Kristen Welker On Dealing With Self-Doubt Before Welcoming Daughter Born Via Surrogate And Her Love Of Motherhood
Courtesy of NBC/Kristen Welker

After revealing that she was expecting her first child with husband John Hughes via surrogate in April and announcing in June that baby girl Margot Lane was officially here, veteran NBC News journalist Kristen Welker is opening up about her experience with motherhood four months in.

The 44-year-old chatted with fellow beloved NBC journalist Hoda Kotb on her podcast, The Hoda Show on SiriusXM Today Show Radio. Both women have welcomed daughters with help from others (Hoda adopted her girls Haley and Hope), making the conversation extra special.

“This has been the best, nearly going on four months of my life,” she said. “I mean I can honestly say that every day is filled with a new adventure as you know all too well.”

Welker said she’s floating on cloud nine now, but prior to Margot’s birth, she was dealing with a flood of different emotions.

“I can honestly say in the weeks leading up to the birth and the delivery, I was a little nervous. A, because I hadn’t carried her and I was still feeling sad about that and I think you feel a little sad about that right until you walk into that delivery room,” she admitted. “I worried, I had this little seed of self-doubt. Will I have that maternal instinct? Will it kick in if I haven’t carried her?”

But the role Welker got to play in her daughter’s delivery removed all those concerns. She was able to catch the newborn immediately as she came into the world.

“It was breathtaking. And first I said, ‘Am I going to know what to do? Are you sure I can do this?’  And the doctor and the midwife actually who was in the room with me said, ‘Absolutely,'” she said. “‘I’m going to help guide you and we’re going to do this together but your hands will literally be the first thing that she feels when she arrives into this new world.’ And so, as she was being born, I stretched my hands out, and that moment feeling her beautiful, incredible being, was really the most magical moment of my entire life and in that moment all of that self-doubt went away. And then all I felt was this bond, and this overwhelming sense of love and connection that I have, you know, never felt for another human being before and it was incredible. It was a blessing.”

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Welker still remains in communication with her surrogate, whom she has the utmost gratitude for and still has an “incredible relationship” with.

“We have talked frequently and I just talked to her yesterday, and I think that first of all, 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,” she said.

As much as she’s been enjoying being a mom, she’s also preparing to return to her post as co-chief White House correspondent and co-anchor of Weekend Today. She’s looking forward to it but also grappling with that feeling that so many new moms have of not wanting to be away from their babies.

“I worry about missing her,” she said. “I do feel lucky, Hoda we have careers that we’ve put our hearts into, and that we’re passionate about and so I think I’m grateful to come back to what is really a family…I feel good about returning from that perspective, and I feel as ready as I can feel, if you can ever feel ready, because it’s going to be a transition. I mean I went out to run a couple of errands the other day and thought, ‘oh my gosh.’ You know I’m checking the monitor every two minutes or when she’s napping and, obviously, you know, I didn’t leave her alone…I just, you know, I missed her so that’s the piece of it that I worry about.”

For now though, she’s taking full advantage of spending every moment with her miracle baby.

“The two of us have these wonderful conversations and she started cooing. I think I can understand what she’s saying to me,” Welker says. “I hope she can understand a tiny bit, as you say Hoda, of just the love that I’m giving to her.” 

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