Real Housewives of Orange County alum Gretchen Rossi announced her pregnancy in December after she conceived via in vitro fertilization

By Helen Murphy
April 25, 2019 04:10 PM
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Mom-to-be Gretchen Rossi has decided on a name for her first child.

The 41-year-old Real Housewives of Orange County alum told Access Hollywood on Wednesday what she and longtime partner Slade Smiley are naming their upcoming baby girl: Skylar Gray!

“I’ve just loved the name Skylar ever since I was a little girl,” Rossi shared. “And it was so interesting because when I told Slade, it was so cute to see his reaction to it. He was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love the name Skylar!’ He immediately took to the name.”

“It is so perfect in so many ways and for so many reasons,” Smiley told Access. “We’ve spent so much time praying and looking to the sky for guidance and looking for help and support in this IVF journey.”

“So praying to God and looking to the sky seemed such a perfect correlation between this journey we’ve been on and the name,” he added.

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Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi
| Credit: Tiffany Rose/Getty

The couple also revealed that Skylar Gray’s middle name carries a very special connection to Smiley’s 18-year-old son, who has brain cancer.

“When it came to the middle name,” Rossi said, “we really wanted it to have a family tie-in … all of a sudden one day, we both looked at each other and we started thinking about his son Grayson, who is sick. He has been this angel on Earth, and he is this unbreakable, amazing little man.”

“What a lot of people don’t know about our embryo, and now our Skylar Gray, is that she actually self-corrected herself in the embryonic state,” Rossi continued. “She went from two cells to five cells, and normally when it goes from two to five cells it’s not a genetically sound embryo. She literally pushed that cell aside and went back to four and self-corrected herself.”

The former reality star added, “When we thought about that, we thought, Grayson has been so unbreakable and it seems like little Skylar Gray is so unbreakable, so we decided to name her Skylar Gray after Grayson.”

Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi
| Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty

Earlier this month, Rossi teased to PEOPLE that she and her longtime partner had chosen a name but were “not telling anybody yet.”

“We totally agreed [on it],” she shared. “I’ve had a name that I’ve wanted since I was a little girl and then the only part that we had a hard time with was the middle name. But the middle name, we just picked last week, and we’re very excited about it.”

In February, the couple hosted an extravagant sex reveal party in Laguna Hills, California, where guests were greeted by extravagant decorations including tons of floral arrangements and pink and blue balloons, enjoying a variety of on-theme desserts and plenty of champagne.

“We wanted a little girl so much! We couldn’t be happier! Best day of my life!” Rossi wrote on top of an Instagram Story video from the special day.

Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi
| Credit: REAL Footage/Instagram
Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley’s sex reveal
| Credit: Gretchen Rossi/Instagram

In mid-December, the former reality star told PEOPLE that she was pregnant and expecting her first child with Smiley. The father-to-be has two children from a previous relationship: sons Grayson and Gavin.

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

While the couple is over the moon to welcome a baby into the world this July, it has been a long road to motherhood for the former Bravo personality and her beau.

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

The pair first decided to pursue 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 told PEOPLE. “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.”

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.

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

Rossi spoke on her struggle to get pregnant on Instagram in March, saying, “All these amazing emotions I get to feel every day, I realize so many women and couples might never feel because of not having the financial means to fight infertility and do things like IVF. This breaks my heart and is not ok.”

“This little girl growing inside me has given me the passion, & motivation to stand up, use my platform and my voice to make some noise and try to change this!” she wrote.