The Alaska: The Last Frontier couple welcomed their second child, daughter Sparrow Rose Kilcher, on Monday, Sept. 28, their rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.
The proud parents, who adopt a simple off-the-grid lifestyle documented on their reality show, spoke to PEOPLE just days before their baby girl’s birth.
The couple discussed the unique ways they prepared for the long winter ahead while also parenting 22-month-old son Findlay and getting ready for the new arrival.
PEOPLE: How are you feeling?
Eve: Incredibly uncomfortable. Not sleeping well. Just ready for the baby to come out! We’re at a place where [the birth] could happen anytime, but there’s so much to do this time of year, we want the baby to stay in a little longer.
PEOPLE: How does this pregnancy compare to your last one?
Eve: This pregnancy has been harder. I’ve been a lot more tired, I definitely don’t get as much rest as I would like. Findlay is a great boy, but chasing an almost 2-year-old is exhausting.
Luckily, he doesn’t get into too much trouble, but he loves going on walks and running around — a lot that you do anyway with chores and animals.
PEOPLE: What are you doing now to prepare for winter?
Eve: There’s tons of harvesting right now: digging potatoes, pulling carrots and beets, doing tons of canning. Those are some of the thing I do — lots of berry picking and apple picking and harvesting oats with a scythe.
Eivin: Also collecting firewood to get the house warm and ready for winterizing. At the end of the day, it’s very exhausting.
PEOPLE: It sounds exhausting! Especially for someone in their third trimester. Have you slowed down at all with the baby on the way?
Eivin: She’s full speed ahead. She’s still trying to conquer as much as she can in the day.
Eve: We take some moments to stop and rest. I was harvesting and had some Braxton Hicks contractions and I was like, ‘Dude, maybe I should stop.’ I am slowed down for sure, but my mom is here helping me with a lot.
Even so, you know your kid so well it can be hard to have someone take the reins and let things go.
PEOPLE: Do you think you’re in nesting mode now?
Eve: I’m totally in that nesting mode, which doesn’t help because I’m not very reasonable. We’re working on trying to finish the house, too. We just finished the baby’s bedroom, which he didn’t think was as important, but I thought was really important to do. I wanted to do what every pregnant woman does: to organize baby clothes and have a place to put them.
Eivin: I was trying to tackle that while also tending to a garden the size of city lots on a 600-acre homestead and handle all the salmon we caught. Plus, the baby will be in our bedroom, of course, for awhile at first.
PEOPLE: What does the nursery look like?
Eve: The nursery is gender neutral. The bedroom is green — we’re not super into the pink thing. I like it to just be pictures of animals on the wall.
Findlay has some dolls he plays with, but of course prefers trucks and tractors. This little girl can be a welder and a builder, but if she wants to be girly girl she can totally be that too.
PEOPLE: How do you feel about welcoming a baby girl after having a boy?
Eve: We’re really excited because we love our little boy, but it’ll be fun to get a little girl. There are a lot of boys in Otto’s family, so I think all the grandmas are fairly elated.
PEOPLE: Why did you decide to find out the sex in advance?
Eve: I figured it would be a surprise no matter when you find out. I’m honestly not very patient. I like to plan.
PEOPLE: Did you have any prediction on whether it would be a girl or boy?
Eivin: You never know, but I was very hopeful. We really wanted a little girl because I grew up in a family of boys, so to have a girl is a new experience for me. It’s cool. I’m always open to new adventures, experiencing the new and unexplored, so I’m excited about it.
Eve: I definitely thought it might be a girl, but didn’t know if it was just wishful thinking. I definitely thought it was a girl and was excited when it was … As she gets older, we’ll all learn about girls. I know boys now. It’s just an adventure all the way.
PEOPLE: Does Findlay seem to understand a new baby is coming? How is he handling baby anticipation?
Eve: He really loves to kiss and cuddle my tummy, but I still don’t think he realizes the idea of having another baby to take care of. But he does love baby things: baby animals or to cuddle baby stuffed animals.
Every day, multiple times a day, he’ll lift my shirt up and bring toys over and say, “Share?” “Baby?” I think he will be sweet with the new baby, but I also think the transition will be difficult no matter what.
PEOPLE: Preparing for winter while parenting a young toddler must have some unique challenges. What are some of the things you have to think about at home with Findlay that other parents might not have to consider?
Eve: We have to keep a close eye on him around the animals, making sure he doesn’t run under the horse’s feet, teaching him about plants and berries that are dangerous.
Eivin: You just have to watch kids on farms. There’s a tractor he loves to play on — you look the other way and he climbs on a tractor that’s 200-times his size.
But we also let him fall down so he’s not coddled and learns for himself so when the time comes that we can’t be there, he’s that much better. We’re definitely not helicopter parents.
PEOPLE: How are you feeling about parenting two kids under two?
Eve: They’re just a tad closer than we imagined, but things happen naturally and we’re actually really excited. We think the short-term might be difficult because of two such tiny kids, but in the long-term they will be in school together and hopefully be really good friends.
Although they’re very grateful for the gifts they received from fans of the show the first time around, the Kilchers ask that anyone who is considering sending a present instead donate to Homer Wilderness Leaders, a non-profit close to their hearts and home in Homer.
Alaska: The Last Frontier premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.
— Kathy Ehrich Dowd