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It's a girl!

Dancing with the Stars pro Lindsay Arnold opened up exclusively to PEOPLE on Thursday about the moment she and husband Samuel Lightner Cusick learned the sex of their first baby on the way, how they told their family and friends and what she's looking forward to most about motherhood.

"We were convinced it was a boy," says Arnold, 26. "I was already looking at boy nursery ideas and boy names. We were both extremely shocked, but so happy. Our whole family was just as shocked. We all didn't think this was going to happen!"

"I would've been truly happy no matter if it were a boy or a girl," she adds. "But knowing it's a girl, I'm so excited to help her through life and hopefully pack on things that I've learned throughout the years being a woman and growing up as a girl."

"It can be tough and I look forward to encouraging her, supporting her and helping her find things that she's passionate about and that she loves. That means a lot to me," Arnold tells PEOPLE.

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And whether or not DWTS will be returning in the fall, the mom-to-be says she has a set plan for the future.

"I won't be dancing this season, but I'm excited to possible explore other ways I could be a part of the show," she tells PEOPLE. "I love the show. It's been a part of my life for so long now. The plan is, I have all intentions to have our baby, spend that time with her and get back on the dance floor for the next season!"

For now, Arnold and Cusick are taking it one day at a time and looking forward to their next chapter.

"Honestly, at this point, I'm just excited to see her," Arnold says. "That's the hardest part is that you know you're pregnant, you know you have a little girl growing inside of you, but you have to wait so long to finally see her. That's going to be rough for us. We're just so anxious to meet her!"

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