Kellyn and Eric Wilkes had been trying for months to conceive. So when Kellyn learned she is pregnant with their first child, the mom-to-be had to break the news to her husband in an extra special way.
Kellyn, 30, enlisted the help of photographer Callie Beale to surprise her husband in a sweet photo shoot. In the shots, Kellyn wrote “You’re Going to be a DADDY!” on a small chalkboard before turning and surprising Eric with the news.
“It was one of the best moments of my life, for sure,” Kellyn tells PEOPLE of seeing Eric’s reaction. “He’s very smart and intuitive and difficult to surprise. So when I turned and saw his face, I knew that I had gotten him good. So that brought me a ton of joy.”
Eric, 36, and Kellyn wed in December 2016, and she lured Eric to the photoshoot under the guise of celebrating their first year of marriage with some new pictures. Beale, of Callie Beale Photography, asked the couple to write one word on their chalkboards to describe their first year of marriage — Eric wrote “fulfilled.”
In the images, taken in September, Eric donned a shocked expression and buried his head in his hands in disbelief before embracing Kellyn.
“He was absolutely elated,” Kellyn says. “Immediately after the photoshoot, as we were driving home, he said, ‘I feel like a dad already!’ He said, ‘I’m driving slower in the car!’ “
“He said that it immediately changed his perspective on things.”
Kellyn tells PEOPLE that she and Eric have been trying to conceive for nine months, noting that a fertility specialist warned them that they would have some “issues.”
“He has wanted to be a daddy for a long time. We were trying and we both really wanted this so he was shocked and it took a while for [the pregnancy news] to set in with him,” she says. “We definitely did shed a lot of tears once it did set in. For the rest of the night he still was in a state of absolute disbelief and excitement.”
Navy Widow Learns She’s Pregnant After Husband’s Death and Honors Him with Special Gender Reveal
The mother-to-be, who is now 17 weeks pregnant, said the months after the shoot have been “exciting and busy.” She and Eric only recently shared the news to their family and friends. As for the parents-to-be, Kellyn says the excitement hasn’t worn off, and adds that Eric is eager and ready to be a father.
“He has been absolutely wonderful and the most supportive husband I could ever ask for,” she tells PEOPLE.