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‘RHOC’ Alum Gretchen Rossi Gushes Over Fiance Slade Smiley After Daughter’s Birth: ‘He Is a Rock of Strength’ (Exclusive)

Showing appreciation. The Real Housewives of Orange County alum Gretchen Rossi gushed over her fiancé, Slade Smiley, after giving birth to the couple’s first child.

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“Slade has been the best support any woman could dream of,” she told Us Weekly one day after welcoming their daughter. “He is a rock of strength!”

The TV personalities announced the arrival of their little girl on Wednesday, July 10. “Skylar Grey is here. They are doing well,” a rep for Rossi, 40, said in a statement to Us Weekly. “They went in about 9 a.m. for a C-section at a hospital in Orange Country.”

The rep added that the couple is “overjoyed” and that both mother and baby were “doing well,” explaining, “Mom is resting as a C-section is a tough recovery.”

Slade Smiley Rock of Strength and Gretchen Rossi
Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi attend the Women’s Power Brunch with Gretchen Rossi at EnVy Lounge on February 24, 2018 in Newport Beach, California. Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Rossi explained earlier this year that she made the difficult decision to have the procedure after experiencing a painful pelvic exam. “I’m a total hot mess right now,” she said in an Instagram Story on January 9. “I spoke with my doctor and talked about all of the issues I am potentially going to have by inducing, so I went from thinking ‘I can do this and have a vaginal birth’ to now, the doctor, Slade and everyone [are] suggesting that I reconsider and just do a C-section. I think it’s the right thing,” she said. “It’s the safest thing for me and the baby at this point because [the doctor] says I have a cervix of steel and it’s not wanting to open up.”

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It certainly wasn’t the first hurdle the handbag designer had to overcome on her journey to motherhood: Rossi endured four years of IVF in order to conceive. “Physically it was difficult on my body,” the Bravo alum told Us in February 2018. “It’s funny because when you get pregnant, and you gain weight, it feels worth it because, at the end, you have a baby. But when I went through IVF, I gained 10 pounds within three weeks and I’ve never done that before in my life. I got cellulite in places that I’ve never had cellulite before.”

Rossi credited Smiley, 45, for getting her over the hump in June 2018. “It’s hard. It’s a very arduous, hard thing to go through,” she said of their infertility struggles. “I’m so thankful I have an amazing partner to go through it with. We are pushing through it, and hopefully we will have an announcement that we are pregnant.”

The consultant was equally in awe of Rossi, telling Us: “A lot of the burden falls on the woman going through the IVF process, and not only has she embraced that challenge but she’s using that to be an advocate for other women who are struggling with IVF and can’t get pregnant. I’m so impressed how she jumped right in [and] became a voice for every woman. I’m very proud of her.”

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Their big announcement came just six months later on a December 2018 episode of The Doctors, during which the California native revealed she was experiencing nausea due to pregnancy. “Man, like, I swear, they lie to you about morning sickness,” she said. “It’s all day sickness.”

Smiley and Rossi, who began dating on season 5 of RHOC in 2009, celebrated 10 years together in February. Slade is also a father to Grayson, 18, who has been battling brain cancer since 2006, and Gavin Smiley, whom he shares with ex-wife Rose Smiley.

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