Samantha Harris’s Pregnancy Surprise – After Multiple Negative Tests

08/18/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Jennifer Graylock/AP

Samantha Harris had a feeling she might be expecting so she did what many women do: Used a home pregnancy test.

She learned, however, that it’s not always safe to trust the results.

“It’s so funny, at three and a half weeks, I took a pregnancy test and it came out negative. Then I went to London and Cannes for shoots and having a good time,” the Entertainment Tonight correspondent and fill-in anchor, 36, tells PEOPLE.

“Eight weeks is when I finally had a couple of really nauseous spells, and my husband said, ‘Well, maybe you really are pregnant.'”

“I thought, no, it couldn’t be. The other tests came out negative!” she recalls. “Sure enough, I was.”

Expanding the family – Harris is a bit over four months along with the couple’s second child – was something “that was in the plan,” she says, so after initial disappointment with outcome of the tests, “it was a very wonderful surprise at eight weeks to find out that I, in fact, really was pregnant.”

Harris kept the news under wraps from daughter Josselyn Sydney, who turns 3 in September, but it didn’t take long for the preschooler to sense there was another family member on the way.

“She very instinctually looked at my tummy – because I was definitely popping pretty fast the second time around – and she said, ‘Mommy, you have a baby in your tummy.’ I was caught off guard,” says Harris.

“We weren’t quite ready to tell her yet, so I just sort of changed the subject,” she says. “Then finally when we did … it was really fun and she was really excited.”

The former Dancing with the Stars co-host says she’s feeling “fantastic,” even though she realized one drastic change from her first pregnancy.

“I found myself much hungrier in the first trimester. I felt ravenous,” she says, adding that she’s taken advantage of summer fruits such as nectarines, peaches and strawberries to satiate her cravings.

As for finding out the sex of the baby, Harris says she and husband Michael Hess will wait until the new addition arrives – “much to the frustration of my family and friends.”

“We didn’t find out beforehand with Josselyn,” she explains. “We loved having the last possible real surprise that life can offer, so we’re going that same route.”

Do they hope to continue growing the family?

“My husband and I both come from two-child families and I think that’s where we’d like to be, but you never know what the future brings,” she says. “I think that’s all we’re planning, but again, you can only plan so much in life.”

— Eunice Oh with reporting by Jessica Wedemeyer

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Maternity , News , Parenting

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Showing 32 comments

Lis on

AWWWW!!! I love delivery surprises!!! It is so fun! Nothing against those who find out…there are definitely positives to knowing beforehand, but I just had so much fun guessing throughout my pregnancy…and on the day of delivery…OH!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITING!!!! 😀

Angela on

Unless she had a blood test I doubt most HPTs would have picked up a pregnancy that early. I did the same with my son at four weeks gestation (I had to take a business trip to Kenya and wanted to make sure I wasn’t pregnant prior to taking anti-malaria meds). Test at four weeks came back negative and was positive a week and a half later.

A on

Not surprising that she got a negative at 3 1/2 weeks! Most dont show up until about 5 weeks.

Andrea on

Aww…my last two were delivery surprises! I found out the first time, I couldn’t help it, I had to. The second time my hubby came with me to make sure I didn’t find out!!! The third time, the decision was mine….I opted not to know, which surprised everyone. In the end, it was perfect.

In this day and age, with techonology being what it is…it’s nice to do things the old fashioned way

Diana on

Couldn’t agree more! Normally I’m a curious George, but surprisingly I was very at peace with holding out till the day of the birth even though it was killing everyone around us. I figured from the moment you conceive it’s decided. Didn’t want any preconceived thoughts about a specific gender or hear peoples opinions either. Got a kick out of all those that guessed the wrong gender. Interesting that my hunch was right all along. It truly is one of the last great surprises left in life and if your husband/partner are on the same page as you it’s all the sweeter.

Jules on

That’s wonderful news. Congrats!

