The HGTV stars welcomed daughter Helen, 3, in 2018 after a harrowing health struggle that could have left them unable to have children

By Mackenzie Schmidt
April 11, 2021 08:30 PM
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Erin and Ben Napier are growing their family!

"We're having another baby!" the HGTV stars tell PEOPLE exclusively. They are expecting their second child, another girl, in May.

The couple, who already share daughter Helen, 3, learned the happy news in September while simultaneously filming Home Town in Laurel, Mississippi, and their new show, Home Town Takeover, about 200 miles away in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Listen to more of PEOPLE's exclusive interview with Erin and Ben Napier below on our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"The last six months of 2020 really, you know, it was rough. It's all a blur," Ben jokes of filming, traveling and preparing for a new baby during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"We were like, 'Ooh, this is going to be tough, but we can do it,'" says Erin. "We don't remember anything, but I'm glad somebody was filming all of it."

Erin and Ben Napier family photo
Credit: Brooke Davis-Jefcoat
erin-ben-napier-hometown-hgtv
Ben and Erin Napier
| Credit: courtesy HGTV

The couple also broke the news on Sunday night's episode of Home Town, which featured a double pregnancy reveal. Their clients were Ben's brother Jessie and his wife Lauren, who are also expecting. In the exclusive clip below, Erin explains she's due just three weeks before her sister-in-law. "Our family is growing all of a sudden," she says.

Ben also had a chance to carry on a special tradition during the makeover. He helped his younger brother build a crib for his baby, something Ben did for Helen before she was born.

"I grew up with built-in best friends. My 3 brothers and I speak our own language and know the dance when it's time to move a piano into a house together. Helen will have that with her little sister. It makes me even happier to know that there'll be another Napier baby right around the corner from us. There was a time when @erinapier and I didn't know if we would have kids. I would've been happy with just the 2 of us, or just the 3 of us, but I can't wait to see the 4 of us," Ben shared on Instagram Sunday.

"By now most of you know that in just a few weeks we will be adding another little face to our home videos and photo albums. Just like Helen did, her little sister has made it easy to keep her secret by being tiny even now, and I'm deeply thankful that we've had almost 8 months of keeping this our news just for our family and close friends," Erin wrote on her Instagram page.

"Last spring, I put away the changing table supplies because I no longer had an infant. I put it away in the guest room closet and then I cried because I thought how lonesome Helen must feel up there in her crib beside an empty room every night. A few weeks later, I watched my daddy and his brother standing at my grandmother's graveside. Two men with many differences strengthened each other. Two men who knew her better than any of us ever could. Siblings do that, they know and remember and keep the stories of a family alive. And we wanted that for Helen," she continued.

"Someone to stand with her when we can't someday. And now she'll have a cousin following just a few weeks behind her, too. We are so thankful. Even in our celebrating, I'm thinking of the would-be parents waiting for their own babies. For many it can be such a long and difficult journey and I pray for strength for you if that's where you are. God answers in His own time, not ours, awfully hard as that can be. Sending so much love to y'all today," Erin concluded.

Ben and Erin, who were college sweethearts before they married in 2008, weren't sure if they'd be able to start a family due to a complicated, years-long health battle Erin had faced.

For a decade, starting when she was nineteen, the designer suffered from bouts of severe stomach pain that would leave her bedridden for days. She saw countless specialists before an emergency exploratory surgery in 2014 finally revealed the cause: she had a perforated appendix.

Her appendix had been bursting and healing repeatedly for years causing her organs to become wrapped in scar tissue and bound together. But even after doctors removed the tissue, she was told the damage done would make it unlikely she would be able to have children.

WATCH THIS: How Home Town's Ben and Erin Napier Keep Family Their Number 1 Priority: 'We Say No to A Lot'

"I was very sad. And not knowing is always the biggest hurdle for me to overcome. I like to have proof. And we had no proof that I would be able to have kids," she told PEOPLE in 2018.

Amazingly, the Napiers were surprised to find out that they were expecting three years later — on Mother's Day 2017 — and welcomed Helen the following January. "There's nothing you can say that does [motherhood] justice," Erin said at the time of her change in fortune.

Thankfully baby number two and mom are healthy and happy this time around as well. "I'm less nervous now," Erin says. "All is well."