Gretchen Rossi is going to be a mom!
After four years of trying to conceive through IVF, the 40-year-old "Real Housewives of Orange County" alum and her fiance, Slade Smiley, are expecting a baby. It was certainly a long process for the couple, who shared the happy news on Monday's episode of "The Doctors."
"After the first round of IVF, when we lost 14 embryos, I looked at Slade and I was like, 'I just need to take a pause,'" Rossi recalled. "This was beyond anything I had ever expected to experience. It literally took a good year and a half for us to even get to a point where I was willing to talk about it again."
For 45-year-old Smiley — who has two kids from a previous relationship — watching Rossi suffer was the hardest part of the whole process.
"The suffering for me comes from seeing my partner have to suffer," he said. "I wish that I could do more. I wish she wasn't the one that has to take all the shots. I wish I could take some of that from her."
What Rossi described as "an emotional journey," came to a happy end when, after being implanted about seven weeks ago, the IVF finally worked.
"Finally! We have news that we are pregnant!" Rossi exclaimed with tears in her eyes.
"And we're freaked out!" Smiley added. "But in a good way!"
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Rossi called the news "so wild" and admitted that "it still doesn't feel real." Smiley agreed, calling the baby news "a little surreal."
Despite suffering from morning sickness — "I swear they lie to you about morning sickness; it's all-day sickness. It's, like, the worst ever," Rossi said. — she called hearing her child's heartbeat for the first time "very exciting."
"All of this has been such an overwhelming journey and so when you get to those little milestones and you know you're hearing the heartbeat, it's so exciting, but it's also relief," Smiley said.
Even though the road was long and arduous, Rossi and Smiley have no doubt that they'd go through it all again if it ended with the same outcome.
"There were plenty of times during the process that we were like, 'Oh my gosh, is this ever going to happen? Is this ever going to come to fruition?'" Rossi said. "But I think that we're so very grateful because, had we not had IVF, we would not be sitting here right now telling you that we're pregnant."
"We feel so grateful for everything that's happened," Smiley added.
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The sweet segment ended with Rossi shining a light on all of the women who are currently struggling with infertility.
"There's seven million women suffering with infertility and so many women are suffering in silence because they're embarrassed or it's too taboo of a topic for them," she said. "I want to be part of that dialogue where we're saying, 'No. It's OK to share this. It's OK to talk about this. It's not taboo.' And not to feel alone."
"I want the guys to man up and do their part," Smiley added.
Earlier this month, ET caught up with the couple at WE tv's "Real Love: Relationship Reality TV’s Past, Present & Future" event, celebrating the return of the network’s series, "Love After Lockup," airing Fridays at 9 p.m. At the time, after what Rossi described as "trials and tribulations," she had just gone through the implantation and was hoping for "a Christmas miracle."
"It's been a long four years of going through a fertility journey with him, three rounds of IVF and we just finally got to do an implantation. So, we're praying and hoping for some good news soon. We're hoping for a Christmas miracle," she said. "But yeah, it's probably been one of the more arduous things I've ever been through… I really want people to know there's hope: you can do this, you can get through this. It's been a very trying, difficult time, but just keeping going for it."
Back in November, ET chatted with the couple, who, while "feeling very positive" about IVF, was certainly open to other ways to have a child.
“I read somewhere that a doctor said to a patient once, 'Do you want to have a child or do you want to be a mother?'” Rossi recalled at the time. “I think those are two very different sentiments, and I think at the end of the day, I have to trust that God knows what the journey is for us, and what is best for us, and whether that's a biological child, whether that's adopting a child, or if that's not having a child — whatever that course shapes up to be, I have to trust that the universe knows what's right for us, in our lives.”
“I would say probably I wouldn't stop at anything, but at the same time, there's a time where you have to go, 'OK. It's not meant to happen biologically," she added. "Maybe we should look into other options.”
For Smiley, he was simply "very proud" of Rossi for her decision to use her experiences "as an opportunity to educate and learn."
“The truth of the matter is, a lot of the time, when people are going through IVF, it's the guy, it's not the woman," he said. "Yet, they seem to suffer, they seem to be afraid to discuss it. So, I mean, it's been a pretty fascinating journey for us. It's been so educational. I just hope that our stories and what we've learned are helping other people.”
“There's gonna be good news,” Rossi correctly predicted. “We're praying and hoping there's good news. Yeah, we are very confident in our doctor… We've had really good results thus far in our IVF process.”