Jacqueline Jossa had a "big plan" to leave "EastEnders" and "smash" other roles - before finding out she was pregnant.
The 25-year-old star is expecting her second child with Dan Osborne - who she has three-year-old daughter Ella with - any week now, and admitted it came as a "shock" she was expecting again, because she was preparing to try to land other parts after bowing out of her role as Lauren Branning.
She said: "This baby wasn't planned, so it was a shock just as I left the show.
"Instead of following my big plan of leaving and smashing it work-wise, I'm on a break instead."
Jacqueline has hinted she might be heading back to Albert Square at some point after admitting she will "definitely" return to acting work following the birth.
She said: "It's worked out nicely though, I've been able to embrace this time with Ella and prepare her for having a new member of the family.
"I'll definitely go back to work though."
Jacqueline joined "EastEnders" as Lauren in 2010, and she has revealed the soap offered her counselling to help deal with being on such a huge programme.
She added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It helps you deal with the fact that life changes when you're on such a big show and you can sort out any problems you're having generally."
The brunette beauty recently admitted Dan helped her to realise she needed to leave "EastEnders" to try to "challenge" herself in other roles.
She said: "I phoned him up in tears when I first found out. He's quite cut throat. He was like, "Listen, there's no reason to be scared. I know you love "EastEnders" but it's time to move on."
"Once I'd had a chance to take it in, I realised he was right. If I didn't get the push, I would have stayed and never challenged myself."