Gretchen Rossi and fiancé Slade Smiley had a lot to celebrate over the holidays. Following several years' worth of attempts to start a family, include a vasectomy reversal and four rounds of IVF in two years, Gretchen decided to undergo an embryo implantation. And on Monday, December 17, The Real Housewives of Orange County alum announced on The Doctors that she is expecting her first child with her longtime partner. Gretchen wrote on Instagram, "Our hearts are so full right now!! It was one of the happiest days of my life when we received the incredible news that I was pregnant!!!"
So, naturally, this Christmas was extra special for Gretchen and Slade, who is also a father to sons Gavin and Grayson from previous relationships. Gretchen again took to Instagram to share a photo of the couple in front of their tree, gazing into one another's eyes. "Life with you is magical! Thank you for being my partner in life and helping make all my dreams come true! What a year this has been for us. I am soo excited about this next chapter together as parents! God sure blessed us with an amazing gift this Christmas and I couldn’t be more filled with joy! I love you more then you know and am grateful for your love and devotion to me everyday!" she wrote.
Gretchen previously admitted that their past unsuccessful attempts to start a family made her question her relationship with Slade. "Why did I think it was a good idea to fall in love with a guy who has a vasectomy knowing full well that I wanted to have children?" she told PEOPLE. “There was a moment there that I questioned if I should stay in the relationship and I have to tell you it was a defining moment for my journey, [my] IVF journey and in also my relationship with Slade.”
Luckily, the journey to conceive ultimately brought the couple closer together. “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,” she shared. “It’s a lot and so for us to be able to survive and get through that together, I’m very proud of that and so happy that we were able to do that... I feel like we’re 100 times closer because of this journey.”
Follow Gretchen and Slade's relationship journey below.