He nabbed a mirror ball trophy on Dancing With the Stars last month, but the biggest and best prize is yet to come – J.R. Martinez tells PEOPLE exclusively that he and girlfriend Diana Gonzalez-Jones are expecting their first child in May.
“We found out just last week it’s a girl and we are over the moon,” Martinez, 28, says.
“Diana has a little baby bump now and it’s the cutest thing ever. With the holidays coming up, this is the biggest and best gift we could get.”
The Iraq war vet and Gonzalez-Jones met when he landed a role on All My Children in 2008.
At the time, she was working as an assistant to the soap’s executive producer. The two became close friends, but it wasn’t until last year that the pair decided to take their friendship to the next level.
“We were so good as friends that romantically, we just clicked right away. There was no adjustment period,” Gonzalez-Jones told PEOPLE earlier this year.
Impending fatherhood “is sinking in” Martinez says, admitting that he can’t believe all of the good things that have happened in the past year.
“2011 has been full of a lot of surprises and opportunities and ultimately, a lot of blessings,” says Martinez. “Diana and I were just asking ourselves, ‘How is 2012 going to top 2011?’ Well, we have our answer!”