Hippy Hop on

That is something to ponder on. How come several test came out negative and yet she is really pregnant. Are the home pregnancy test kit are not that effective anymore? If Samantha had done something that could have damaged the baby inside, she could sue the company for that. Anyway, it’s a good thing the baby is alright. Congrats Samantha and Michael.

crg on

at 3.5 weeks most pregnancy tests would be negative. She didn’t test any time between then? Congratulations!

Julie on

AWWWWW, I agree Lis!!!!

Sami on

That’s a cute story about her daughter. The same thing happened with my 2-year-old daughter. We kept changing the subject until we were ready to tell at 13 weeks.

Also, 3 1/2 weeks would be pretty early to get a positive pregnancy test (just a week and a half after ovulation, so before your missed period) although I do know a few people who have gotten one that early. I got one just a day or two before 4 weeks one time. I could barely see the line!

miche on

Aww, congrats to them! We found out with my daughter, but we waited to find out for our second child and it was such a fun surprise. And my gut was totally right – it was a boy!

I like that color on her, but that dress looks like she just stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around herself 🙂

Emily on

This picture cracks me up. Samantha looks very….jazzed about the photo op, or something.

Anyway, it’s a sweet story. She seems very excited and happy to be a mother a 2nd time around. Good for her!

jessicad on

I wish I had the patience to wait until the delivery. When you work next to ultrasound and are friends with all the girls in the department it’s entirely too tempting to pop over there every week and sneak peeks:) I knew mine was a girl at 15 weeks!

Congrats to Samantha and her family!

Patrice on

This is the first celebrity that I think has due date close to mine..I am a little over 4months too, and due in January. I am NOT finding out the sex either! Can’t wait til January, I have 3 boys already and hoping for a girl. I also can’t wait to see what Samantha is having too!

Maddie on

I don’t have children, but when I do, I would be hoping for a delivery surprise (and I’m not one to wait if I know someone can just tell me, lol. Impatient- that’s me!). Simply because, pregnancy is a long haul and particularly in those last few weeks, it would be nice to have something to look forward to. A sort of reward for waiting out the pregnancy. It would also be nice to imagine one day the baby being a girl and then the next, a boy. I would probably have my husband constantly remind me of the reasons *why* I didn’t want to find out though – I might feel myself start to cave at weak moments, lol.

ecl on

She could definitely NOT sue the company, Hippy Hop. It states on the box when it becomes accurate. It is just a possbility that you can learn earlier. I got a positive at 3 and a half weeks, but lots don’t show up until after a missed period. Plus, unless you are taking temps and counting days, it can be hard to know exactly how far along you are.

JessicaC on

Hippy Hop, Really, sue the company if she did something to harm the baby? This society is so litigious it’s disgusting. If SHE did something to harm the baby then SHE’D have no one to blame but herself. Not sure if it’s because people think they can get rich quick or people just need to constantly blame others for their actions…anyways congrats to Samantha….

Donna on

Have an ultra sound and you can find out you are having a boy whether you want to or not, because there it is sometimes, standing in all of its glory! That happened to me on my second, either its a boy or the baby has 5 limbs. So much for surprises!

Jazime on

Actually, my pregnancy test was also both a box pee stick and then a blood test at only TWO weeks and BOTH came out positive. So before you all go posting mis-information, check with your doctors and do some research.

kjc on

Actually Jazmine, you might need to do a little research yourself. Pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last period. So you have your period for one week, and then conceive the following week. It wouldn’t be possible to tell after 2 weeks because you would just be conceiving and there is no way that is detectable yet. When you find out you are pregnant, it is usually around the 4 week mark (although some tests can tell you a fews day early if you use the first urine of the day) I think where you are confused is even though you are considered/called 4 weeks pregnant, you ‘technically’ would only be about 2, because of that pesky way of counting from the first day of your last period.

…just saying…

J on

thanks, jasmine. everyone is different. i had a positive home test when i was 2 weeks (1 day before missed period), but also ‘knew’ from the difference in the way my body felt and eating everything i could get my hands on!

