Anderson Cooper Told His Mom He Was Planning to Be a Dad Before Her Death: 'She Was Thrilled'
Anderson Cooper was able to share the happy news that he was going to be a father with his late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, before her death last June
The CNN anchor — who welcomed his new son, Wyatt Morgan, on April 27 via surrogate — called into Monday's episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, where he recalled telling Vanderbilt his plans to have a child of his own.
"I was able to tell her shortly before she died that I was going to have a baby," said Cooper, 52. "Wyatt hadn't been created at that point, he wasn't actually a being at that point. He was an idea in my head, and I was in the process of it."
"She was thrilled," Cooper added of his late mother, who died on June 17, 2019 at the age of 95 after a battle with cancer. "It's something I've wised for a long time, and I'm very lucky and very blessed."
Live co-host Kelly Ripa, a longtime friend of Cooper's, could imagine how Vanderbilt took the news.
"When I heard Wyatt was born, the first person I thought of was Gloria," Ripa, 49, said. "She came to me in a way that was so powerful. I could actually picture the joyful expression on her face, knowing you had this baby."
"Whether you know it or not, you've been destined for this your whole life," Ripa added. "Because I've known you a long time, and I've seen you with my kids, and you are the most paternal person I've met in my whole life. And I'm so thrilled for you and so thrilled for Wyatt."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
I just stare at him," Cooper added. "Hours will go by and I realize I've just been sitting there, holding him. After a baby's born, you do this thing called skin to skin where you hold the baby on your chest. I still do that all the time. There's nothing better. He's like a little amphibious creature, he's all curled up with his feet up. It's so cute. I just can't help but stare at him. And every now and then, you know, baby's sleep a lot. But then he'll suddenly open up his eyes and look at you. I don't even know if he can see me at this stage, but it seems like it and he's sort of understanding sounds."
"It's just wild," joked Cooper. "It's way better than Netflix, I'll tell you that."
He also revealed that he's taken up a new habit: drinking coffee.
"I've become addicted," Cooper said. "I've never had coffee before — I've had it once or twice on TV, never in real life, and now I can't believe I've lasted this long. I'm up a lot during the night. I understand why people drink coffee now."
Cooper's son's name is a tribute to Vanderbilt and to his father, Wyatt Emory Cooper — who died when Cooper was 10.
The journalist also recalled finding a list that his parents had written before Cooper's birth with possible names for him, one of them being Morgan. "I knew that they liked that name," he told Ripa and her co-host, Ryan Seacrest. "So yeah, I went with it."
In the week since his son's birth, Cooper has said he's been transfixed with the new addition to his family.
"It's incredible," Cooper said. "It's weird, I was starting to think about this last night, actually. I keep coming back to the word astonishing. Like, it's amazing, astonishing."
Cooper announced Wyatt's birth on the April 30 episode of his show Anderson Cooper 360°, before posting photos of his newborn in a touching Instagram post.
In that emotional caption, Cooper shared that he never thought fatherhood would be a possibility for him while he was growing up.
"As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I'm grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth," he wrote.
He shared words of gratitude to his surrogate, too.
"Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him," Cooper wrote. "It is an extraordinary blessing — what she, and all surrogates give to families who can't have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me."