August 28, 2013 01:00 PM

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DeAnna Pappas Stagliano is pregnant!

The former Bachelorette, 31, and her husband Stephen Stagliano are expecting their first child, she confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

“We are so very excited!” says DeAnna. “We had been trying for almost a year; we wanted this so badly.”

After a nausea-filled first trimester, DeAnna says she is now “feeling great” and happily prepping for the new addition.

The parents-to-be will soon find out the little one’s sex, though DeAnna was willing to wait until the big day. “I kind of wanted it to be a surprise, but Stephen wants to be prepared,” she explains.

The expectant reality star adds, “The baby is due Feb. 8 and Stephen’s birthday is Feb. 4. I told him all he’s getting for his birthday this year is a baby!”

Originally rejected by Bachelor‘s Brad Womack, Pappas Stagliano went on to become the bachelorette and accepted a proposal from Jesse Csincsak, before later calling it quits.

She then turned to her Bachelor family, Stagliano’s twin — and former contestant — Michael, who set up the reality star with his brother.

In August 2010, Stagliano proposed and the two tied the knot in her home state of Georgia in October 2011.

— Anya Leon and Aili Nahas

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