Hoda Kotb is opening up about the difficult journey that she faced with her fertility following her cancer treatment. During an interview with Good Housekeeping, the Today host reflected on her battle with breast cancer, which she underwent treatment for in 2007. Years later, Kotb recalled the moment that her doctor told her that it would be difficult for her to have her own biological children after receiving treatment.
Kotb said that she and her oncologist were discussing the possibility of freezing her eggs after receiving her breast cancer diagnosis. However, due to her age and the treatment itself, her doctor told her that it "was pretty close to a dead-end." The morning show host then recalled exactly how she reacted to hearing that news.
"I was in my room, and I just sobbed. I thought, 'Well, that's that, isn't it?' Like, you almost blame yourself. 'Why didn't I do this? Why didn't I do that?'" Kotb said. "So I just pushed it away because the reality seemed impossible to bear." She added, "How do you survive knowing you can't have what you desire and what you feel like you actually physically need?" While Kotb wasn't able to go through the process of freezing her eggs and having her own biological child, she was able to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother.
In 2017, Kotb adopted her daughter Haley, 5. She adopted her second daughter Hope, 3, in 2019. The Today host also opened up about the process of adopting her children and noted that she felt ready to go through that journey with her now-ex-fiancé Joel Shiffman by her side. She even stated that she might not have gone through the process "if it hadn't been for Joel," adding, "Having a stable relationship in that moment was really important. Once that fell into place, it didn't seem as scary to me."
Kotb shared earlier this year that she and Shiffman had broken up after being together for eight years. In late January, Kotb shared the breakup news on the NBC program and noted that there are no hard feelings between her and her former partner. Even though they are going their separate ways, the two have vowed to co-parent Haley and Hope together.
"Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we are better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year on our new path as loving parents to our adorably delightful children and as friends," she said. "It's not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, a season or a lifetime, this was for a season."