problem is that we don't always believe things when we're taken aback.
In this case, it honestly is true. That's what this parent shared on Reddit along with a friend's sage advice: "I've been where you are. Really. My wife got pregnant when my son was just 6 months old. We were devastated... I confided in my best friend and he gave me some advice that was so simple and obvious that I never forgot it. He said, 'Things work out because things always work out.'"
20 "but I really wanted our next one to be a baby girl"
"I love both of my boys, and I will, of course, love the newest one at the end of this year, but I really wanted our next one to be a baby girl," wrote a mom on Reddit. "Right now, there are no plans to have a fourth kid. We'll see how #3 is before going down that road. Both of us think it's unlikely, though."
This is a different case because this couple learned that they were having a boy when the mom really wanted to have a girl. She was unexpectedly having a boy, basically. We're not supposed to say if we want a boy or a girl (as long as the baby's healthy, right?) but sometimes we can't help but lean one way instead of the other!
19 "Financially the first year isn't that difficult"
Second-hand advice (and goods) is the way to go when it comes to having more than one child. This becomes even more important when a couple becomes pregnant unexpectedly.
The best parenting advice comes from those who have been through it. This awesome advice comes from a mom's post on Reddit. After she had a third child—who she hadn't planned for her—she said, "Financially the first year isn't that difficult. Breastfeed, cloth diapers like you plan to, feed table foods starting at 6 months instead of dealing with baby foods (baby led weaning). Get second-hand baby items if you got rid of yours aside from the car seat, go to garage sales for baby clothes! Lots of good stuff very cheap."
18 "I don't want him/her to think that I didn't want them, even for a second"
One really important thing about having a child that wasn't planned is that it doesn't really sound all that nice to actually say that out loud (let alone to the kid).
That was the point that this mom brought up on Reddit, and she's totally right. Her wise words: "I am pregnant with my second, who was unplanned (I wanted to wait another year), I do not announce to other people that the baby is unplanned, but MANY people have asked. The only reason I am ever upset to tell them it was unplanned, is that maybe one day one of them will tell the child, and I don't want him/her to think that I didn't want them, even for a second."
17 "To say the pregnancy was a shock was an understatement"
As this mom wrote on PopSugar, "To say the pregnancy was a shock was an understatement. I got pregnant with my oldest daughter with barely any effort, but I struggled to have our second."
Things worked out but this mom had some fear that a third child would be hard on the family and her marriage. That is totally understandable and something that all parents can relate to. That fear is true whether the pregnancy is planned or not. While every family is unique and every situation is as well, that is one thing that parents have in common: worrying about adding another child to the family.
16 "But it's worked out pretty well"
A dad and husband who shared his true tale of having a child who wasn't planned on Reddit said that his wife learned she was expecting when she went to her one-year doctor's checkup after having their first baby. He has a really positive view of the situation, and looking on the bright side is so helpful when life doesn't go quite as planned.
He wrote, "But it's worked out pretty well, as they're both girls and they get along really well, being a little less than two years apart. I definitely wouldn't have planned it that way, as we were still adjusting to being new parents back then, but I'm glad it happened the way it did, and it means we'll be in our mid-40s and completely done with kids living in the house, while all our friends are just starting to deal with teenagers."
15 "their marriage hasn't been the same since"
Having a baby can bring a couple closer together. It's beautiful and romantic to start a family with the person that you are so in love with.
On the other hand, having a baby when one person isn't confident that this is the right decision at this time can really wreck havoc on a love story. As this person posted about their friend on Reddit, this is tough to watch: "My best friend was in a sort of similar situation (oops pregnancy when her first was only 4 months old). She and her husband disagreed on what to do, and their marriage hasn't been the same since. She kept the baby and he wanted to abort; their financial and personal lives both took a huge strain, and I see them both struggle in different ways."
14 "I really don’t know what to do"
In some cases, it's great news to learn that you're expecting even if you didn't plan for it or assume that it would happen. And in other situations, it's honestly just a big surprise and nothing can really change that.
This was the case for this mom on Reddit. In a super honest post, she said, "I really don’t know what to do. I’m so shocked right now. My husband and I have two boys and were so, so done with kids. It took us four years to get pregnant with our second, and that emotional roller coaster, coupled with him just being a very difficult baby was just enough to make us say 'no more.'"
13 "We made it work"
It's always nice to see a positive perspective on such a serious and tricky situation. It's even better when someone can have a sense of humor about it. After all, we would all agree that humor makes everything more tolerable, and we're always up for a good joke or something that makes us smile.
This parent shared this story on Reddit about a pregnancy that was a surprise and it's both sweet and funny. They said, "We made it work and I can't imagine life without all three of these little buggers. While we were in the hospital after her birth we took the most absolute precautions to make sure no more kids will ever happen. It's funny now, people will ask us if she is the last kid we're planning on having and I always point to our middle kid and say 'nah, he was the last one.'"
12 "Unexpected third child on the way, stressed about money"
Money is behind many of the decisions that we make. Do we have a big family and live tight? Or do we have a small family and live comfortable?
"Unexpected third child on the way, stressed about money," wrote one mom on Reddit, proving that money worries are never far behind when we learn that we are expecting. She continued, "Would appreciate some advice from others who have had similar experiences... We aren’t living paycheck-to-paycheck currently with our two kids, but we aren’t rolling in money either."
This, of course, is a personal decision, but that doesn't make it any easier.
11 "she was an AWFUL baby"
Many women who have four kids (with the fourth being an unplanned pregnancy) are so happy with the way that things worked out. This sweet post from Reddit really sheds light on the whole situation: "But my unexpected fourth is amazing. Don't get me wrong, she was an AWFUL baby, but she's brilliant, kind, and adorable as a little girl and a great addition. Just remember, you've got this parenting thing down and the other kids will all help and support you/the baby, so they'll have a huge advantage (and so will you)."
