Congratulations are in order for Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley! The longtime couple and The Real Housewives of Orange County alums have welcomed their first child together, a girl, Skylar Gray, on Wednesday, July 10, Gretchen's rep confirmed to PEOPLE.
“Skylar is born and mama and baby are doing well,” Gretchen's rep said.
Gretchen revealed shortly before her daughter's birth that she just had to make the "super hard decision" to have a C-section instead of a vaginal birth like she had been planning. "When you have this vision of how you want your labor and delivery to go and it doesn’t turn out [the] way you imagined, there is this sadness and internal struggle with 'why isn’t my body cooperating' or am I making the right decision etc. So after crying it out, and being sad about not having a 'vaginal birth' yesterday, I asked God to give me a sign that this is the best decision, and he did! He literally had so many of my friends reach out to me yesterday and put me at ease about a potential c-section (and they didn’t even know what had happened at the [appointment])," she said. "So I am scheduled for the c-section tomorrow and am going to embrace it with as much confidence as I can, and know that having her in my arms safely is all that matters!"
The couple have waited for this moment for years. Gretchen first started IVF four years ago but lost 14 embryos after the first round. Slade also underwent a reverse vasectomy. After opting to undergo IVF again after Gretchen turned 40 in October, they ended up with two genetically sound embryos after two new rounds. An embryo was able to be implanted around the time of Slade's 50th birthday in November, and the couple announced the pregnancy in December. They revealed that they would be welcoming a baby girl during a gender reveal party in February.
Gretchen and Slade previously announced they would be naming their daughter Skylar Gray in tribute to Slade's son from a previous relationship, Grayson, who is still fighting a battle with brain cancer after being diagnosed in 2006. Slade also has another son, Gavin, who got married in May.
The shared experience of battling infertility and undergoing IVF has made Gretchen determined to help other couples in similar situations. She said that she is on a “mission” to “change legislation. I'm going to go to Capitol Hill, mark my words, and we're gonna make some changes for all those families out there that can't afford infertility treatments. I'm gonna get insurance companies to cover it."
This past February marked a decade together for Gretchen and Slade, who are engaged. Gretchen said of their relationship, "Some will also always ask why we haven’t gotten married, ([and] maybe one day we still will) but the truth is I’m so proud of the fact that we are together because we want to be, not because we feel we have to be. We are committed [and] loyal to one another whether or not we have a marriage license!”