The story is set on a college campus and takes place over a period of nine months, spanning the seasons from March to November. Danny and Lizzie, both 20, are students studying music. They share a basement flat and are close to graduating. Alan (48) who is a dean of the college, and his wife Arlene (43) are returning from holiday. Pam and her husband Nick - both 30 - are sport coaches. All three women have good reason to believe that they are accidentally pregnant, and each couple feels on the verge of great changes.
Given their situation, Lizzie and Danny are a little apprehensive about the future, although Lizzie does not see a baby as reason enough to marry. Alan and Arlene reflect on their own situation with three children who have already flown the nest. They give themselves a week to decide whether or not to go through with the pregnancy. Pam and Nick are simply overjoyed and all over each other.
The three women meet in the doctor's waiting room, reconciling their broodiness with their other ambitions. Meanwhile, Danny and Nick meet to express their doubts and reinforce their certainties. With great confusion and anguish, Pam finds that she is not pregnant at all. and that Nick may be virtually sterile. The doctor recommends a guidebook on bedroom practices,
The three men meet at a ball game. Danny says he is to join a punk band called the Magnets in order to earn some money for the unexpected arrival. All look forward to the sacrifices they will make.
Nick and Pam begin to use their guidebook and Alan and Arlene decide to have the baby. Danny is to tour with the band for several months and Lizzie bids goodbye to him at the bus station. Danny symbolically 'weds' her with an old ring before he leaves.
Time passes for Lizzie and, left by herself one day she feels her baby move for the first time.
By mid August, Lizzie is heavily pregnant and finds herself stopped by other women telling her their own birth experiences. Danny at last returns. They are delighted to discover that they now both want to get married.
Nick and Pam finally give up on the guidebook which has made their lovemaking a misery. Nick suggests maybe she should find a man who can guarantee to make her pregnant but they both know that what they have together is too precious to sacrifice. Arlene and Alan come to see that her 'accidental' pregnancy was actually something they had both wanted, because their love had become predictable. Realising their new potential, the experiences of all three of the couples are inter-played as Lizzie finally gives birth to her baby at the hospital.
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