NBC News White House correspondent Monica Alba is expecting her first child.
The mom-to-be, who is married to CNN national political reporter Dan Merica, told TODAY Parents that the couple is expecting a boy, due on Feb. 2, 2022 (or 2/2/22!).
"We already expect that magical date will just be a fun target," Alba said over email.
Alba, 34, said that she found out she was pregnant while covering Vice President Kamala Harris' trip to Mexico City in June.
"My family is from there, so it's a particularly special place," said Alba, who added that she would "always cherish" the memory of finding out there. "I didn't want to tell Dan over the phone, though we both suspected, so I bought a mini mariachi sombrero at the duty-free in the airport before my flight, and gave it to him that night when I got home."
After learning the happy news, Merica and Alba, who met while they were covering the campaign trail in 2016, celebrated with one of their favorite hobbies.
"We love hiking and celebrated our news by going on a National Parks road trip across Nevada, Utah and Arizona in July," Alba said. "Some of the miles definitely felt a lot longer and harder than usual but we both just kept thinking about how excited we are to eventually go on these adventures with our little guy."
Alba, who married Merica in July 2019, said that their son will be the first grandchild for both of their families, so their parents were "simply ecstatic" to hear that the couple is expecting.
"We are both big on surprises and grand gestures, so we flew to California to tell my parents, but they thought it was just Dan stopping by briefly on a reporting assignment," Alba said. "He arrived at their house and then FaceTimed me to say a quick hello once they were all together. I was right outside and flipped on the camera on my phone so they could see I was standing in the driveway. They thought that in and of itself was a great surprise, then when they asked what I was doing there, we told them we wanted to come see the 'Abis,' what I call my grandparents in Spanish, and that was beyond."
Alba said that telling her parents was met with "many happy tears and hugs." To tell Merica's mother, they waited until she visited the couple at their home in Washington, D.C.
"We re-wrapped a gift she had given us a few years ago for a future, hopeful grandchild. At the time, we told her she'd get it back when the right moment arrived," Alba said. "When she came to visit us this summer, we told her we saw something that made us think of her, and when she opened it, she hesitated for just a second before processing the joyful news and screaming with joy."
Alba said that the first trimester had some "tough and exhausting moments," especially as she covered major political events like the summit between President Joe Biden and Russian president Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, but now, she's been enjoying the "second trimester bliss."
"I'm feeling much better now at 21 weeks than I was in the first few months," Alba said.
While it may have been hard to cover politics in those early days, Alba said that there have been some sweet moments along the way.
"The first few flutters of movement I felt were during a White House press briefing, which was a lovely surprise I hope he’ll get a 'kick' out of one day," Alba said.