Hoda Kotb Makes an Appearance at Jenna Bush Hager's Baby Shower While on Her Own Maternity Leave
On Wednesday, mom-to-be Jenna Bush Hager got emotional on air as she read a sweet note friend Hoda Kotb gave her at her baby shower the previous day
Mom’s day out!
Kotb, 54, shared a slideshow of photos from the celebration, which includes shots of her and the guest of honor, 37, sharing a sweet embrace, as well as a group shot of Kotb, Bush Hager and other event attendees.
“Saw my girl @jennabhager today… celebrating her baby #3!” Kotb captioned the post. “Loved seeing her face … can’t wait to be reunited again on tv too! Swipe for some fun pix xoxo ❤️❤️ .”
Bush Hager responded to the Instagram post writing, “Love you. Love you. Love you!! 💕💕”
On Wednesday, the third-time mom-to-be shared a sweet note Kotb gave her at the shower on air, getting emotional as she read it for the first time aloud: “Jenna, you represent everything I love. Your friends are lucky, your children luckier. Three good people in the world thanks to you and Hank. Maybe they will change the world.”
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Bush Hager, who is expecting her third child and first son with husband Henry Hager, first shared her pregnancy news with Kotb in April. Shortly after announcing the news to her Today co-anchors, she got a chance to get on the phone with Kotb, who was already on maternity leave caring for her new baby daughter Hope Catherine.
“Hoda, can you believe it?” Bush Hager asked Kotb, who is also mom to 2-year-old daughter Haley Joy, after the pair were connected on the phone.
“Oh my God, I’m so happy!” her co-host shared, adding that she had actually been “eavesdropping” from home on her headset earlier in the show.
“Well, we miss you,” shared the former first daughter. “And you know what that newborn-baby fog is like. So I can’t wait, even though I’m a little scared.”
Offering her heartfelt congratulations, Kotb went on to praise her new 10 o’clock hour co-host.
“I feel like this is your year for a million reasons. You are on the show you were born to be on, you’re expanding your family, which is exactly what is supposed to be happening. This is the year of Jenna Bush Hager,” she shared.
“That is so sweet, Hoda,” Bush Hager replied, quipping that it’s also “the year of Hope Catherine.”
Bush Hager went on to share that after she first found out she was pregnant, she initially felt guilty because she knew others who wanted to be moms but were struggling.
“When I had that conversation with Hoda, because I knew she wanted this baby, I called my mom,” she remarked, explaining that her sister Barbara Pierce Bush — who recently had a second wedding to husband Craig Coyne — is also trying to get pregnant.
“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,’ ” she said. “My mom and her mom before her struggled with infertility forever, and so I thought that was a beautiful thing to say.”
Bush Hager continued, “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 happiness and support — and give that baby a kiss.”
Since becoming a mother of two after adoption Hope in April, Kotb revealed the second time around is much different than when she adopted Haley.
“I forgot everything!” she told PEOPLE in May. “I was like, ‘How do you hold the baby? How do you feed a baby? How do you swaddle?’ I was googling swaddling and — you’re not going to believe this — how to put on pajamas.”
“I just can’t believe how in a blink, life changes, and all of a sudden there are two babies in this house. I’m just overwhelmed with joy,” Kotb said.
Kotb announced her new bundle of joy in a phone call on the April 16 episode of Today. The outlet shared a photo of the longtime television journalist holding her new addition, with her older daughter Haley standing next to her mama and new little sister with a big smile on her face.
“It’s a girl! And her name is Hope!” Kotb could be heard saying through tears over the phone as her fellow Today personalities wiped their eyes.
With two children to care for now, Kotb told PEOPLE that she has been able to let go of some the pressure that comes with being a mom.
“I was always like, ‘I have to fix it! Here I come,’ ” she said. “Now I’m just like, ‘Haley’s safe. She’s good. The baby’s going to eat in a minute. She’ll be okay.’ “