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Eva Mendes reveals the family tragedy that inspired her daughter's name

For the first time since giving birth to her second daughter, Eva Mendes opens up about being a mom.
/ Source: TODAY

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling weren't always planning to name their second daughter Amada.

They named their first daughter Esmeralda Amada, after Mendes' grandmother and had come up with a few names, like Viviana, for their next child. Given the timing of her birth, they wanted her name to have meaning.

Mendes lost her brother, Carlos Mendez, 53, to cancer on April 17. On April 29, Amada was born.

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"We went with Amada because it was something we kept going back to. And it was an emotional time with the passing of my brother," Mendes told Latina Magazine in her first interview since giving birth. "We thought how beautiful to go with what made us emotional and with what felt like her. When we looked at her, we thought, 'Aww, Amadita.'"

Her brother's funeral service was the same week she gave birth and she credits her family with getting her through such a hard time.

"Losing my brother brought our family closer, and we were already close to begin with," Mendes said. "So to just see everybody be there for one another and show up, I feel so lucky to have them."

"It was really, really intense and obviously beyond heartbreaking, but also kind of beautiful," she went on to say.

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The "Hitch" actress has been taking some time off to spend with her daughters, but wouldn't be opposed to jumping back into work, as long as it was "something really special."

"My older little girl is not yet 2 years old. My little one is still an infant, and right now it’s really about surviving those nights and trying to enjoy this time as much as possible with them, and start the bond between Esmeralda and Amada," Mendes said. "It’s a really, really special time. I’m loving it."