"It's still so surreal that we created a little being," actress Daniella Monet tells PEOPLE of her upcoming due date and becoming a mother

By Claudia Harmata and Anya Leon
September 25, 2019 12:00 PM
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Daniella Monet got her wish for a baby boy — and now she can’t wait to meet him!

The former Nickelodeon star is giving PEOPLE a first look at the nursery she and fiancé Andrew Gardner have prepared for their forthcoming bundle of joy, sharing exclusive photos, as well as a video tour on her YouTube channel that was produced by Dadoune Media.

When it came time to pick out the most important part of the nursery, the crib, Monet, 30, says she sought out one that didn’t feel restrictive.

“[I wanted] a crib that felt warm and inviting and didn’t have bars,” she tells PEOPLE. “I don’t know why, but I felt strongly about him being able to see out without the distraction of those traditional vertical bars.”

She found the perfect crib with transparent bars at Pottery Barn Kids, the soon-to-be mother reveals. “It’s called the Sloan Acrylic crib — it’s GREENGUARD [Gold Certified] and convertible,” she says. “So happy with it!”

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Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi
Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi
Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi
Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi

Monet also fell in love with the subtle animal-kingdom mural that decorates the wall above little Gio’s crib, and looks forward to “pointing out each animal to Gio.”

“It’s bold in scale yet soft in color, and all around brings such a fun element to the space,” she says of the wall décor.

The actress tells PEOPLE that while her nursery is ready for its new resident, she and Gardner are equally ready to meet their first child together.

“I’m looking forward to seeing his face and touching his little toes and hands,” she says. “Andrew and I both feel like the moment we see him will feel emotionally overwhelming. It’s still so surreal that we created a little being who we get to create so many memories with.”

Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi
Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi

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The actress also explains the meaningful decision of their child’s moniker, saying they knew it was meant to be. “We fell in love with the name Gio right off the bat,” Monet says. “Andrew’s nickname was G as a kid, his grandpa goes by Gee and Giovanni happens to be my brother’s middle name. He’s a Gio, we just knew it.”

The couple, who got engaged in December 2017, first announced Monet’s pregnancy in April, telling PEOPLE that it only took them one try to conceive, as she had been tracking her ovulation.

They were so excited about the news that Monet joked Gardner would have started putting their baby’s room together immediately after they received the sex-reveal envelope from the doctor.

“He thinks he’s going to start working on the nursery tomorrow. I had to hide the envelope from him!” she told PEOPLE at the time, explaining that they wanted to wait until mid-May to open it.

Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi
Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi
Nursery for Daniella Monet’s son Gio
Lucas Rossi
Daniella Monet
Lucas Rossi

As her due date nears, Monet now says she’s focusing on maintaining a positive outlook and knows that while things may not go as planned, she’s ready to face them head-on.

“I’m planning a natural, unmedicated birth. I’ve looked forward to giving birth this way for as long as I can remember,” she tells PEOPLE. “I understand that plans can change, but I’m doing my best to manifest a beautiful experience regardless.”

“I feel like the biggest moment of my entire life is about to occur any day now,” she adds. “And I couldn’t be more excited to rise up for the occasion.”