December 24, 2018 04:10 PM

The next six weeks are going to be long ones for Andy Cohen.

The Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen host, 50, announced on his Bravo talk show on Thursday that he is expecting his first child in early February, telling viewers that “after many years of careful deliberation, a fair amount of prayers and the benefit of science — if all goes according to plan in about six weeks time I’m going to become a father thanks to a wonderful surrogate who is carrying my future.”

Cohen has since been showered with love and congratulations from his celebrity pals (and of course, Real Housewives stars). And though a source told PEOPLE Cohen feels “relieved” the news is finally out there, waiting for his baby on the way isn’t going to be easy.

“Patiently waiting…” he wrote on Instagram Monday, sharing a sweet photo of he and his dog, Wacha, lovingly staring into one another’s eyes.

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RELATED: Dad-to-Be Andy Cohen Excitedly Told Friends ‘I Want a Family — I’m Ready to Do This’: Source

This will be the first child for Cohen.

“Family means everything to me and having one of my own is something that I have wanted in my heart for my entire life,” he said on WWHL, during a special episode that included “O.G.” Housewives Vicki GunvalsonRamona SingerNeNe LeakesKyle Richards and Teresa Giudice“Though it’s taken me longer than most to get there, I cannot wait for what I envision will be the most rewarding chapter yet.”

Cohen did not reveal the sex of the baby, but did look back at his big announcement on Sunday.

“I’ve wanted to shout my personal news from rooftops, so finally telling everybody last week was a huge joy,” he said on Instagram.

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RELATED: Everything Dad-to-Be Andy Cohen Has Said About Becoming a Parent

A source on the WWHL scene told PEOPLE Cohen “was over the moon backstage.”

“I’ve never seen him smile like that. He was so, so happy. Everyone was showering him with congratulations and praise,” the source said.

Initially, folks who weren’t in on the secret were worried his news was about something much less exciting. “When he was originally speaking, we thought he was resigning from the show, so we all were just so surprised and happy,” the source explained.

“Most of his close friends and staff at WWHL had known for a few weeks now, but he kept the secret from the wider group — including some Bravo executives there and the Housewives who were on his show,” said the source.

Andy Cohen
Dave Kotinsky/Getty

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The source revealed to PEOPLE that after the show, “a smaller group went out to celebrate,” where an on-cloud-nine Cohen “was telling people that he was ‘relieved’ the news was finally out there and just kept reiterating how excited he was for the future.”

”‘I can’t wait to meet my kid,’ he said,” the insider recalled. “He’s always had that urge to be a father, and felt like this was the right time. His parents are of a certain age, and he wants them to know his child. He said, ‘I know I’m single, but I haven’t met anyone and I want a family. I’m ready to do this.’ “

The source added, “He’s going to be an amazing dad. He’s so filled with love. He’s going to give this child a wonderful life.”

Andy Cohen
FOX/Getty Images

In March, Cohen opened up about his dating life, revealing he’s single and looking for a guy who has never seen The Real Housewives.

“Yes, I am single again,” Cohen told Entertainment Tonight from the set of the Fox show, Love Connection.

He said he wants “someone who’s very independent, someone who has their own thing going on. Maybe someone who’s never seen The Real Housewives.” Adding he’d want a Jewish version of John F. Kennedy, Jr. which he joking dubbed, “Jew-FK, Jr.”

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