updated 09/08/2009 AT 6:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/08/2009 AT 8:30 AM ET
Thanks to the help of a surrogate, The Young and the Restless star Michelle Stafford is expecting her first child this December.
Stafford, 43, who has won two Emmys for her role as scheming Phyllis Summers on the CBS daytime drama, tells PEOPLE that she relied on a surrogate after struggling through fertility treatments and surgeries.
“After a three-year journey through hell, I’m elated, ecstatic and feel ultimately lucky to be able to announce I’m expecting my own child via surrogate in December,” Stafford says in a statement.
She also confirms that she’s expecting a girl.