Today Show host Jenna Bush Hager revealed she felt “guilt” over spilling the beans on her big pregnancy news to co-host Hoda Kotb just weeks after taking the reins from Kathie Lee Gifford, who left her seat next to Kotb after 11 years on the morning talk series.
People Magazine reported that Hager felt this way knowing how badly Kotb had wanted to get pregnant on her own and subsequently, the joy she felt over adopting her daughter Hayley Joy and the latest addition to the family she shares with partner Joel Schiffman, Hope Catherine.
“When I had that conversation with Hoda because I knew she wanted this baby, I called my mom,” Hager noted to People.
Hager explained she wanted to be sensitive to both Kotb and her sister, Barbara Pierce Bush, who is married to Craig Coyne and is trying to become pregnant herself.
“I said, ‘Barbara’ — who just got married — ‘and Hoda, they want these babies, and I have this guilt.’ And my mom said, ‘Everybody gets their babies when they’re supposed to,’ ” Hager explained of her mother’s summation of her feelings. “My mom and her mom before her struggled with infertility forever, and so I thought that was a beautiful thing to say.”
In the end, Kotb could not have been more pleased with the wonderful news Hager shared. On April 22, she spoke on the phone with her co-host and Meredith Viera, who sat in for Kotb as she took a leave to spend time with her new daughter.
Kotb then told Hager during their on-air phone call that this was “her year” after scoring Gifford’s old seat and the expansion of her family. Hager and husband Henry are the parents of two daughters, Mila and Poppy. The couple recently found out their third child would be a boy.
Jenna and Henry tied the knot in 2008 and welcomed their daughters in 2013 and 2015. In response to her co-host’s blessings, Hager replied to Kotb that it was the year of “Hope Catherine.”
In an interview with Us Weekly, Hager reported that she kept the news a secret but had to let it out after her daughters learned the big news on Easter Sunday when they found messages in their Easter baskets that they would be big sisters.
Hager spilled the beans because her daughters couldn’t keep the big news secret.
The daughter of former President of the United States George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, along with Kotb, will now get to parent little ones around the same age together, furthering cementing their bond as pals on and off-camera.
The Today Show airs weekdays on NBC,