Kristen Welker and her husband, John Hughes, are proud parents after welcoming their first child, a baby girl, via a surrogate on June 12. The NBC News chief White House correspondent and marketing executive welcomed daughter Margot Lane Welker Hughes at 2:12 a.m., with the little girl weighing in at 8 pounds and 6 ounces. Welker's surrogate is doing well and was discharged from the hospital Sunday, the couple shared with TODAY in a statement.
Welker and Hughes shared that baby Margot is named as a tribute to the journalist's grandmother, Margaret, who allowed Kristen and her mom "to live a life she could only dream about!" Margot's middle name, Lane, is a family name in Hughes' family. Welker and Hughes were able to be involved in the birth of her daughter, with Welker helping to catch Margot and Hughes cutting the cord.
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"We stayed in rooms next to each other and visited throughout so that we and little Margot could thank her for bringing Margot into the world," Welker said of her family's surrogate. "Also, Margot is truly the love of our lives. Seeing her precious face and looking into her eyes had made every minute of our journey worth it." Welker's TODAY co-anchor Savannah Guthrie shared a photo of the baby girl on Instagram Monday, writing, "Margot, you won the mom lottery!!!!"
Welker and Hughes were open about their fertility struggles over the years, announcing in April they were expecting their first child in April. The couple, who married in March 2017, revealed on TODAY that they "immediately" started trying to get pregnant after tying the knot, but were struggling to get pregnant. Recommended IVF by their doctor, the couple was then devastated to learn Welker's uterine lining was too thin to carry a child.
In a letter to her unborn baby written in April, Welker wrote that she and her husband "felt very alone" and "cried a lot," but "never, ever gave up." Working through a surrogacy agency, the couple soon was paired with a "special helper" they considered their "hero." Welker recalled the moment finding out the surrogate was pregnant was the "happiest of our lives."
Looking back on the lessons she learned through her fertility journey, Welker wrote to her baby girl, "Every journey is unique; don't compare yourself to others. There will be heartbreaks in life; some won't ever fully heal, others will make you stronger. It is OK to ask for help; in fact, it can be empowering. 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 always be your mommy."