Kristen Welker, the famed journalist known for her work as co-host of TODAY’s weekend show, for being co-chief White House correspondent for NBC News, and for moderating the final 2020 presidential debate, is making her own news. She announced on Friday’s TODAY that she and husband John Hughes are expecting their first child. The news is especially heartwarming considering the couple’s nonlinear journey to parenthood.
“After years and years of trying, I’m having a baby girl with John and we are so excited,” the 44-year-old shared. “It’s with the help of a surrogate.”
As part of Infertility Awareness Week, Welker shared her story of the efforts she made to conceive soon after marrying Hughes in 2017. When they weren’t successful, the couple talked to their doctor, who recommended in vitro fertilization.
“First round of IVF, it went really well and I thought, ‘I’m going to be pregnant within the next few months, no problem,’” she said. Unfortunately, in the process of doing IVF, she was told the lining of her uterus was too thin to successfully carry a baby. She continued with appointments and tests, determined to do everything possible to get pregnant. After two years, and Welker says, “just feeling like…a failure, frankly,” she accepted that things wouldn’t go as hoped for or planned. She would not be able to carry her own child.
“And it was probably the lowest moment and realization that I’ve ever had,” she said.
But there was still hope. Welker and Hughes started to do their research and considered their options and decided surrogacy was the way to go.
“So, with an incredible team (or surrogacy agency) and family support system, your daddy and I found a special helper who has turned into our hero,” she wrote in a letter to her unborn daughter. The surrogate has not only carried the baby, but been a source of encouragement to the couple.
“Being matched with a surrogate is one of the most extraordinary experiences I have ever had,” Welker said.
And now, after years of trying and ups and downs, their baby will be here soon enough. Welker shares the message to others who may be in a similar situation that it’s important to not give up.
“All of the tears and the sadness and the setbacks were worth it because she’s worth it,” she said. “I can not wait for that day when we can actually meet her and hug her and hold her.”