When I was pregnant with my first child, I didn't know how to tell my husband. We had recently decided to try for a baby, but I had no idea it would happen so quickly.
Unlike other surprise pregnancies, we had plenty of advance notice to prepare for our little one, and that also included how I would share the most exciting news of my life. While pregnancy announcements have become such highly anticipated proclamations, I opted to tell my partner later that night during a dinner. The evening was filled with unrivaled excitement, but I wondered if there was a more elaborate way I could have broken the news, since so many other women have told their spouses in incredibly awe-inspiring ways.
For example, one California woman - who may just be the world's best secret keeper - planned to reveal the life-changing news to her navy sailor husband after he came back from his deployment to the Korean Peninsula.
Natasha Daugherty discovered she was pregnant with her fourth child only a week after her husband Chris went abroad.
"I found out about a week after he left. I didn’t believe it," Natasha told ABC News. "I took the pregnancy test again and I was like, 'Oh no way.' I was excited about it and I emailed him and I told him to call me as soon as he gets a chance but then I thought about it for a few minutes and I was like, ‘You know, this isn’t how I want to tell him – in an email."
"I emailed him back and said, 'I just miss your voice.' That’s when I decided I’m going to document it with weekly belly pictures for him so he wouldn’t miss it."
Natasha, who was less than two months pregnant, decided to wait until her husband returned home, and started to plan the most unexpected announcement.
Six months later, Chris came home from the USS Carl Vinson and was one of the many seamen greeted at the San Diego dock by their ecstatic families.
Holding up a sign that said "Welcome Home Baby Daddy," whiched covered her bump, Natasha waited until her husband embraced their three kids before she dropped the placard, revealing her seven-and-a-half pregnant belly.
"My heart was racing," Natasha recalled. "I stood back and let the kids run to him. I hung back for a minute, and then he reached into me to give me a hug and then I dropped it. He just stood there in shock. He didn’t know what was going on."
Taken aback by his wife's announcement, Chris asked if she was actually pregnant.
"There were a lot of thoughts going through my mind,” he said. "The first was confusion, then I thought she was joking with me so I poked it to make sure it was real. When it was real I was extremely confused so I asked, 'Is that real?' to be sure, then hugged her because it was the only thing I could think to do."
Once Natasha proved her growing baby bump was the real deal, she revealed keeping the massive secret from her husband was harder than she expected.
"I wanted to share the excitement and joy with him about getting a fourth baby. He definitely wasn’t expecting it,” Natasha said. "Being pregnant is such a fun experience and not being able to share it with him it was really hard. I was working the whole time and taking care of the kids so I had to push through everything."
The expecting mother said she would often hide her pregnant stomach on her Facebook posts so her husband wouldn't discover her big secret.
"I would always use the kids to cover my belly," she said. "My best friend always does Snapchats and she would put emojis in front of it just in case to throw him off."
Once Chris had fully processed the stunning news, he said he was thrilled with his wife's mind-blowing surprise.
“I can't believe she was able to keep the secret for as long as she did because we tell each other everything so I know it was really hard for her,” Chris explained.
"I'm sure every day she wanted to just tell me but I'm really happy she waited because it was an awesome homecoming surprise and we got to find out the gender together the day after I got home," he added.
Chris and Natasha found out they were going to have another daughter, who they welcomed into the world on September 15, 2017.
What's the most creative pregnancy announcement you've ever heard of?