It’s a boy! Congratulations are in order for Mena Suvari and husband Michael Hope who will welcome their first child this spring.
“I'm still falling into that place and just feeling so honored that he came to us," the "American Beauty" actress told PEOPLE magazine in an exclusive. "It's all I ever wanted for years. Even before I met my husband, I always wanted a little boy and it just feels so beautiful and special."
The couple, who wed in 2018, decided earlier this year to begin growing their family, but Suvari admitted it didn’t go as smoothly as she anticipated.
“I was recording my temperature every morning and peeing on these ovulation sticks," Suvari said. "You expect that it'll happen and it didn't. I got to this place where I felt overwhelmed and stressed out."
Suvari said her age played a role in the urgency to conceive a child.
"I'm 41 and there's this air of like, I've got one foot in the grave and good luck," the mom-to-be said.
When negative pregnancy tests piled up, Suvari decided to take a breather and stop putting pressure on herself.
"I was like, I can't do this anymore,” she told PEOPLE. “I'm so tired of stressing over this. I was trying to feel like if it's meant, it's meant. I was being really open like the Aquarian that I am — if this is my path or not."
During a work trip to Georgia in July to film on location, Suvari said she felt a ‘shift in her body,’ but chalked it up to a sensitivity toward jet lag.
“By the end of July, I had a couple of other symptoms and I decided to take a test and there it was,” the actress said. “It was a huge surprise, an absolute miracle!"
The couple, who plans to name their son after Hope's late grandfather, were unable to go to Suvari’s first ultrasound together because of the coronavirus pandemic protocols.
“I was able to take videos, but when you think about it, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Suvari said. "Obviously we know we do what we have to do, but it feels like you're missing out. Now we have our videos and those are good memories. At the end of the day, we're very grateful.”
While elated with the news, the actress shared that having a baby later in life comes with outside opinions that can feel intrusive and unnecessary.
“One of the doctors that I saw, he asked if this was an old-fashioned pregnancy. I was like, 'Well yeah, why not?' It doesn't have to always be another way,” she said, referencing the use of fertility treatments. “Yes, it's wonderful that we have that, but I really want women to feel empowered with themselves. If you know your body and you feel healthy, I think that it's just a matter of time. That's what happened to me."
For now, Suvari said they are enjoying life as they anticipate becoming a party of three and offered a sweet parenting forecast.
“I feel like my husband is going to be the cool one and I'm going to be the one that's nervous about everything."