When his wife Nicole “Coco” Austin came running down the stairs crying one day, Ice-T immediately froze. The rapper turned actor assumed there had been a tragedy in the family.
“I took the test and when I found out, I ran downstairs. He was on the computer and I was bawling, screaming. He thought someone died,” she tells PEOPLE.
But it turns out they were happy — and nervous — tears: Austin was pregnant! “He was just as surprised as me,” she admits of finding out they were expecting their first child together.
“I was so thrown off that our pregnancy happened really fast,” Austin, 36, shares. “It happened out of the blue, and I was like, ‘Wow, wait a second!’ I was told it was going to take a lot longer than it [did] so it threw me off.”
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The mix of emotions quickly turned to excitement. Although the couple — who revealed the pregnancy during a July 24 taping of their new show, Ice and Coco, airing Monday on select Fox stations — are keeping the sex and due date a surprise, they can’t wait to share the sweet details soon.
“You never think it could really happen to you — that you can actually make a human being — and when you do, you’re like, ‘Wow!’ ” Austin explains. “Your body takes over and does it itself. You’re not putting the hands and feet together – your body’s cooking it and it’s amazing. It’s a miracle how life can happen.”
She continues, “I never thought I would have this feeling, but it’s an overhaul of seeing the world differently. I’m so not like Coco from a year ago. I’m a totally different Coco.”
The mom-to-be is also a healthier version of herself. After doctors warned that her high blood pressure could later cause a high-risk pregnancy, Austin promised to concentrate her efforts on her health. That promise, she says, has paid off in more ways than one.
“I’m feeling wonderful. I haven’t gotten sick … no nausea,” says Austin, whose cravings include big bowls of fruit and bubbly beverages.
“I think it has a lot to do with if you’re healthy before you got pregnant. Your body automatically goes in healthy zone. It tells you, ‘Okay, we need to step up the health thing,’ but if you’re a healthy person [already], I don’t think it’s a really big deal.”
Although Austin couldn’t wait to become a mother, she admits her family is “big enough,” and she’ll likely be one and done.
“I’m working on this one child, but I’ve always planned on having one and, definitely, I have enough boys in the house that I consider all of them my babies,” she jokes of her husband and dogs Spartacus and Maximus.
For more on Coco Austin’s daily food plan, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
— Anya Leon with reporting by Antoinette Y. Coulton