"It's something that will mature me and change in a great way," Zonnique Pullins tells PEOPLE exclusively of her pregnancy

By Brianne Tracy
August 04, 2020 09:30 PM
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Zonnique Pullins is pregnant!

T.I.'s stepdaughter is expecting her first child — a baby girl — with her boyfriend of two years, rapper Bandhunta Izzy (né Israel James), PEOPLE can exclusively announce.

"Literally every year, probably for the past three years, this same rumor [that I was pregnant] had come out," Pullins tells PEOPLE. "This time I actually am pregnant. It's weird!"

Currently five months along, the mom-to-be, 24, says her pregnancy has been "really easy" so far.

"With it being my first time being pregnant, I had so many expectations and was thinking, 'Oh, it's going to be really hard,' " she says. "I never really had morning sickness."

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Zonnique Pullins
James Anthony

Pullins admits, though, that there's been one major difficulty: trying to navigate doctor's visits amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"It really sucks being pregnant during the coronavirus," she says. "At first, I'm like, 'This is the perfect time, like everybody is locked in. I don't have to worry about going out. So if I want to hide it for however long, I can hide.' "

Zonnique Pullins
Jonny Marlow at Early Morning Riot

"But when it comes to going to doctor's appointments, I go to all of them by myself. I ask every single time, 'Can I bring my boyfriend?' And they're like, 'No, only you can come,' " Pullins continues.

"That's been the worst part," she adds. "I'm hoping by the time I'm ready to have the baby it will be over with. But I'm sure it won't be, so I'll be in there with one person, most likely. I'm just trying not to get my hopes too high anymore."

Zonnique Pullins
Jonny Marlow at Early Morning Riot

When she found out she was pregnant, Pullins says she was "kind of sad at first."

"I have a million brothers and sisters so I've always been the one like, 'I'm not having a baby anytime soon,' " she tells PEOPLE. "That was always my thing. So I was kind of sad at first, and my boyfriend was really excited from the jump. He was like, 'You know it's whatever you want to do.' "

"I was calling my cousin, and they were laughing at me because they already knew that I didn't want to have a baby anytime soon," she continues. "I was like, 'Why are you guys laughing?' And I'm just crying and stuff."

Pullins adds, "But after a while, I'm like, 'Now I feel like I can do this. It's something that will mature me and change me in a great way.' I'm trying to wrap my head around it, and now we are here."

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Pullins told her stepfather T.I. — who is married to her mother Tameka "Tiny" Harris — about her pregnancy for the first time on the premiere episode of her new millennial talk show The Mix, which aired live Tuesday night.

"I felt like it may be a little funny to get his reaction," Pullins says. "He can't get mad or anything. Even my real dad [Zonnie Pullins], I just told him last week, to be honest. You're always your dad's little princess. So, I just wasn't sure how he'd feel."

In addition to her stepfather, Pullins tells PEOPLE she still has about "half" of her family to tell about her pregnancy.

"That's the crazy part," she says. "It's not even the world that I've been not telling. All my fans are like, 'Oh, all you have to do is say yes.' But half of my family I still haven't gotten around to calling. Some of my sisters still don't know. But my sister Deyjah, she was the first sibling that I told."

During the premiere episode of The Mix, Pullins also revealed that she's having a baby girl, whom she says she's going to prepare for the world the same way her parents prepared her.

"My parents always showed me a world that I probably would have never known if it weren't for them," she says. "Early, I was already immune to things and how people are negative. People talk about you and make up stories, and I became so strong growing up. That's probably something that I will definitely take from them."

Though she originally "wanted a boy," Pullins says she's "excited" now about having a girl.

"I'm most excited about her being able to go with me everywhere, honestly," she says. "We can go get our nails and stuff done, and I won't feel like, 'Okay, this is too girly for you to go. Go be with your dad.' Everybody probably thinks I'd be excited to dress her up and stuff, but she'll probably be dressed like a little boy, knowing me. Big T-shirts, like how I am."

As to what her and her boyfriend's parenting styles will be like, Pullins says she's "definitely" going to be "the more strict one" between them.

"He's so soft," she says. "He has two kids already. He's such a different person with his kids than he is with everybody else. All my friends, even my mom, my parents, my whole family know how I am with my siblings. Like [with my 4-year-old sister] Heiress, I get mad when she's crying too much. I'm like, 'Okay, I have to toughen her up.' So I feel like I'll definitely be the [more] strict parent out of the both of us."

Pullins adds, "I'm always like, 'Yeah, you're up late at night, so when she's waking up, you'll be the one to get her.' We're really trying to figure it out now. But it's like, who really knows when you get to it."

Pullins says she and Bandhunta Izzy, 23, began their relationship like many modern romances: through Instagram direct messages.

"That is our wonderful story," she says. "My old manager is his manager now. So her assistant really showed me him, and I followed him. She was like, 'I feel like he's your type.' Months later, he slid in my DMs, and we hit it off."

About the pregnancy, Pullins says, quarantine has "definitely been how we got here in the first place."

"We had a lot of time to really bond, talk about the future and really just figure things out," she shares with PEOPLE. "And talk about our parenting skills and who's going to be doing what, when the time comes."

Fans can expect to see some of those topics brought up on The Mix, which will feature Pullins as one of five co-hosts.

"The fans can definitely expect real conversations going on, on the show," she says. "Everyone is so honest and opinionated on things. It's a show where people my age and people who look like me can relate."

In addition to the show, Pullins — who was a member of the girl group OMG Girlz until 2015 — can expect new music from her soon.

"Lots of new things that I'm coming out with soon," she says. "As for my exciting news, I would just like for people to not bombard me with anything other than love."

The Mix premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on Fox Soul.