“I always tell [the doctors to] call [Eric] because I don’t want to get the phone call,” the Without a Trace star, who underwent more than six rounds of in vitro fertilization and is now pregnant with the couple’s second child, a son — tells PEOPLE for this week’s issue.
“I’m the bearer of good news and bad news,” Winter explains. “I ended up getting the call [saying] she was pregnant, so I brought her home a little card that was basically like, ‘You’re having a baby.’ ”
“I gave it to her and I said, ‘Look, whatever was the result today, I just want you to open the card and appreciate it,’ ” adds the Witches of East End actor. “Then she read it and she burst into tears and was screaming. She was so happy.”
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The couple admits that alongside the physical struggle of Sanchez having to undergo multiple fertility treatments over the years, the emotional toll the process took on their relationship was substantial.
“It’s a lot on two people,” says Winter. “One person is basically putting her body and her mind and her hormones through war, and the other person is — ”
“Is receiving war!” Sanchez finishes.
“[I’m] like, ‘Yes dear, whatever makes you feel good,’ ” Winter explains. “I was always the one administering all of the hormones because she … doesn’t like dealing with needles. I had to give them to her every night.”
Recalls the mom-to-be, 44, “I was like, ‘You bruised me! I’m all bruised!’ ”
“It was quite a journey,” Winter says.
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The spouses of almost nine years already share 5½-year-old daughter Sebella Rose, who was also conceived via IVF, but admit they waited three and a half months to tell her that she was going to be a big sister.
“We wanted to make sure that everything was under control before we said anything,” Sanchez explains. “Although she’s so smart, [she picked up on] the fertility treatments … she would ask me, ‘Mom, why do you have that on your stomach?’ and I’d be like, ‘I’m trying to have a baby,’ without explaining too much. I think she knew that I was pregnant before we even said anything.”
But the second-time parents-to-be made the reveal special for Sebella anyway. “We did a whole picnic at the park. We had balloons and it was very cute,” Sanchez recalls. “We had her open a present — a doll that was a baby boy dressed in blue.”
Sebella is super excited now, but her initial reaction to the news was a little different. “She was a little upset at first,” says Winter, 41. “She was always hoping for a little sister because a lot of her friends have little sisters. She thought that would be so cool.”
“She’s been asking for a sibling for quite some time and always just visualized it was going to be a little girl,” the soon-to-be father of two explains. “So when [she learned] it was a boy, she was a little pissed off at us at first.”
“After some explaining [that] we couldn’t control this — ‘This is what happens, this is what God had in mind‘ — she didn’t want the baby doll and eventually we said, ‘Look, we don’t want to force you. When you’re ready … you let us know,’ ” Winter says. “Within a few hours, she came around to it, and now she’s beside herself. She’s over the moon.”
For more about Roselyn Sanchez and Eric Winter’s journey toward expanding their family, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.