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NBC News' Kristen Welker shares her baby daughter's birth story with Hoda

She became a mom with help from a surrogate, and she got to catch the baby at birth.
Split image of Hoda Kotb and Kristen Welker
TODAY Illustration / NBC
/ Source: TODAY

Kristen Welker welcomed her first child, daughter Margot Lane, with the help of a surrogate in June. Now, three months later, the NBC News chief White House correspondent is sharing her powerful birth story with Hoda Kotb.

“In the weeks leading up to the birth and the delivery, I was a little nervous because I hadn’t carried her,” Kristen revealed on SiriusXm’s “The Hoda Show” Monday. “I had this little seed of self-doubt. Will I have that maternal instinct? Will it kick in?”

Then, Kristen’s OB-GYN suggested that she assist with birth by catching the baby.

“At first I said, ‘Am I going to know what to do?’” Kristen’s recalled. Kristen's doctor and midwife assured her that she would.

“And so, as she was being born, I stretch my hands out… and in that moment, Hoda, all of that self-doubt went away,” she explained. “And I all I felt was this bond and this overwhelming sense of love and connection that I’d never felt for another human being before.”

On the way home from the hospital, Kristen sat in the backseat with Margot, while her husband, John Hughes, drove “five miles an hour.”

“I just talked to her the whole ride home,” the Weekend TODAY co-anchor said. “And we held hands… her little finger grasped onto my finger. It was incredible. I stared at her and I thought, ‘I can’t believe she’s mine. And I just hope I don’t ever let her down. I just want to give her the world.’”

Kristen added that she still finds herself just staring at her baby.

"I miss Margot when I put her to bed at night," she said. "I sneak into her room just to look at her and John is like, "She's sleeping peacefully. Why are you going in there?' And I'm like, 'I just want to look at her.'"

Kristen Welker and her husband, John Hughes, welcomed their daughter, Margot, on June 12.
Kristen Welker and her husband, John Hughes, welcomed their daughter, Margot, on June 12. Courtesy Kristen Welker

While chatting with Hoda, Kristen also opened up about the special relationship that she and Hughes share with their surrogate.

“I have a new appreciation for the word gratitude. The gratitude that I feel for her every day and that I felt for her in that moment that Margot was born is indescribable,” Kristen said.

Kristen, who is unable to carry a child, previously called the experience of being with their surrogate, “one of the most extraordinary experiences” she ever had.”

“It’s OK to ask for help; in fact, it can be empowering,” Kristen wrote in a heartfelt letter to her daughter before Margot was born. “Families are made in all different ways, come in all different shapes and sizes, and all families should be celebrated. And, finally, while I didn’t carry you in my body, I have always carried you in my heart and I will be your mommy.”