Agony Aunt Annie offers help to a reader who fell pregnant by accident, but is scared to tell her husband, as he doesn’t want children …

Dear Annie

I’m in such a dilemma and would really appreciate your advice. I’ve been married for six years. We are happily married and both have great careers.

I was diagnosed with woman problems from my early teens. It is a little complicated but the bottom line is that I was told that I would never be able to fall pregnant. My husband knew this from the start and was fine with it as he never wanted to have children.

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I made peace with the fact, but I can’t say that I was ever happy about it. I just accepted my lot in life and envied those friends who can have children.

For all the time we have been married we obviously have not needed to take precautions with intimacy. My husband often comments that he is grateful not to have to worry.

Two months ago I got flu and was wiped out for a week. I seemed to have a stomach bug soon after and have battled to spring back, feeling nauseated easily and generally lacking energy. I finally went to see my doctor who ordered blood tests for anaemia, amongst other things.

Unknown to me he also tested for pregnancy and this test came back positive!

My doctor knows my history and he was amazed with the result. I am just over eight weeks pregnant and I am till battling to get my head around it!

The problem is that my husband has never waivered in the decision that he does not want children

We spoke about adoption once, and he said that the admired people who raised other people’s children, but that he could never do that.

I am so afraid to tell him, although I am absolutely thrilled. I know that he will say the baby is not real yet and I think he may assume that I would want to have an abortion. That is the very last thing that I want and I can’t believe that my secret dream of motherhood is finally going to come true!

What, how and when do I tell my husband?
From Leslie

Dear Leslie

Congratulations! Although this is unexpected and complicated you have every right to feel overjoyed!

In general, life is about as predictable as a two-year-old behaving sweetly in church or a soufflé not falling flat before you serve it to your fancy guests.

Marriage is a partnership where all (let’s hope that means just two) parties who put ingredients into the mixing bowl should get a say in what kind of cake you should be baking

We make our plans and hope for a certain outcome. We can no more guarantee that outcome then we can guarantee no rain on that planned picnic.

Marriage is a partnership where all (let’s hope that means just two) parties who put ingredients into the mixing bowl should get a say in what kind of cake you should be baking.

You did not do this to yourself: in fact your husband did this to you!

He will need time to process and adjust to this curve ball that life has thrown at you

Prepare him to hear this by telling him that you have something important to discuss with him. So not a, ‘How was your day…I’m pregnant…please pass the salt,’ kind of conversation.

Don’t take his reaction personally. This is the last thing that he is expecting … literally. So he will need time.

You have a loving and good relationship and have been married long enough to have probably worked through some challenges before. Remember what skills you have both learnt and trust that you will be able to work through this too.

Read up on your developing baby. You may be surprised that your “not real baby” at eight weeks development, is growing hands and feet on its arms and legs, which are lengthening, and eyelids are growing over its eyes. Its heart is beating and its brain is working new pathways.

When your husband remembers that this child is part you, part him (hopefully the good parts) he may be able to see having a child in a different light

He said he didn’t want children when the reality was that he didn’t have any. Now that realty has changed and his perspective might too.

Talk through his fears and concerns with him and be honest with your feelings.

You are beautiful (soon to be much fatter, but beautiful!)
Love and blessings
Annie