The TODAY family will be growing by one more this year as Weekend TODAY co-anchor and NBC News chief White House correspondent Kristen Welker revealed on Friday’s show that she and her husband are expecting their first child, a girl, with help from a surrogate.
Perhaps no one was more excited than Kristen’s colleagues at TODAY, who spoke with her about her big news.
“I think we’re all overwhelmed with just gratitude for you, Kristen,” Savannah Guthrie said while choking back tears. “You’re my hero. I can’t believe how hard you have worked for this baby. When she finds out all that you did for her to bring her into this world, both of you — you’re wonderful. I’m so happy for you.”
Kristen, 44, and John, who revealed their news during National Infertility Awareness Week, have endured years of infertility struggles and shared that the stories of Kristen’s colleagues helped get them through. Savannah and husband Michael Feldman are parents of two children, Vale, 6, and Charley, 4, and had Charley via in vitro fertilization. Hoda Kotb adopted two daughters, Haley, 4, and Hope, 2, with fiancé Joel Schiffman when she was in her 50s.
“I have to say that part of the reason that we were able to keep going and part of the reason we wanted to share our story was because you, Savannah, you, Hoda, have talked about your path to motherhood and that gave us so much strength,” she said.
Kristen also pointed to Craig Melvin for his strong words about fatherhood.
“Craig, you’ve talked so much about the role of being a father,” she said. “I think every tough day when you guys would speak out, when someone would share their story, it makes you feel a little less alone. And whether it’s infertility or anything that someone’s struggling with, I think that when you know you’re not alone, it helps you to wake up and put one foot in front of the other.”
Craig also reminded John that he’s about to become a “girl dad,” making him a member of “the most impressive club in the world,” so he wanted to know what John was most looking forward to on the journey ahead.
“Well, it’s a long list. I’m so excited just to, one, just to hold her in our arms. I think that’s most important, but there’s a long road to come after that, and I’m sure she’ll be feisty, just like her mother,” he said.
Savannah also told Kristen she represents a beacon of light for others.
“There are people watching right now and you are giving so much hope to them, just by looking at you. And you just never gave up. You just kept that faith that your baby would come and your dreams would come true. What would you say to others who might be feeling a little lost right now and thinking, ‘When is it going to be my turn?’”
“I would say do not give up. Never give up,” she said. “Everyone sitting here is a reminder that if you want a family, you can have one, and just to keep the faith. And whatever it is you’re struggling with, not to give up. And we feel so blessed that we have this opportunity.”
Hoda, pointing to her own experience, also reminded Kristen that their baby is arriving at the exact moment that she should.
“As someone told me when I adopted a baby in my 50s, she said, ‘You know what that baby is?’ And I said, ‘What?’ She said, ‘That baby’s right on time.’ So congratulations for having your baby right on time,” Hoda said.
“You were born for this. You were born to be a mama,” Savannah said. “We cannot wait to meet her.”
When Kristen and John returned to discuss their journey further on the 3rd hour of TODAY Friday, Dylan Dreyer, who opened up in 2019 about her infertility struggles and miscarriage, shared her words of support.
“I'm just so happy for you guys,” Dylan said.
Dylan, who is mother to sons Calvin, 4, and Oliver, 1, was also a guiding force for Kristen.
“You gave me so much strength by talking about publicly the struggles that you had trying to have a second child,” she shared.
Craig then added: “That kid just hit the parent lottery.”