"I just wanted a healthy, happy baby, but a little girl means a whole other deal," second-time dad-to-be Brantley Gilbert tells PEOPLE exclusively

By Jen Juneau
March 26, 2019 12:35 PM
Advertisement

It’s “One Hell of an Amen” for Brantley Gilbert — he has a daughter on the way!

The country singer-songwriter and his wife Amber reveal to PEOPLE exclusively that they are expecting their second child — a daughter due in September — sharing photos from their sex reveal featuring 16-month-old son Barrett Hardy-Clay.

After Amber, Gilbert and Barrett pulled a string on a box above their heads, pink balloons, balls and confetti rained down on the family of three, letting them know a baby girl would be joining their family.

But a snafu clued the dad-to-be in a little early, when a lone pink ball escaped ahead of the big reveal!

“I didn’t see it,” Amber tells PEOPLE with a laugh. “I was so busy watching Barrett, but I saw the look on Brantley’s face. And then when the box finally opened … it was amazing. There was all this pink girl confetti, balls and stuff everywhere.”

“My mom was crying, and I had tears in my eyes. But Brantley? He was just crying,” she adds, explaining that her best friend and the latter’s mom packed the box so the family had no idea about the sex of the baby beforehand.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.

Brantley Gilbert, wife Amber and son Barrett
Brantley Gilbert and wife Amber
Brantley Gilbert and wife Amber’s sex-reveal party
Brantley Gilbert and wife Amber
Lyn Sengupta

The moment was an emotional one for 34-year-old Gilbert, who was visibly teary in photos following the shower of blush-colored decorations.

“Oh, I cried!” he recalls to PEOPLE. “I was so sure it was a boy. I wasn’t ready for it to be a little girl — and man, when it was! I just wanted a healthy, happy baby, but a little girl means a whole other deal.”

“I know I have so much to learn,” adds the "What Happens in a Small Town" crooner. “You even diaper them differently, so I’m gonna be learning a whole lot of stuff from these books Amber reads — and I can’t wait!”

“I am just mush with Barrett,” he admits. “But I’m getting to where I’m okay letting him tough it out. I think a girl is going to be a whole new level of everything, and I’m ready. I already know she’s gonna own me, and that’s okay.”

Brantley Gilbert’s wife Amber
Brantley Gilbert, wife Amber and son Barrett
Lyn Sengupta

RELATED VIDEO: Brantley Gilbert and His Wife, Amber, Talk Their Love Story Dating Back to High School

Fifty of the couple’s close family members and friends gathered for the celebration, enjoying refreshments from a Varsity food truck that Amber describes as “a tradition,” having used the company for their wedding rehearsal dinner and their sex reveal when she was pregnant with Barrett.

Most of the guests were team “Girl,” as barely any of the “Boy” pins had been claimed — and Barrett “loved playing in all the pink,” his mom recalls of the moments following the reveal.

“Earlier in the day, when they came with all the bunches of blue and pink balloons, we offered him a blue one or a pink one and he went for the pink — almost like he knew,” Amber shares. “I’m not sure he understands, but it’s like he knew she was a little girl.”

Brantley Gilbert and son Barrett
Lyn Sengupta
Brantley Gilbert and wife Amber’s sex-reveal party
Brantley Gilbert and wife Amber

For the second-time parents-to-be, it was the surprise of a lifetime considering their hunches told them Barrett would be getting a younger brother.

“All I could think was about was me and my little brother,” Gilbert says. “And I have cousins where it’s just two boys. So even though at one point I’d thought it might be a girl, I’d really come around to the idea that it would be a son, and they’d be best friends.”

“I did too. I figured they’d be so close in age, they’d be best friends. Just inseparable. Though with Brantley, a little boy and a male dog, I was feeling pretty outnumbered,” Amber tells PEOPLE. “I had three brothers, and I never got to do anything. I know Barrett isn’t going to remember being an only child because they’re so close, but I already know he’s going to be an amazing older brother.”

Of fatherhood, Gilbert says, “There is nothing like it,” musing, “And as great as you think it’s going to be, it doesn’t come close to how it really is. To think it’s happening again is wild.”