“The most challenging, beautiful experience of my life. On January 29th, Michael & I welcomed our beautiful baby boy, River, into the world,” the Riverdale star shared via Instagram in February 2021, while sharing the first photo of her newborn. “Words cannot describe this kind of love. We are enjoying this time home with him, being present & giving him all the lovin’ in the world. Becoming parents is the most rewarding gift in the entire world.”
After returning to work on the Riverdale set, Vanessa also started to snap pics of her costars and River. Before she left the show for a brief maternity leave, the stars praised the first-time mom for her commitment to work as showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wrote her pregnancy into the series.
“I talked to Vanessa, and I was like, ‘When you come back, how much do you want to come back?’” the executive producer told Decider in August 2021, referring to the actress’ new role as a full-time mom. “And Vanessa was like, ‘I’m so in.’ We see Toni as a mother, we see Toni as a leader of the Serpents, we see badass Toni come back, we see Toni fighting for the town alongside Archie. We see Toni having a deepening relationship with Fangs. And yes, we do bring Toni and Cheryl back in each other’s orbits, but in a way in which they complement each other, rather than diffusing their impact.”
Of course, since Vanessa’s character, Toni, also had a baby in the show, a newborn will be making an appearance onscreen. But no, it’s not River.
“It is not Vanessa’s real baby. In some scenes, it is a baby, a real live baby. In other scenes, it is a very lifelike doll,” Roberto also told Decider. “But no, it is not. … She’s, rightfully so, protective of her child.”
Despite keeping River out of the public eye since his birth, Vanessa did share with fans the meaning of his name in a January 2021 Instagram Stories post.
“Early on in my pregnancy, I was walking the river every day,” the actress shared at the time. “Gave me so much peace, I knew that was the perfect name for his lil soul.”
Scroll through our gallery for all the photos of Vanessa and River.
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