Drake White and wife Alex are opening up about their long fertility journey and the joy they have knowing they're going to be parents.
The country singer and his chef wife Alex are expecting their first baby after a six-year-long road to parenthood that's included health issues for each of them in addition to their fertility struggles.
"We've been through so much," Drake tells PEOPLE of the experience. "We've been through so much, from my having a stroke on stage to Alex being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and having an autoimmune disorder. And then this was just something else that tested our faith and tested our strength."
"For six years, we have prayed for a baby and to know that God has heard our prayers is honestly overwhelming," Alex adds.
The couple has decided not to learn the sex of their baby and shares why they've decided to let it be the "ultimate surprise."
"I think with all the technology in 2022, where everything's right in your hand, everything is so predictable," Drake explains. "We think this is one of life's true surprises."
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In 2018, the couple consulted with Nashville Fertility after over a year of trying to conceive naturally. The couple would go on to complete two rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) before a terrifying health episode in August 2019 saw the singer collapse on stage in Virginia, 15 minutes into his set.
The Alabama native was found to have an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins in the brain that disrupts normal blood flow. In March 2020, the couple decided to start trying again naturally before exploring other options.
That fall, Alex began experiencing unusual symptoms and was ultimately hospitalized in October 2020, where she learned she has type 1 diabetes and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), a rare neurological disorder.
"The thing about us was, scientifically, there was no reason I couldn't conceive or that she couldn't conceive, which made it even tougher and even a bigger test of faith, coming out of the stroke coming out of the autoimmune disorder," Drake says. "We're going through this, and we don't know exactly what is causing it, because there are no answers."
"I do feel like in a way God was preparing me for what was going to take place with IVF," Alex tells PEOPLE. "Because I had to be prepared for injections and shots and medicine and schedules and routines and doctors visits. I mean, I felt like I lived at the doctor's. It was my part-time job."
Through it all, the couple stayed determined to start a family and started to try again in March 2021, returning to Nashville Fertility for another round of IUI last October. By January, Drake and Alex consulted with their team of doctors and decided in-vitro fertility (IVF) was the next step.
Drake and Alex started IVF in February and after a complicated process, learned they had seven healthy embryos that April. In June, they learned they were pregnant, with Alex FaceTiming Drake on the road to share the exciting news.
"I did the blood test earlier that day. I was trying to distract myself and so I went to Costco and did my shopping. Two hours later, the nurse called me while I was in Costco," Alex shares.
"I instantly get in the car in the parking lot and FaceTime Drake and told him that we were pregnant, and how she calculated our due date and everything," the mom-to-be recalls. "Then we group FaceTimed his parents and my parents together, then our best friends and friends and everybody who has been praying for us and walking in this journey with us."
Alex says she believes in the "perfect timing" of this pregnancy. "I can't imagine, had God blessed us with a child then, and me — the nurturer that I am — having to split my time as a mom and a wife. I would have been so torn and stressed and anxiety-ridden had I had to do that and it was like the Lord knew what was coming and what we needed in that moment."
"You can push, pull, grunt, grind your teeth, everything happens exactly how it's supposed to," Drake adds. "And that's so frustrating to the man or woman in the storm."
The Optimystic singer — who is excited to one day play the album's title track for their little one —says that by he and Alex sharing their story they hope to "encourage married couples, individuals in general, to lean on your community and others that are going through it."
"It was extremely hard, and there were a lot of times that we were frustrated, and we were very honest with that," Drake says of their journey. "I don't want to make this sound like it was sunshine and rainbows because it wasn't."
"We believed that it was going to happen. We've always wanted kids. We wanted the opportunity to raise kids and thought we'd be great parents."
"We kept saying this is our path, this is where we're going to do, this is what we're manifesting, what we want to see happen — and ultimately, it happened."
For more from the Whites, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.