Daniella Monet also talks telling her fiancé about her pregnancy, baby-shower plans and why she wants to raise her child on the way vegan

By Octavia Akoulitchev
April 03, 2019 01:00 PM
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There’s a baby on the way for Daniella Monet!

It only took one try for the former Nickelodeon star — who’s expecting her first child with fiancé Andrew Gardner — to get pregnant. As she explains, “I was really adamant about tracking my ovulation with the Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System and got pretty good at that, so I knew exactly when we tried there was a really solid chance it could happen.”

As soon as she experienced heart-racing symptoms, she had a hunch and ran to the bathroom. Sure enough, the test was positive, and Monet immediately drove to Gardner’s workplace to surprise him with the good news.

“I got there and just said, ‘I got you a coffee’ and I stuck the test in the coffee cup,” recalls Monet, 30. “I was shaking, I was laughing, my smile was so enormous that my face was sore for a while after.”

Courtesy Daniella Monet

Gardner, 31, was just as excited, the mom-to-be adds: “He’s such a kids guy. He’s impatient. He’s wanted to start a family for a while.”

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But unlike Monet, he has been just as impatient to find out whether the new member of the family will be a girl or boy. Although they got the sex-reveal envelope a month ago, Monet has been determined to wait until she’s halfway through her pregnancy, in mid-May, to open it.

Gardner, on the other hand, “cannot wait — he thinks he’s going to start working on the nursery tomorrow. I had to hide the envelope from him!” she tells PEOPLE.

Although Monet’s first priority is to have a healthy baby, she can’t help hoping that the envelope will reveal a son on the way for the longtime couple.

“It’s just something about a boy,” she says. “I grew up around a lot of guys in the neighborhood; I was probably one of the only girls. I also had a little brother who is still, to this day, like my kid, and I just have a lot of experience with boys. If it’s a girl it will be a very new experience, which I actually look forward to, but if it’s a boy, I think I’m ready.”

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Whether they have a son or a daughter, the couple are already planning an elaborate shower to welcome their baby into the world, and Monet would love it to be Tulum-themed.

“I really fell in love with Tulum, Mexico, and that’s the kind of style of our home and backyard,” she tells PEOPLE. “I just want to feel comfortable and wear something flowy, and I imagine there being a Tulum atmosphere around me.”

The bash is looking like it’ll be a big one, as the guest list is already over 100 people. The one downside to having so many loved ones around? Fierce competition to be godparents.

It’s going to be tough making those decisions not only because Monet comes from a large Italian-Chilean family, where “everyone is so nurturing that I could trust any one of them,” but also because this baby will be the first on both her and Gardner’s sides of the family. She groans, “Everyone’s chomping at the bit to be godparents.”

Whomever she chooses, it’s clear that Monet will have a strong network of support when the baby is born not just from family, but also her former Victorious castmates, who were especially excited about the news.

She might be taking a maternity leave, but one thing Monet won’t change when the baby arrives is her vegan lifestyle. A vegetarian since the age of 5 and vegan since 13, the Paradise Run host has been a prominent vegan activist in recent years. She has participated in various PETA campaigns, even posing as a mermaid in order to encourage people to consume less fish and “try to relate to what’s on your plate.”

But is she planning on raising her baby as a vegan, too? “Our home will be a completely vegan home and everything that I choose to feed my child will be vegan,” she affirms. “If at some point my child is old enough to make decisions on their own then that’s on them, but I believe in educating my kid first. I want him or her to grow up at the barn or the farm sanctuary, and have a real understanding of animal welfare.”

Her focus on health and wellness is one of the reasons why Monet says she is planning on a natural water birth: “I’m pretty healthy and mindful of my body. I’ve never been much of a doctor person, so I would want to try and do a birth as natural as possible!”