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Jenna Bush Hager opens up about mom Laura Bush's struggle with infertility

The TODAY anchor's parents had just begun the adoption process when they learned they were expecting twins.
/ Source: TODAY

Jenna Bush Hager always knew she wanted to be a mom. But she wasn’t sure what her journey would look like.

Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush struggled with infertility for years before they welcomed Jenna and her twin sister, Barbara, in 1981.

“Infertility has run on my mom’s side of the family forever,” Jenna revealed on Tuesday’s episode of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna. She noted that her grandmother, Jenna Hawkins, had stillbirths, which is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

After five years of marriage, George and Laura applied to an adoption agency. The day they heard back from the agency, was the day Laura learned she was pregnant with Jenna and Barbara.

When George and Laura were applying to adopt a child, they submitted a photo of themselves posing in their Midland, Texas, backyard. Jenna has the picture and keeps it in a frame.

"It was part of our story," she explained.

Jenna shares kids, Mila, 8, Poppy, 6, and Henry, 2, with her husband, Henry Hager.

In her book “Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss,” Jenna opened up about struggling with “survivor’s guilt” after learning she was expecting her third child.

“Many of my friends were struggling with infertility,” she wrote. “How would they take the news that I was going to have a surprise baby?”

At the time, the family was concerned about how Jenna's sister would respond to the news.

“I knew my father was worried that Barbara, newly married, would likely be trying soon for a baby if she wasn't already," Jenna revealed. "My parents went through so much in order to conceive us, so they are sensitive to the feelings of anyone who does not yet have the babies they want. They thought that if Barbara was trying, she might understandably envy my pregnancy."

“My mother scolded my father for putting that pressure on me,” Jenna continued. “She said what she always says when these questions arise: ‘Every woman gets her baby in her time.’”

Barbara and her husband, Craig Coyne, welcomed their first child, daughter Cora, in September.

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