February 24, 2016 09:00 AM

Model, TV host and newly-christened cookbook author Chrissy Teigen hasn’t been shy about undergoing in vitro fertilization (she even gave herself shots during her Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot!).

But to conceive their first child, a daughter due this spring, she and her husband of two years, John Legend, took it a step further.

“I’ve made this decision,” Teigen tells PEOPLE exclusively while chatting about her book Cravings in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday. “Not only am I having a girl, but I picked the girl from her little embryo. I picked her and was like, ‘Let’s put in the girl.’ “

Anders Overgaard

“I think I was most excited and allured by the fact that John would be the best father to a little girl. That excited me,” she explains. “It excited me to see … just the thought of seeing him with a little girl. I think he deserves a little girl. I think he deserves that bond. A boy will come along. We’ll get there too, so it’s not like we really have to pick. But he definitely is very lucky to have a little girl. And this girl is going to be so completely lucky to have John as her papa — it’s crazy!”

Teigen, 30, thinks that something magical happens to guys when they become a dad to a daughter: “How soft they get, how mushy, and excited they get. It’s so cute,” she says.

But she’s also gotten a preview of Legend’s parenting skills based on how he interacts with their pets. (Don’t worry, she knows that parents hate the “kid-dog comparison.”)

Puddy our bulldog was John’s first dog ever,” she says. “He never suspected he could love something like that ever, so it’s so funny seeing him interact with them and knowing that’s the way he’s going to speak to our kid.”

Chrissy Teigen/Photographs by Aubrie Pick/Clarkson

And it turns out, that’s pretty formal. “John’s very big on full sentences and not doing baby talk,” she says.

“Even when he’s talking to the dog he’s like, ‘Putty, you need to go outside and use the restroom today.’ And I’m like, ‘What the f—, it’s a dog! You’re crazy!’ “

Teigen continues, “I’m excited to see what he is going to do because I think we’ll have two very different styles. I’m excited to see that part of John; We’ve been together so long, and sometimes we look at each other and we’re like, ‘I know everything about you and you know everything about me,’ but we have no idea what we’re going to be like as parents. I think it’ll be really fun. I’m excited.”

For more exclusive info from Teigen, including two recipes from her new book Cravings, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Catherine Kast

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