October 28, 2011 09:00 AM

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Just call it a mother’s intuition.

Although Essence Atkins and husband Jaime Mendez didn’t have babies on the brain, it didn’t take much for the actress to realize their family was expanding.

“It’s funny, we weren’t trying. I just looked in the mirror one morning at my body and it looked different,” the Are We There Yet? star tells Essence.com.

“I stood in front of my husband and said, ‘Honey, I think I’m pregnant.'”

The couple will welcome their first child — whose sex is being kept a secret — on Christmas Day and although Atkins, 39, is embarking on the journey of motherhood later in life, the timing couldn’t be better.

“All of our friends are like, ‘You guys are just getting started while our [kids] are off to college,'” she says. “But it’s like, I’ve lived my life, I’ve taken trips to Paris for just 30 hours and came back, I’ve popped bottles, I’ve done it all.”

And with her carefree days behind her, the expectant mama — who skipped the morning sickness and reveals “everything has been extremely well” — is ready to concentrate her efforts on her child.

“Now I’m just ready and looking forward to being a mom,” Atkins shares.

— Anya Leon

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