Meta World Peace and his wife Maya Sandiford Artest (via Instagram)

Retired NBA star Metta World Peace, born Ron Artest, and his wife Maya Sandiford Artest are expecting their first child together.

The joyous news, confirmed by a representative to PEOPLE, marks a new chapter for the couple who have been together for 12 years.

This upcoming bundle of joy will be Metta’s fifth child, joining his sons Ron III and Jeron, and daughters Sadie and Diamond.

“We have been together for 12 years now, so it’s been in the making for quite some time,” the couple, who are expecting a boy, told PEOPLE. “But to be honest, I was told by my OB that I may not be ovulating.”

Their journey to this pregnancy wasn’t straightforward.

“We expected it would take some time and may need to look into IVF, so it was definitely a surprise to find out we were pregnant just a few months later. We consider ourselves very lucky!”

Maya’s Pregnancy Journey

Maya candidly shares that her pregnancy has been an emotional rollercoaster, with the first trimester being particularly challenging.

“The first trimester was an absolute nightmare. I was sick every day. I feel like women don’t talk enough about how brutal the first trimester can be, maybe in fear of appearing ungrateful,” Maya says. “But I’m here to say that all women, the first tri can be absolute s— and I think it’s okay to say that and talk about it.”

As she moved into her second trimester, things became easier.

“Second trimester was a walk in the park compared to the first and now I am just getting into my third trimester and feeling large and uncomfortable. The back pain, heartburn, acid reflux and insomnia are no joke! I’ve heard it gets worse from here on out so wish me luck.”

Supportive Husband

Metta World Peace has been a pillar of support throughout Maya’s pregnancy.

“From cooking and bringing me food in bed, to holding my hair back when I was sick to putting up with pregnancy rage,” Maya says. “The pregnancy rage is something else!”

Metta humbly acknowledges his role, saying, “Honestly, she’s the pregnant one so I just help out when I can — in the cravings department, massages and stuff like that. But she’s handled it like a boss.”

Celebrating With A Perfect Baby Shower

The couple celebrated their upcoming arrival with a beautifully curated baby shower.

“I had very specific inspo and a soft baby blue color palette I wanted referenced, and Archive Rentals helped me bring all my design visions to life so beautifully,” Maya tells PEOPLE.

“Another must-have was really great food, drinks and vibes. With thanks to Alamode Catering, Prince Street Pizza, Hidden Sea Wine, Hermosa Brewing, Beignets Box and LucBelaire, all of our guests were raving about the food and kept the drinks flowing and good times going all day.”

Maya continues, “It was a collaborative effort [and] three of my best friends worked tirelessly for weeks to bring this day together. I couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect day.”

As they prepare to welcome their baby boy, both Metta and Maya are filled with anticipation for the future.

“Playing ball, just kidding,” Metta jokes. “I’m just excited to be there for the birth and all of the early stages. I was working for a lot of the early years with my other kids so I’m excited to witness it all.”

Maya adds, “I feel like I’ve been worrying about all the things instead of thinking about what I am looking forward to most. I honestly just can’t wait to meet and hold him!”

Metta World Peace and Maya Sandiford Artest’s story is a beautiful reminder of love, resilience, and the joys of starting a new chapter together.

See photos from the couple’s maternity shoot courtesy of Spiritual Word.

Congratulations to the expectant couple!

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