Jenna Bush Hager Reveals 'Painful' Part About Becoming a Mom Years Before Twin Sister Barbara
Jenna Bush Hager is excited for twin sister Barbara Pierce Bush to experience motherhood alongside her.
The 39-year-old Today co-host shares three kids with her husband Henry Hager: Margaret "Mila" Laura, 8; Poppy Louise, 6; and Henry "Hal" Harold, 2. On Hoda Kotb's podcast Making Space, Jenna opens up about what it was like starting a family years before Barbara, who gave birth to her first baby, daughter Cora Georgia, with husband Craig Coyne on Sept. 27.
"We had a really shared history because we were the same age. So it's interesting how adulthood happens and how I just met Henry and that she didn't meet somebody, you know, she had a lot of boyfriends. And people always asked about it," recalls Jenna of their diverging paths.
"I mean, it was kind of disheartening to travel with her and people would say like, 'Why aren't you married?' I mean, painful is the right word," she continues, adding, "One of the things that people assume too is, like, why hadn't she had kids? Barbara actually had decided — before my grandmother died, she had a conversation with my grandmother where she had decided to have kids on her own, and she talked to my grandmother about it. My grandmother said, 'I think that's a really good idea.' So Barbara froze her eggs and was planning, if she didn't meet somebody, to go ahead and do it, and then hopefully meet somebody else. I know that was her plan and she was so encouraged by our 92-year-old grandmother."
Adds Jenna, "It is interesting how our lives followed this very similar narrative as little kids and then ... I just started a family earlier. It'll be really fun to watch her become a mom and she's FaceTiming me with the baby, feeding the baby a bottle and all of those, like, wondering what we should do for Halloween — like, all of these things that were our narratives are coming back together, and I just can't wait to watch her become a mom."
Celebrating the birth of her niece in September, Jenna wrote on Instagram sharing photos from the hospital, "Dearest Cora Georgia, Today is the day I got to meet my most beautiful, precious, feisty, niece (a bit earlier than we expected!)"
"I witnessed in awe as my dearest, toughest @barbara.p.bush became a mama," she continued. "And today is the day I fell in love! Some cousins are anxiously waiting to play with you, but not just yet love. Xx auntie j"
Last year, Jenna wrote in her book Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss about becoming pregnant with son Hal, sharing that she felt nervous to tell her newlywed sister about the news. She wrote that even her parents were worried about her sister's response to the pregnancy at the time.
"They were delighted, but the first thing my father said was, 'Have you told Barbara?' I knew my father was worried that Barbara, newly married, would likely be trying soon for a baby if she wasn't already," Jenna wrote. "My parents went through so much in order to conceive us, so they are sensitive to the feelings of anyone who does not yet have the babies they want. They thought that if Barbara was trying, she might understandably envy my pregnancy."
"My mother scolded my father for putting that pressure on me," she added. "She said what she always says when these questions arise: 'Every woman gets her baby in her time.' "
Jenna explained to them, however, that she had already told Barbara, who had laughed at the news, saying, "Three kids? Holy s---!" before congratulating her.
On their birthday last November, Jenna honored Barbara on Instagram, writing at the time, "Happy birthday to my partner since birth. I don't know life without this beautiful, giving gorgeous soul — and wouldn't want to. I'm the luckiest to be born walking through life side-by-side with the small girl with the largest heart. I adore you @barbaritabush!"
This story originally appeared on people.com