Kelly McCreary describes her experience conceiving and being pregnant as "really empowering and really grounding."

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Kelly McCreary is going to be a mom!

The actress, who plays Dr. Maggie Pierce in ABC's Grey's Anatomy, is pregnant, expecting her first child with her husband Pete Chatmon, she reveals exclusively to PEOPLE, sharing photos of her positive pregnancy test and the couple pointing to her "hot mama" necklace.

"We are really excited to share that my husband and I are expecting our first little one," McCreary, 39, tells PEOPLE.

Kelly McCreary
Kelly McCreary attends ABC Television's Winter Press Tour 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 08, 2020.
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The actress says that she and her director husband — who met on the set of Grey's Anatomy and married in 2019 — knew they wanted to start a family but both decided that now was the perfect time. However, McCreary admits she was actually surprised when her Clearblue digital pregnancy test revealed she was going to be a mom.

"I actually screamed in shock when I saw pregnant. I mean, I just wasn't expecting it," she says. "I had really been mentally and emotionally preparing myself for the possibility that it might take us some time to conceive. So, I was genuinely shocked." 

"You know, on the Clearblue test, it spells out very clearly: pregnant. Like, make no mistake, you are PREGNANT," McCreary adds with a laugh.

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Grey’s Anatomy’s Kelly McCreary Is Expecting Her First Child
Credit: Kelly McCreary

McCreary describes her experience conceiving and being pregnant as "really empowering and really grounding."

She admits that Chatmon, 44, initially wanted to start a family more than she did, sharing that she "took some persuading" because of the career milestones she wanted to hit before motherhood. She calls her husband the "best" at supporting her as they both go through this new time in their lives together.

"I'm very lucky to have a partner who is just rah, rah, eager for this child to come into our life and find out all of the ways that being parents will disrupt and challenge everything that we have planned," she explains. "But because we are doing it together, we will be able to roll with it. And because this child is so desired and so loved, whatever happens will be the right thing, and we'll make it work."

With a baby on the way, the couple is already planning their responsibilities of parenthood and what they hope to teach their little one. "My husband and I each made a shortlist of the top five things we would want to impart," McCreary says. "And, you know, I think on the top of that list is total self-love and self-acceptance. It's all the stuff I would tell my younger self." 

Grey’s Anatomy’s Kelly McCreary Is Expecting Her First Child
Credit: Kelly McCreary

Despite the excitement, McCreary says she's going day-by-day and taking it upon herself to fully embrace what's to come during her pregnancy. 

"It's such a mystifying process," the actress tells PEOPLE. "I think I've ordered maybe like 15 to 20 books already. And I'm learning so much about just such a broad scope of things. I've just been diving in. I'm really eager to learn."

The mom-to-be says she has also been turning to some of her Grey's Anatomy castmates — Caterina Scorsone, Chandra Wilson, and Ellen Pompeo — for help with navigating her pregnancy while being active with work. McCreary says those three women, who she's grown close to during her eight seasons on the show, have been her go-to people for questions about what she might need throughout the extensive workdays.

"They're tremendously helpful, supportive resources," she says. "I really couldn't be in a better workplace environment to have this experience. It's such a parent-friendly and pregnant person-friendly environment."

McCreary and her costars are currently filming season 18 of Grey's Anatomy. Though she admits she has no idea if writers of the beloved medical drama will incorporate her real-life pregnancy into the series, McCreary can say that fans should expect the upcoming season to have "real transformation" among the characters.

This story originally appeared on people.com

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