"I always thought I would have a girl first," expectant Scandal star Katie Lowes tells Fit Pregnancy and Baby for their October cover story

By Jen Juneau
September 06, 2017 11:05 AM

Katie Lowes‘ baby on the way is coming into a family of open hearts and minds.

The pregnant Scandal star posed for Fit Pregnancy and Baby‘s October cover, chatting with the magazine about her hopes and unconditional love for her son.

“My husband [fellow actor Adam Shapiro] and I are aware, of course, that our son will be born with male parts. But we have no idea what he will identify as or what his sexual orientation will be,” explains Lowes, 35, who plays Quinn on the political drama — a character who is also pregnant.

“I wish, now more than ever, to just please let my son be healthy and happy and safe,” she adds. “That’s all that matters.”

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

Fit Pregnancy and Baby

RELATED VIDEO: Scandal‘s Katie Lowes Describes Kerry Washington in Three Words

As far as a birth plan, the first-time mom-to-be is keeping an open mind — but she will be calling in a little extra support.

“I wanted a doula because it’s my first baby and I want to be able to call her when I’m going into labor so she can come over and help us go through the early stage,” says Lowes.

“My husband and I are both actors; we’re obviously dramatic. So we want someone who is able to say, ‘This is normal. You’re okay; let’s do another lap around the house. Let’s bounce on a ball, let’s walk down the street.’ ”

Fit Pregnancy and Baby

“That way I won’t rush to the hospital too soon,” she continues. “Then, when I’m officially freaked out, we’ll head to the hospital. But she’ll be there as our advocate and as someone who has gone through this many more times than we have.”

What about an epidural? Lowes says she’s going to take the decision about that “moment to moment,” explaining, “I could get to the final weeks and we could need a c-section. Am I going to want drugs? I’ll know when I know. But my doula reminds me that a lot of women have had babies.”

Fit Pregnancy and Baby

Shapiro surprised his wife with two cards to reveal their baby’s sex: one with a love letter about his excitement to become parents together, and the other that read, “It’s a boy!”

“In that moment, which only lasted for a minute, I realized, ‘My gosh, I’m an older sister, I take care of my whole family and plan everything. How is our first child a boy? That’s not what I know,’ ” Lowes recalls.

“I hadn’t realized, until then, that I always thought I would have a girl first. I have a little brother, and I feel very proud of my position in the family,” she explains. “I was projecting like crazy, but it was just my initial reaction and it quickly went away. A moment later, I was crying with happiness.”

Fit Pregnancy and Baby

FROM PEN: How Alicia Silverstone Maintains a Strict Vegan Diet For Her Son Without Judging Other Moms

A self-admitted over-preparer, Lowes says she had “an easy time” getting pregnant after seeing an acupuncturist, who helped her get more in touch with her fertility — lucky, considering the actress needed to plan a bit for work.

“For me, having a baby was never going to be timed randomly,” she says. “I wanted to have mine while I was on Scandal. Kerry Washington is one of my best friends, and I’ve gotten to watch her go through motherhood.”

“I also have the greatest female boss in Shonda Rhimes, who is a mother of three and a huge advocate for women,” Lowes adds. “I knew if I was fortunate enough to get pregnant while working on the show, I would feel nothing but support.”