Melissa Rycroft Strickland is an excited new mom! The former 'Bachelor' contestant and husband Tye Strickland welcomed daughter Ava Grace on Wednesday afternoon, her rep confirmed to PEOPLE.

Ava Grace weighed 6 lbs., 13 oz. and is the first child for the couple. The former 'Dancing With the Stars' contestant gave birth in Dallas, Texas.

"Our lives have changed so much in the last two years, and today we've been blessed with the best change ever, our beautiful baby girl," the Stricklands told PEOPLE.

The pair revealed the pregnancy in July of last year. "It was a shock. We weren't even trying," says Rycroft-Strickland, who married insurance agent Strickland in December after a sad end on 'The Bachelor' in 2009. "It's the most wonderful surprise in the world. It's such a blessing."