After years of careful planning and saving, Andi Ruhl, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, was thrilled to open her own pottery studio. "You're positively glowing!" guests told her at the opening.
A week later, Ruhl found out why: She was pregnant. Although she and her husband were elated, "it stopped me in my tracks," Ruhl admits. "I had rent to pay, art classes to teach, and employees to manage -- not to mention a 7-year-old daughter to take care of!"
Ruhl's surprise is not unusual. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which means that many women meet a positive sign on a pee stick with shock, panic, even tears. There is no bigger bombshell than a baby on the way.
The upside is that "part of being a parent is rolling with the punches, so consider an unexpected pregnancy the universe's way of helping you learn to do that," says Heather Wittenberg, Psy.D., a psychologist in Maui, Hawaii. Whatever your situation, you really can transform a "whoops!" into something wonderful.