Baby Boy on the Way for Julia Pace Mitchell

01/24/2013 at 09:00 AM ET

Julia Pace Mitchell Expecting First Child Boy
Stephanie Matthews

Life will soon be imitating art for actress Julia Pace Mitchell — she’s pregnant!

The Young and the Restless star, 27, and her husband Stephen L. Hightower are expecting a baby together in May, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“I feel so blessed and hopeful about becoming a mommy for the first time,” the mom-to-be says in a statement.

Having experienced an onscreen delivery, Pace Mitchell, who plays Sofia Winters on the long running show, isn’t expecting to wrap the arrival of her first child — a boy the couple plan to name Stephen L. Hightower III — so quickly.

“I’m sure giving birth in real life will take a lot longer than on TV!” she jokes to PEOPLE.

Pace Mitchell and businessman Hightower tied the knot in September 2011.

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Expecting , News

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Showing 28 comments

Setting the record straight on

Wow, I had no idea she is the daughter of the beautiful Judy Pace and Don Mitchell, two great actors when I was growing up. Congratulations.

Laura on

Congrats mom and dad. We miss her on Y&R.

Deborah on

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a stupid name but every person deserves to have their own identity. I look at it like this … if they go on to have another child .. how would that new child feel later on in life wondering why he wasn’t good enough to share the same name as his dad.

Brenda Barrett on

I’m just glad she was dropped to recurring and basically isn’t on Y&R anymore. She was not a good actress.

Courtney on

Their child, their decision on what to name him. It’s better than the bs other celebs are naming their children

Sandra on

Congrats on the bundle of joy! It is his name and he will make of it what he wishes.

sherquetta on


Sean on

Didnt she quit or was removed from thre show a month or so ago, I havent seen her on the show for a while or did she take a leave to have a child, Neil has a new flame now!!!!!!

denise on

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!

Jen on

I agree with Anonymous. I think it’s important to give your child their own identity through a name. I also think it’s quite sexist. I rarely see Julia III or Katy VI. It’s a tradition that I think needs to die…or I think women need to start naming their babies after themselves more 🙂

William Kirk on

i do not watch Young and the Restless I did watch All My Children til CBS had bright idea to replace it with a lame cooking show to save 40% on the budget!

rachael on

Millions of names in the world and they can’t think of one.. to each their own – congrats!

Jackie on

I’m w/ Anonymous. Let’s be creative. I can’t stand when people just continuously recycle a name. I can see if you give them your first name as a middle name, but the whole Jr. II, III, and so on is annoying.

mel on

It depends on the parents. My sister and her husband named their first son after him. The second son’s middle name is his dad’s first name so they both share a part of his name. Their daughter’s middle name is the same as my sister’s middle name. This way they are all connected. My main issue with names is that it isn’t stupid and people aren’t shocked when they hear it. You have celebs that name their kids stupid names like Bear or Crime-fighter yet you bad-mouth these people for naming their kid after the dad? Really?

Sharon on

Aaaw Stephen was my grandfather’s name, so it has a special place in my heart 🙂 congratulations!!

Sharon on

*Btw i would rather have my child named Stephen instead of pilot inspector or something else ridiculous that the child will be teased for*

Melissa King on

Congrats!!! My mother in law worked for Mr. Hightower Sr years ago and the Hightowers are very nice respectable people. I also am a Y&R watcher and love seeing her on it knowing she is an Ohio resident.

Imightadd on

There is nothing wrong with naming a child after a parent. That is tradition. I guess today tradition is old fashioned. It beats naming a child after fruit ~ or an animal…. lol. There is true caring in naming a baby after a loved one. You should be proud of family names, not apologizing for it. If you have to apologize, there must be some reason for it. Congrats to the nice couple. Just because he is named after his Dad does not make him less of an individual. He’ll be very happy with such a nice name.

Carrow on

Congratulations! I miss seeing her character Sofia on Y&R.

Anonymous on

Jackie- I’m with you! My father and brother each have their father’s first name as their middle name, and personally I think that’s how it should be done if you want to name your baby after yourself or your partner.

That or perhaps give your baby a varient of your name (for example, the name Giada is the Italian version of Jade…which is what Giada DeLaurintis named her daughter!).

In anycase, I agree that children should have their own names. But congrats to the couple, and I hope their son is healthy!

Marky on

I was named after my mother, with a jr. at the end of my name, and I was never bothered by that ner did I feel as if I didn’t have my own identity. She was who she was, and I was who I was; we shared a name, and I always knew my father chose that name for me because he loved my mother deeply, and could think of no bigger compliment for his first daughter than to name me after the love of his life. He was an amazing father who always treated me with love and respect. When my sister was born, she was given a name which was special to them for other reasons, and to my knowledge, never gave it a thought that she might have gotten screwed somehow because I was named after our mother and she wasn’t. Maybe we were raised better than some of you who are so petty you would envy someone for their name. If you don’t want to name a child after your spouse or yourself, don’t, but don’t criticize someone for doing so. It’s still the child’s name, for goodness’ sake.

Rhonda on

Congratulations on your pregnancy, Julia. To those who don’t like what she’s going to name her son I have one suggestion for you – don’t name your child Stephen L. Hightower III.

Colleen on

Congratulations to this amazing couple! Stephen is a great name and Stephen L. Hightower lll should and will be proud to be named after his father (who I have the privilege of knowing).

Lilah on

Congratulations! Blessings, love and happiness.

Tonya R. on

Congratulations!!! It’s nice to see Gods’ blessings in the form of a baby.

And for all you folks making negative comments…get a life and get some Jesus in your life.

myuntidydesk on

I don’t want to say giving a child a name with numerals at the end is stupid like the super brave ANONYMOUS did, but really… give him his own name. Let his dad’s name be the kid’s middle name.

Father on

Where do you all get the Audacity to have an opinion on what a child’s name should be . No one asked you

Jonathan on

So y’all’s concept of identity is so limited that the child’s name predetermines who he will be for the rest of his life? Are family names forever off-limits? Can he be named after his uncle, or grandfather, or cousin? What about someone who impacted the parents in their lives – like the mother’s Pastor, or a teacher, or a counselor, or a coach? Does the child lose an identity then? Could they name the child Denzel or is his identity forever linked to the actor? Can they name him William or is that linking his identity too closely to William Shkespeare, or Shatner, or Baldwin, or Will.I.Am? I know these are extreme examples, but it reveals the idiocy of an argument to say that being a “Jr” or “III” in some way limits who that child can be. Maybe it’s the total opposite – maybe in a world of absentee fathers this is the dad’s way of saying, “You are my son and I will be there.” Bottom line is: no one knows and its stupid to judge any parent on what they decide to name their child. That’s THEIR decision, not yours.