Sami on

The minute your egg is fertilized (before it even implants in your uterus) you are actually already labelled as 2 weeks pregnant! A pregnancy test (even a blood test at your doctor) does not have a chance of coming up positive until the fertilized egg implants in the uterus which is 6-12 days later (at which point you would now be called about 3-4 weeks pregnant, even though you’d actually only been pregnant for 6-12 days).

I do think the whole pregnancy dating thing is confusing and I don’t blame people for getting a bit mixed up. I personally think when you are pregnant for 1 week you should be called 1 week, not 3 weeks but that’s just not the way it works. When I am put in charge of the universe, I’ll change the rules. 🙂

jessicad on

I always thought the counting was weird too, I believe it varies depending on the country you’re in, right?

mel on

With my first 2 pregnancies (two sets of twins-both fraternal-girl/girl and girl/boy) we were able to find out the genders (which i found awesome)but with my last pregnancy, we didn’t find out until I gave birth yesterday, that we were adding another girl. She just wouldn’t co-operate. I have to say, i like finding out. It made it much easier to plan 🙂

Moore on

It’s quite possible to get a positive that early on. I did at exactly three weeks and confirmed it with a blood test at 3w/4d. There’s so many factors in there – the test, the person, implantation. It’s possible. The dating sounds like it depends on where you are. Here, there are two weeks added making you four by the time you miss your period.

I would think testing negative that early on would mean you take one not long after. I can’t imagine waiting till I’m 8 weeks to test again. It would get to me.

Jennifer on

You’re 2 weeks pregnant the minute the embryo implants itself. No test can pick that up. I was sick and in pain from the day of implantation and it took 2 weeks of doctor’s office visits and tests for them to work out I was pregnant, even though I told them on the first visit that this was how I found out I was pregnant with my first. The first blood test was done about 4 days after implantation and came up negative. Because of my ‘symptoms’ they sent me to a gastroenterologist for suspected gallstones! It was after 2 weeks of no answers that they did a ‘let’s check again’ test and there it was. Luckily in both cases the doctors prescribed pregnancy safe drugs to treat my pain and other issues.

Georgina on

I dont mean this is a scarcastic way at all, but I just don’t understand, people say I wanted to know the sex to make it easier to plan? Plan what exactly, I mean your having a baby? What does the sex affect? Boy or girl you need the same stuff right?

Suze on

3 1/2 weeks?? Is she crazy? That’s too early for an HTP to work. Even on the most sensitive tests, it says that to get the most accurate test result, you should wait until the date of your expected period. Too bad…she should have waited just a few more days and she would have known for sure.

Mia on

Plan-clothes, decorating the nursery + baby names.

I would definitely like to find out-just so you know/have more information ahead of time.

mel on

For us, the whole planning thing was the nursery, names and when we were expecting our boy/girl twins, the whole debate of circumcision came up and that was months of discussion. Plus we were able to help our older daughters get used to the idea that they were having a sister and a brother. It just made the whole thing easier for us.

This last time, i felt very unprepared, even though i had both boys and girl clothes around. We had the names that we liked picked out for either sex, but it still wasn’t the same. This whole last pregnancy just felt more difficult, not knowing.

April on

If you take a test that early and don’t allow time for the hormone to build up in your urine, it will be harder for the test to get a high enough concentration to turn positive. I was able to get a positive before my period was due but if it had been negative and still thought maybe, you retest a few days later. As for those who think sue for my own neglegence, seriously, how about just living a healthy lifestyle and taking responsiblity for your own actions. Geez, well I was only 6 inches from the edge of the cliff but the sign said that standing too close could be dangerous so I didn’t get 2 inches. Most packings say testing too early will give a false negative. Didn’t really know that would have to be a legal disclaimer for some.

Glad they are excited and wish them the best.

noa on

Georgina asked:
“I just don’t understand, people say I wanted to know the sex to make it easier to plan? Plan what exactly, I mean your having a baby? What does the sex affect? Boy or girl you need the same stuff right?”

In my case, having family on 3 different continents, organizing a Brit Mila (jewish circumcision) ceremony (caterer and all), with those close family members present, demanded some planning, so we wanted to find out before the birth.
Not to mention I’ve always disliked yellow and green on newborns.