"Since my miscarriage last fall, I had a new perspective on my health as a woman ready to start a family," Gabrielle Ruiz tells PEOPLE

By Jen Juneau and Anya Leon
December 12, 2020 04:30 PM
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Gabrielle Ruiz's pregnancy announcement
| Credit: Philip Pisanchyn

Motherhood is on the horizon for Gabrielle Ruiz.

The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star is expecting her first child with husband Philip Pisanchyn one year after suffering a devastating miscarriage, she confirms to PEOPLE as she surprises her costar and pal Rachel Bloom with the news live Saturday (Ruiz's 36th birthday!) on the mom-to-be's podcast, What Are Friends For.

"Even in isolation, it's been important for me to share our wonderful news of this pregnancy with friends one by one and in creative ways," she says. "I wish I could tell Rachel in person, but at least I can record her reaction and have it forever online! And it's extra special that our show is all about friendship. Live, on my birthday, with our amazing girlfriends and fans is such a poetic way to break the news!"

Alongside a set of photos taken by her husband at their cabin in Big Bear Lake, California, over the Thanksgiving holidays, Ruiz tells PEOPLE that their new addition is due in May 2021.

"Since my miscarriage last fall, I had a new perspective on my health as a woman ready to start a family," Ruiz says. "I focused on my mental and physical health while we were trying again. When COVID-19 took over the world, we were weary of trying again, but decided to continue in faith. Six months later, we were pregnant!"

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Gabrielle Ruiz's pregnancy announcement
| Credit: Philip Pisanchyn

"Philip and I are so thrilled and grateful to God for this new chapter in our lives," she adds. "We have been focusing on the positives of staying safe in isolation while sharing our pregnancy journey with family, friends and fans in new, virtual ways. So if any other soon-to-be mothers out there have any tips, we'll take them!"

Ruiz and Pisanchyn met on Match.com and later tied the knot in August of 2016 on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. They share two rescue pets together: a cat named Veronica and dog named Leela.

She opened up about her miscarriage back in November 2019, detailing the moments before and after the loss weeks before — coincidentally, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

"When our OB-GYN gave us the news, I went through all the emotions; shocked, numb, confused, practical, overwhelmed, scared, sad, sarcastic, relieved, frustrated, even the thought, 'Oh, this couldn't be happening to US,' " Ruiz wrote in her post.

Gabrielle Ruiz's pregnancy announcement
| Credit: Philip Pisanchyn

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Ruiz went on to explain that reading the stories of other women going through similar experiences gave her the motivation and courage to share her own.

"The stories you all shared gave me strength, understanding and the feeling that I truly wasn't alone and that this all wasn't in any way my fault," the Broadway veteran said. "So, I feel it is my duty to continue the transparency in sharing the secret story-telling of miscarriages. Because no one really talks about it as much as we should. I now have the opportunity to tell you that you, my dear, are not alone."

"If you're reading this and you got the miscarriage talk or if you're anxious about starting a family, know that this is a common possibility, it's no one's fault, and it's all going to truly be okay," Ruiz continued further down. "We truly don't know how brave our bodies and hearts are until we prevail in the moment, tears and all. xoG."

The star later thanked her followers on her Instagram Story for all the messages of support she'd received since sharing her post, and gave her husband a shout-out, calling him her "rock."