Rosie and Kelli's Early Christmas Gift

12/02/2002 12:00PM

Rosie O'Donnell, rarely out of the news since she bowed out of her TV talk show last May, made a major announcement over the weekend: Her girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter, 35, gave birth Friday to a baby girl at an undisclosed New York hospital.

Vivienne Rose O'Donnell weighed in at 6 lbs., 6 oz. and measured 19 inches long, Rosie's rep, Cindi Berger, tells the Associated Press.

"Mothers and baby are just great," said Berger, who also explained that the child's first name was taken from the main character in the book "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," while the middle name was a tribute to O'Donnell's late mother. (Roseanne O'Donnell died of breast cancer when Rosie, who is now 40, was 10.)

Berger went on to tell the New York Daily News, "Rosie is staying in the room with Kelli. The birth was a week early, with no complications."

Describing the new arrival, Carpenter's mother, Melanie Safer, 57, the owner of a dancewear store in Baton Rouge, La., tells the New York Post: "The baby looks exactly like Kelli did when she was a baby."

O'Donnell and Carpenter have been together since 1998, when Rosie's brother Daniel matched them up. Little Vivienne was conceived by artificial insemination, though both mothers have refused to say who the father is.

O'Donnell already has three adopted children: Parker, 7, Chelsea, 5, and Blake, 3.

MORE ON: Rosie O'Donnell

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