Those kind words should give some comfort to anyone who is in this situation. Yes, it's a surprise, and yes, it's hard, but you will love your little one so much.
10 "I did a pregnancy test and it was positive"
It's one thing to learn that you're having a baby and it wasn't something that you planned. But it's totally another story when you're on board but your partner isn't so sure. It can be heartbreaking. One mom said on Reddit, "Hello everyone. I am a happily married mum to 3- & 2-year-old boys. Yesterday I turned 30. I woke up at like 4am and remembered that I was meant to have my period on my birthday and that it hadn't arrived yet. I did a pregnancy test and it was positive." She and her husband felt differently about the pregnancy and she can't help but feel "deflated" about the news. Let's hope this couple did what was best
9 "I gave birth to my second child five months ago... Oops"
Do you think that you can get pregnant just a few months after giving birth? Probably not because it's not something that we hear about very often, however it happens all the time! It's called "Irish twins" and it's just as awe-inspiring as it sounds.
This true tale from Reddit and it's pretty fascinating: "I gave birth to my second child five months ago... Oops. But it's a pleasant oops. My husband was shocked at first, he read the whole ultrasound report and still couldn't figure it out. He did think it was strange that the 'growth' resembled a tiny human lol. But now we're excited. And nervous. Can't believe we're doing this again. Any ladies who've had Irish twins feel free to share how you coped!"
8 "I seriously advise you to avoid parents of brand new babies"
For this mom who posted on Reddit, her first and second children weren't planned, but her third child was. She has kids that are 9, 10, and 4 and she brought up the idea of your older kids being little helpers for your youngest child.
She got really honest and said, "You wanted to know about the pros and cons. And before you take anyone's advice, I seriously advise you to avoid parents of brand new babies. That is NOT a clear indication. It would be like asking a parent of a newborn if they want more kids. They aren't going to know at ALL yet. Pros: your older child will be able to help. I promise. Even if they are only 5 or 6. They will be able to fetch you diapers, help with their own bedtime routine so you can focus on the younger ones, etc."
7 "I'm very scared"
We always hear about ticking biological clocks and there is always so much pressure to have a family by a certain age. Honestly, it sucks that some women feel this kind of pressure, but there's not really much we can do about it. We can't control what people say!
One 48-year-old mama told Reddit, "I'm married with two grown sons and was not planning or trying to get pregnant. I went through fertility treatment back in the late '90s for two years trying to have a third baby with no luck and assumed afterward I could not get pregnant again. Wrong. I'm very scared about what can go wrong."
6 "I feel awful!"
As this mom shared on Mums Net, she wasn't expecting to learn that she was, well, expecting again: "I am pregnant—no idea how far gone yet—with my second child and I feel awful! I had resigned myself to thinking I was not going to get pregnant again some months back and accepted and moved on and actually realised one was enough - have two and a bit yr old son."
Many women can relate to this. It can be tough to decide if you are ready for a second child or if you are good with one, and since you love your child so much and love being a mom, you really don't know what the best decision is.
5 "It didn't take her brothers long to realize she was a chick magnet"
One mom who posted on Reddit got pregnant with her fourth child at the age of 38, and her older kids were already 9, 11, and 13. She said that integrating the fourth kid into family life was the only way to go: "We decided that if we were having another baby, she was going to have to get used to living the way we were living. She watched plenty of high school football games."
She shared an anecdote that is equal parts hilarious and adorable: "It didn't take her brothers long to realize she was a chick magnet. The teenage girls would come over and braid her hair." See, there are positives to everything in life if we look hard enough!
4 "Never planned to have another"
It's so exciting to learn that you're expecting, but sometimes, an unexpected child can throw a wrench in life before wrapping your head around it. Ultimately, the decision to have the unexpected child is yours and yours alone.
"I just found out yesterday that I'm pregnant," wrote one mom on Reddit. "I'm 36, husband is 37 and we have an amazing, spoiled 4.5-year-old. Never planned to have another, even after solidly revisiting the topic about six months ago. We both have demanding careers and I often work quite late, which has caused some resentment and guilt already. Just NOT in the place (mentally, emotionally or life-plan-wise) to handle this news."
3 "I only ever wanted two."
Do you and your partner want to have more than two children? The choice might have a lot to do with money and your career.
That was the case for this mom who shared her story on Reddit, all from the perspective of financial and career decisions. She wrote, "We were done with two. It took planning, organisation, and IVF to get both of them. I only ever wanted two. Our house/car/work/finances and my career [10yr plan] revolve around having two. When my youngest turned 16 months I discovered we were pregnant...I’ve had to let so much go - what I thought my career would look like, where we thought we’d be able to live, what I thought our family would be, and it’s been really tough."
Her honesty is appreciated because it's always good to hear that while we love our children so much, there are still hard times.
2 "we were never set on a particular number of children"
While some couples are sure that they will have three or four kids, and others are fine with one, other couples don't discuss the number of kids that they want to have.
This parent posted on Reddit that having a third child was "a total surprise" but, as she says, "we were never set on a particular number of children, pregnancy is easy for me, and my kids are several years apart so by the time the third was born my other kids would be in school every week day." She also had family that could help her out and that made the choice much simpler.
1 "She was an unplanned gift"
Every child is a gift. Learning that you're pregnant—and that weren't expecting it—can be a surprise to anyone, as we have seen from these stories. Whether it's a good or bad surprise depends on the person and their situation.
That was how this mom ended up seeing her situation. As she posted on Reddit, "I simply can't imagine life without my youngest in it. She was an unplanned gift and the best present ever!"
This just proves that while we can't always predict the way that our lives are going to go, we have to have faith and know that everything always works out.