LIVE

The Real Housewives of Orange County alum Gretchen Rossi and her partner Slade Smiley are expecting their first child in July

By Maura Hohman
February 01, 2019 11:15 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Advertisement

Gretchen Rossi is baring her bump — literally!

The Real Housewives of Orange County alum, who’s four months pregnant, posed in an intimate photo shoot earlier this week wearing nothing but a Calvin Klein bra and undies.

The first-time mom-to-be, 41, smiled as she looked at the camera with her hands wrapped around her belly. She let her hair flow down her shoulders, finishing the look with a light-pink lip color.

In mid-December, the former reality star told PEOPLE that she was pregnant and expecting her first child with longtime partner Slade Smiley. They first announced the news on The Doctors.

“It’s pretty exciting that we have our little Christmas miracle,” Rossi raved at the time.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.

*EXCLUSIVE* Gretchen Rossi Shows Her Adorable 4-Month Baby Bump in her Calvin Klein's
Credit: BACKGRID

“It’s been a little bit harder than I definitely anticipated,” Rossi said of her pregnancy symptoms. “I think they lie to you when they tell you you’re gonna get morning sickness. They lie to you — it’s all-day sickness! But the good news is that my doctor told me that’s actually a good sign.”

While the engaged couple are over the moon to welcome a baby into the world this July, it’s been a long road to motherhood for the former Bravo personality and Smiley, who celebrate 10 years together this month.

WE tv's Real Love: Relationship Reality TV's Past, Present & Future Event
Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley
| Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty

The pair first decided to purse in vitro fertilization (IVF) about four years ago, years after Smiley’s vasectomy.

“We knew that we had to go through IVF in order to get pregnant,” Rossi said. “We went through a round of IVF and in that round we had 14 embryos that came out of that. We were so excited and just beyond ecstatic about the results.”

ChefDance Park City 2017 - Night 2
Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi
| Credit: Tiffany Rose/Getty

But about six hours before their embryo transfer, the couple received a phone call from the doctor “saying that all of the embryos had arrested and basically died” — news that left them “beyond devastated.”

“I couldn’t even get out of bed because you just go from such a high thinking within the next 24 hours you were going to be pregnant to losing everything and losing 14 embryos. That was really, really hard for me and Slade to come out of that,” Rossi said.

RELATED VIDEO: RHOC Alum Gretchen Rossi Details “Struggles” with IVF: We’re Currently “Awaiting the Outcome”

“I was in a deep depression after that. I’ve never really suffered through that or been in that circumstance before. We all get sad at times, but I really went into a depression and I couldn’t even think about or talk about IVF or trying to get pregnant again because physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, it just breaks you.”

Around the time of Smiley’s 50th birthday, Rossi underwent an embryo transfer, and in November, the two learned the happy news that they’re expecting.

Women's Power Brunch With Gretchen Rossi And Nicole Scherzinger
Gretchen Rossi
| Credit: Jerod Harris/Getty

While the road to pregnancy hasn’t been easy for the duo, the journey has strengthened their bond.

“There’s been a roller coaster of emotions through this and I don’t want to pretend, especially for all the couples out there going through this, [that] it’s [an] easy journey — it really is not. Yes, we have definitely grown through this, thank goodness,” said Rossi. “Now we have realized how much closer we’ve come through this process.”

She added, “When you’re having your partner having to shoot you in the ass every morning with the needle and when you’re going through as many shots as you’re going through and mood swings and the ups and the downs and just everything, it definitely bonds you together and brings you back together.”