Hayley Tamaddon has said she was so surprised to be pregnant at 42 that she took 18 tests to confirm the news.
The soap star recently announced she is expecting her first child with her fiance, after years of believing she could not conceive.
She told Closer magazine: “I must have taken 18 tests – 10 after my first one and then one each day throughout the week. I spent a fortune as we couldn’t believe it.”
The ex-Emmerdale and Coronation Street actress said: “The fact I’m 42 and having a baby is absolutely incredible. For so long I thought I couldn’t have children, it just never happened.
“Now that it has, everything feels natural and so right. We’re expecting a boy, which is amazing, and I’ve never been happier.”
She added: “I always thought I’d be married by 30 and have a child at 33, but life didn’t work out that way.
“I’ve been in long-term relationships in the past and I expected kids would follow naturally but they never did.
“You get to a point where you accept it. Years ago, I started having tests with a doctor to see if there was anything wrong but then my relationship ended so I didn’t look into it further.”
Tamaddon, a Dancing On Ice winner, said: “When I reached 40, I was single and thought ‘Well, it’s never going to happen now’. I threw myself into my career, turned my focus to work and I was happy.”
The full interview appears in this week’s Closer magazine.