Even though her daughter is only 2½ weeks old, Bethenny Frankel can already see one similarity between her newborn and herself.
“She has my E.T. toes,” says Frankel, pointing to Bryn Casey Hoppy‘s little pink feet. “They are so long!”
Waking Jason Hoppy up around 6 a.m. some five weeks before their first child was due to tell him her water broke, Frankel immediately called the doctor and told her husband to pack their bags.
In his excitement, Hoppy instead started ringing up a few friends.
“Her water broke — we’re having a baby!” he announced. Frankel countered: “We don’t have a baby. We have a puddle.” Looking back, she laughs, “I told him to get a pen and paper and get organized!”
The couple rushed to the hospital. “All I wanted was a bagel and the doctor [told me] I couldn’t eat,” she recalls. “And for two days, I couldn’t.”
After some 30 hours of labor, doctors recommended a c-section to deliver baby Bryn. “She came out like a little doll,” Frankel, 39, says of seeing her daughter for the first time. “It was amazing.”
The couple chose their daughter’s name to honor Hoppy’s brother Bryan, who was killed in a car accident 19 years ago.
“They used to call him Bryn as a nickname,” she explains. “When Jason told me, I thought that would be a great name.”
Having kept mum until Hoppy’s parents arrived at the hospital to meet their new grandchild, revealing Bryn’s name in person was a special moment for the family.
“Jason’s mom was hysterical, crying,” Frankel recalls. “They couldn’t believe we kept it secret.”
At a tiny 4 lbs., 11 oz., Bryn stayed in the NICU for four days until she was strong enough to come home to the family’s apartment in downtown Manhattan.
“We were in this dark little room with our baby. It was almost like Survivor — where we were fending for ourselves,” notes Frankel. “We couldn’t stop staring at her.”
Now settled in at home, Frankel is up every three hours to nurse Bryn — who’s been “such a good baby” — and divides the rest of the parenting duties with Hoppy.
“Jason is the burper and diaper changer,” the natural foods chef laughs. “He loves it when she goes to the bathroom because he has a project!”
All joking aside, “We’re so thankful and lucky to have a healthy baby,” says Frankel, who adds that she’s looking forward to strolling around the Big Apple with Bryn. “This is the new me now.”
— Liz McNeil