Emily DiDonato tells PEOPLE what she is most looking forward to about being a mom and why finding out she was pregnant felt like she was "in a movie"

By Georgia Slater
June 09, 2021 08:00 AM
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Emily DiDonato
Credit: Emily DiDonato

Emily DiDonato is going to be a mom!

The model, 30, is expecting her first baby, a daughter, with husband Kyle Peterson in early December, she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

DiDonato says she found out about her pregnancy "pretty early" after she took a test when she was "just not feeling quite like myself."

"I felt a little tired. I was a little bloated," she says. "I actually just had a test in my drawer and I was like, 'I'm just going to take this. I have a weird feeling that this is potentially going to be positive.' "

When her test came back positive, the soon-to-be mom says "it was totally like in the movies."

"I ran to CVS and bought 20 different kinds of pregnancy tests and I took all of them. I was like, 'Okay, I really, really am pregnant,' " she recalls.

DiDonato says she was so excited to share the news with her husband that she "blurted it out when he walked through the door."

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DiDonato teases that her husband, whom she wed in 2018, has had a hard time keeping the secret as well.

"I would hear him on conference calls with his entire office telling people very early on and I was like, 'Kyle, you're supposed to wait and decide on that decision together,' " she says with a laugh. "But I think he's just so excited and excited to share that news with people at his job."

While the model admits she and Peterson weren't "actively trying" to get pregnant at the time, DiDonato says she's always wanted to have kids.

DiDonato launched the skincare brand Covey with best friend Christina Garcia just two weeks before finding out she was pregnant. "Timing-wise it wasn't perfect, but there's never a perfect or right time," she says.

As she prepares to welcome her baby girl, DiDonato says she's been reflecting on her relationship with her own mother, whom she calls her "best friend."

"I love her to this day and consult her on everything. I think about having that bond and creating that friendship [with my daughter] and fostering that relationship is going to be really exciting," she shares.

The model, who has previously been open about her struggles with body image acceptance throughout her modeling career, tells PEOPLE that her pregnancy has been "really positive" for her.

"I feel a whole new neutrality towards my body and food in a way," she explains. "In terms of my body, I think this is the first time in my life that I've had to be like my body is about to change and a lot of it is not under my control and that's okay. And also reminding myself that stressing about it and getting upset about it isn't going to change what's about to happen in the next nine months."

"My body is going on a journey," she adds. "It knows what it needs. I know what I need. And I just need to make sure I'm being the healthiest version of myself as much as I can when I can."

And with a daughter on the way, DiDonato says she doesn't want to be "putting that kind of [negative] energy into my body and her little body growing in there."