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As TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe prepares for maternity leave, her co-anchors made sure she was sent off with plenty of love, advice and a tiny TODAY-branded onesie.
“Jenna’s daughter should know, and she will know, that her mother has an incredibly big heart,” said Wolfe’s co-anchor Lester Holt. Wolfe is having a baby girl with partner Stephanie Gosk, a correspondent for NBC News. Wolfe said she will be away from the TODAY news desk for about eight weeks.
Many members of the TODAY team said that Wolfe’s energy and humor will help her as she begins her new role as a parent.
“She has so much fun, so much exuberance, and I think any little baby would be so lucky to be in her presence,” said TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie.
Matt Lauer agreed.
“The sense of humor that she shows around here on a daily basis is like one of the greatest traits you can have when it comes to being a mother,” he said.
Hoda Kotb said Wolfe's baby will be "laughing from the time that child comes out of the womb."
Wolfe has been writing for TODAY.com about her pregnancy in the weekly blog "Jenna's (baby) food for thought", tackling everything from insomnia, carb cravings and details of what the changes will bring.
To prepare for the new addition, Wolfe and Gosk got a new apartment, moving 82 boxes of their stuff while Wolfe was six months pregnant. Wolfe wrote of the experience, saying, "I give Steph a lot of credit. I feel if you can survive a full move with a woman who is 6 months pregnant, your relationship is going to be just fine."
“You and Steph are going to be fantastic parents,” said TODAY’s Erica Hill. Hill has two young boys, and said that the moment when the baby is born is like nothing else.
Though many have offered Wolfe parenting advice, Hoda Kotb broke it down in three simple steps: “Burp the baby, change the baby, put the baby to bed. How tough is it?”
It wouldn’t be a proper send-off without a good celebrity sighting. Barry Manilow, one of Wolfe’s favorite musicians, made a cameo appearance in her good luck video. “Jenna,” he said, “take care of our littlest fan.”
Wolfe said she was touched with all the well wishes, and said, "to be able to share (my pregnancy) with this TODAY family really means the world to me."
“I wish I knew what the name was,” said Lester Holt. Wolfe has been tight-lipped about what she and Gosk will name their daughter, but Wolfe said in a recent post for TODAY.com that the name will honor her grandmother, Estelle.
“Lesterina is not an option,” Wolfe told Holt.
“This might change me so brace yourself,” Wolfe told her co-anchors. “I might come back a little more sensitive and a little softer...but as my executive producer said, that's never going to happen."
Send your well wishes to the mom-to-be on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #TODAYWeekend.