A 'Helluva Life' Change! Frankie Ballard Expecting First Child with Wife Christina

Baby Ballard is on the way!

Frankie Ballard and his wife of two years, Christina, are expecting their first child together, they confirm exclusively to PEOPLE, sharing photos from a glam maternity shoot.

“It’s been fun keeping this secret, but too hard to contain our excitement now,” the couple tells PEOPLE. “Chrissy and I started praying on when the time would be right to start a family, and we both felt God nudging us last Spring.”

“One of the hardest decisions was, ‘Should we find out the sex?’ ” they continue. “But when else can you be truly surprised in this life anymore? The mystery is still intact. February is right around the corner, and we are so eager to meet this precious little gift.”

The country singer, 36, also recalls experiencing the “most unique feeling” after learning he would be a dad: “I can only describe it as a combination of emotion and words. Shock-tacular, grateful, awe.”

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Frankie Ballard (L) and wife Christina

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The "Sunshine & Whiskey" crooner tells PEOPLE his experience at their first ultrasound “blew my hair straight back” when he saw his baby for the first time. “I had a thousand prayers answered in one appointment,” Ballard says. “To see toes wigglin’ and a strong heartbeat sent electricity through my bones.”

“Purpose is the gasoline of any great creative fire, and a growing family reminds me just how bad I want to make music for mine,” he adds.

Frankie Ballard (L) and wife Christina

While the baby on the way is his first child, Ballard has gotten advice from other country dads — like Tyler Hubbard, who “taught me that new babies require most of your love and attention, but to never forget how much TLC your Mrs. Sweetheart baby needs and deserves as well.”

He also can’t wait to hit the upcoming CMA Awards with his pregnant wife, raving, “We’re thrilled to bring a baby on the CMAs red carpet with no stroller, extra bags or a fancy diaper. I think we best enjoy it while we can!”

Frankie Ballard (L) and wife Christina

Ballard and Christina tied the knot in March 2017, during an evening ceremony in Bee Cave, Texas. The event venue was the Star Hill Ranch, which recreates a 1900s-era community in the Lone Star state.

Christina — who owns Old Smokeys Boots, a Western-inspired shoe and accessory store — tells PEOPLE that during her pregnancy, she has felt “stretched, in a good way” both “physically and mentally.”

“Which I think is all part of God’s plan to prepare you to be a parent,” she adds. “I can feel that bigger-picture wisdom getting downloaded with each passing week. Frankie has leaned into every part of this journey and has lifted me up daily. He has kept me laughing with his incredible sense of humor and fun personality this entire time. He truly could do stand-up if he wanted to!”

As for her current pregnancy must-haves, Christina says she has “gone through phases with aversions and cravings,” explaining, “At first I wanted every kind of potato chip ever made and now I crave those mini pickles. I recently told Frankie I’ve brought home jars of pickles he’s never even seen before because I eat them so fast!”

Frankie Ballard (R) and wife Christina

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As the couple await their baby’s arrival this upcoming winter, the mom-to-be says she has connected with fellow Nashville mamas and mamas-to-be. “I remember walking into the home of Caroline Hobby (who was in her third trimester at the time) to do our podcast interview for Old Smokey’s Boots and I couldn’t contain the news,” Christina tells PEOPLE.

“Before we started, I said, ‘This is off the record for now, but I have to tell you we just found out we are pregnant!’ ” she adds. “She is such a lover she immediately started tearing up and told me how beautiful this whole experience will be for Frankie and me.”

And the same goes for her feelings toward her own family members like her mom, sister, grandmother, sisters-in-law and mother-in-law, with whom she has “had some of the greatest conversations with … about their experiences being pregnant.”

“I truly want to bow down to these women because it is an epic journey and they all did it with such grace,” Christina says. “One of my favorite parts has been to ask my mom specific questions about her journey and how she felt. To hear her talk about her journey with my dad fills my soul with joy.”

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