Surprise Child Finding Hope in Unexpected Pregnancy

Every year, 3 million women find themselves pregnant at the wrong time—a time that interferes with a career, a settled family life, a new marriage, an education. Unexpected pregnancies account for 60 percent of all pregnancies, in fact, and they happen to women in every season of life. Yet the loneliness and confusion surrounding an unplanned pregnancy are rarely acknowledged.

In Surprise Child, Leslie Leyland Fields, who experienced two unplanned pregnancies in her forties, lyrically weaves her own story with the stories of other women who experienced the isolation so many face when expectations and plans are turned upside down to prepare for a child.

Together, these women walk with the reader month-by-month through the physical and emotional stages of pregnancy, voicing with startling honesty their own anxieties and struggles. Here, readers will find the companionship they need to journey from despair toward acceptance, hope, and readiness for new life.


Four years ago I walked into the bathroom, hand clenched around a white cellophane-wrapped stick. Three minutes later the bathroom door opened, and my face was white. In a tiny centimetered window no bigger than my fingernail a faint line slowly emerged, then solidified. It was the face of another human being—one I had not asked for. Surely my life was over.

Praise for Surprise Child

“Leslie Fields has at last dealt with an issue that deeply affects all of us regardless of race, culture or economic status. Sharing from her own personal experience as well as utilizing the experiences of others, Fields compassionately addresses the deepest feelings and concerns of those facing an ‘unplanned’ pregnancy. Surprise Child should be required reading for anyone who works or serves in a related counseling field or ministry and would be a tremendous benefit to current (or future) mothers and families everywhere.”

—Raul Reyes, president and executive director of Life Network

“I felt terribly alone when I faced my crisis pregnancy. I wish I had been able to read this book then to discover how many other women were facing this trauma—and overcoming! Leslie Fields makes it clear that, despite how overpowering our emotions make it seem, we are not alone and we are not trapped.”

—Heather Gemmen, international speaker and best-selling author, Startling Journey from Rape to Restoration