‘I Thought It Wasn’t in the Cards for Me,’ Da Brat says of his pregnancy at the age of 48.

Da Brat is eager to show off Da Bump!

The hit “Funkdafied” rapper and wife Jessica “Judy” Harris-Dupart are expecting their first child, the pair confirms exclusively to PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

“It’s been quite a trip,” Da Brat says, admitting that at the age of 48, “there’s a lot we learned about women beyond the age of 40.”

The couple’s journey to motherhood began around the time they said “I do” on February 2 of last year. Harris-Dupart, 41, is the CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products, which was about to debut a new collection inspired by Da Brat’s signature braids and protective hairstyles.

“It started as a joke, we were like, ‘We’re growing our family!'” she adds of their collaboration’s marketing tagline. “But suddenly there was a massive response. ‘Oh my God, do we genuinely want to have kids, and if we do, girl, we better hurry up!'”

Prior to their relationship, Harris-Dupart was a mother of three. Kids were never really a part of Da Brat’s plan. “I never believed I’d have children,” she admits. “I just assumed that wasn’t going to happen for me. I’ve had a wonderful job and a busy life. I felt like it wasn’t going to happen for me because I hadn’t gotten pregnant sooner.”

That was until she met and fell in love with Harris-Dupart. “I started looking at life in such a different way,” Da Brat explains. “I was like, I want a little bit of myself with you. Something wonderful from both of us that we can share, raise, and unconditionally adore.”

She was still uncomfortable with the prospect of carrying a child. “I was thinking, nothing’s going to come out of me!” Harris-Dupart was successful in convincing her otherwise. “We had a little tug-of-war at first…but I felt that she should have the experience,” her wife says. “She is quite nurturing.”

Harris-Dupart faced serious health difficulties following her egg retrieval surgery, therefore Da Brat’s decision to carry out worked out for the best. But, the rapper had her own health difficulties, including having to have surgery to remove fibroids and polyps before her embryo transfer procedure.

Then there was the devastating miscarriage. “I’d never been so enthused about something I didn’t even realize I wanted,” Da Brat admits. “I fell in love with the concept, and then it was taken away from me.”

“Fortunately,” she continues, “we still had a lot of her eggs left.” The couple is currently 18 weeks pregnant after selecting an anonymous donor described as “an enthusiastic entrepreneur” from their cryobank. Da Brat reports that she is far into her second trimester “It’s simply a blessing. I’m ecstatic!” She’s also worn out. “I don’t have any cravings or nausea,” she continues, although she is constantly sleepy. It’s insane!”

Another element of pregnancy that has surprised Da Brat: “I cry over everything. I cry if someone wins American Idol. I think to myself, “I’m tougher than that!”

“I think people are going to be astonished,” she laughs, reflecting on her strong reputation in hip-hop combined with her good news and bump reveal. Yet, she picked a gangster-inspired pregnancy photoshoot to embrace the duality. “I really enjoyed it,” she says.

Yet the rapper has no plans to slow down. In addition to working on new music and co-hosting The Rickey Smiley Morning Show and Dish Nation, she stars alongside her wife on their WE TV reality show Brat Loves Judy. The third season will follow the couple’s tumultuous path to motherhood and business cooperation as they debut the new Da Brat x Kaleidoscope hair care collection, which is currently available at Walmart and other major retailers.

“I felt like she always supports me in everything I do,” Harris-Dupart says of co-creating the product collection, which includes moisturizing rinses, gels, sprays, and mousses inspired by her wife’s renowned hair. “I nickname her the queen of protective styles because she’s been wearing them for eons.”

Nevertheless, Da Brat’s distinct style and talent have been on full display since the 1990s, despite the fact that she has long kept her personal life hidden. Looking back, the artist, who first revealed her sexuality in 2020, can’t help but smile at how things have turned out. “It’s a lot different now than it was before,” she says of openly living as a member of the LGBTQ community. “When I came out, I thought to myself, ‘Damn, if I knew it was going to be this beautiful and loving, I’d have come out a long time ago!'”

“[I came out] because she inspired me,” she says of Harris-Dupart, “and wanted to scream it from the mountaintops that I met somebody that I am completely in love with and I don’t want to hide it anymore.”

Season 3 of Brat Loves Judy premieres on WE TV on Thursday, April 27 at 9 p.m. ET.

The Da Brat x Kaleidoscope Hair Products line is currently available at major retailers such as Walmart, Target, CVS, and others.

Pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, which hits newsstands on Friday, for more on Da Brat’s pregnancy excitement.