- Kristen Welker worried her maternal instinct wouldn’t kick in when her baby was born via surrogate.
- But that self-doubt washed away when she caught her baby in the delivery room, she told Hoda Kotb.
- “Feeling her beautiful, incredible being, was really the most magical moment of my entire life,” she said.
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Leading up to her daughter’s birth via surrogate in June, Kristen Welker carried a “little seed of self doubt.”
She wondered: “Will I have that maternal instinct? Will it kick in if I haven’t carried her?” the NBC News chief White House correspondent said Monday on The Hoda Show on SiriusXM Today Show Radio.
But that concern began to wash away when doctors told Welker, 45, she could help catch her baby as it was delivered.
“First I said, ‘Am I going to know what to do? Are you sure I can do this?'” Welker told host Hoda Kotb. But clinicians told Welker they’d guide her, and reassured her, saying “your hands will literally be the first thing that [the baby] 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 for all of that self doubt went away,” Welker said.
“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.”
Welker and her husband John Hughes named their daughter Margot Lane Welker Hughes.
Welker and her husband struggled with infertility before deciding to use a surrogate
Welker was 40 when she and Hughes married, and they started trying to conceive right away. But she didn’t get pregnant, and a doctor recommended in vitro fertilization. But that didn’t work because Welker was told the lining of her uterus was too thin.
“I was going into the doctor in between live shots at work and just feeling like … a failure, frankly,” Welker said on Today in April.
After two years of exploring options, including adoption, Welker and Hughes decided on surrogacy, or having another person carry the embryo created by Welker’s egg and Hughes’ sperm. While the first embryo transfer didn’t take, by the time Welker moderated the presidential debate in October 2020, she knew she was expecting.
“I have an incredible relationship with my surrogate, and we did from the first moment that we met,” Welker told Kotb. “She made it very clear that this was her lifelong dream.”
The surrogate was doing “very well” after the childbirth, NBC reported.
In the delivery room, “I asked her repeatedly, ‘How are you doing? How are you feeling?,’ and she said, ‘Honestly, looking at Margot, and holding her … really, it made the entire journey worth it,'” Welker told Kotb. The surrogate continued: “Looking at the love that you and John share with her is the only thanks I need.”