Jenna Bush Hager revealed that she was full of conflicting emotions when it came time to reveal news of her recent pregnancy to Today co-host Hoda Kotb — who struggled with infertility and adopted two baby girls, Haley, then Hope Catherine.
Bush Hager is expecting her third child, a boy, with husband Henry Hager. On air at Today, she chatted via phone call with Kotb, saying, “Hoda, can you believe it?”
“Oh my God, I’m so happy!” Kotb gushed from home.
“Well, we miss you,” the former first daughter said. “And you know what that newborn baby fog is like. So I can’t wait, even though I’m a little scared.”
Then Kotb revealed that this was not fresh news. “Jenna, first of all, you’re amazing. And when you told me that you were pregnant, I still remember because … we were wondering about adoption issues, but listening to you, I was praying,” Kotb said. “And you said, ‘Oh, Hoda, I feel so bad.’ I said, ‘Please, don’t!’ I was literally kind of holding onto a little secret and look at us, now it’s all out in the open.” Kotb was referring, of course, to her new arrival, Hope.
Bush Hager expressed mixed feelings about her initial conversation with Kotb about her pregnancy.
“When I had that conversation with Hoda, because I knew she wanted this baby, I called my mom,” she said. Bush Hager explained that her sister — Barbara Pierce Bush — has been trying to get pregnant.
Bush Hager said she told her mother, former first lady Laura Bush, “Barbara and Hoda, they want these babies, and I have this guilt.” Bush Hager said her mom’s response helped her put her own pregnancy into perspective: “Everyone gets their babies when they’re supposed to.”
“My mom and her mom before her struggled with infertility forever and so I thought that was a beautiful thing to say,” added Bush Hager. “I don’t take this lightly. I know how blessed and lucky I am. It’s an amazing gift. So Hoda, thank you for your love and happines and support — and give that baby a kiss!”
Bush Hager and her husband also share daughters Poppy, 3, and Mila, 6. “We weren’t really trying to get pregnant. We had some fertility issues with Poppy. So we just — it was a date night,” Bush Hager explained, chuckling. “Sorry, Mom!”
Bush Hager revealed her big news not knowing that the show’s new meteorologist, Dylan Dreyer, would be sitting down to talk about her miscarriage. Dreyer later slammed suggestions that Bush Hager’s baby announcement was poorly timed. She said to Bush Hager on air, “Even if you knew I was doing this story today, I would never ever want to have that be the reason why you didn’t announce this today. This is so amazing! My sadness does not take away from your joy.”
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