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Jenna Bush Hager reveals her twin Barbara froze her eggs and planned on having kids on her own

Jenna Bush Hager has revealed that her twin sister Barbara Pierce Bush had frozen her eggs and was planning on having children on her own before she met her husband Craig Coyne. 

The Today host, who is turning 40 at the end of the month, opened up about how ‘painful’ it was to become a mother before Barbara during her appearance on Hoda Kotb’s new podcast ‘Making Space with Hoda Kotb.’ 

Jenna said it was their 92-year-old grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who had encouraged her namesake granddaughter to become a single mother.   

“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,’ she explained. 

Candid: Jenna Bush Hager, 39, revealed that her twin sister Barbara Bush had frozen her eggs and was planning on having children on her own before she met her husband Craig Coyne 

Party of three: Barbara and Craig welcomed their first child, Cora Georgia, in Portland, Maine, on September 27

Party of three: Barbara and Craig welcomed their first child, Cora Georgia, in Portland, Maine, on September 27

‘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.’

Jenna reflected on how she and Barbara had always been ‘in sync’ when they were growing up in the White House, but that changed when she married her husband Henry Hager in 2008.  

‘We had a really shared history because we were the same age,’ she recalled. ‘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.’

Jenna, who is mom to Mila, eight, Poppy, six, and Hal, two, said having children before her twin sister was difficult and created a ‘painful’ situation when they were in public together.  

‘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 said. ‘One of the things that people assume too is, like, why hadn’t she had kids?’

Interview: The Today star opened up about her twin's baby plans during her appearance on her co-host Hoda Kotb's new podcast 'Making Space with Hoda Kotb'

Interview: The Today star opened up about her twin’s baby plans during her appearance on her co-host Hoda Kotb’s new podcast ‘Making Space with Hoda Kotb’

Looking back: Jenna said it was their late grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who had encouraged Barbara to become a single mother

Looking back: Jenna said it was their late grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who had encouraged Barbara to become a single mother

Jenna reflected on how she and Barbara (pictured as children) had always been 'in sync' when they were growing up in the White House, but that changed when they became adults

Jenna reflected on how she and Barbara (pictured as children) had always been ‘in sync’ when they were growing up in the White House, but that changed when they became adults 

Barbara and Craig were set up on a blind date in November 2017, and they wed 11 months later in October 2018. 

They welcomed their daughter, Cora Georgia Coyne, on September 27, at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine, near the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport. 

The first-time mom had planned on giving birth in New York, but baby Cora surprised them by arriving six weeks ahead of her due date. 

Barbara visited the hospital daily with her husband before they were spotted bringing their bundle of joy home in mid-October after Cora spent nearly three weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit.   

The new parents have been staying at the Bush compound in Kennebunkport, which is about a 45-minute drive south of Portland, but Jenna confirmed that they will be moving back to New York with their baby girl.  

Love: Jenna met her husband Henry Hager in her early 20s, and they got married in 2008

Love: Jenna met her husband Henry Hager in her early 20s, and they got married in 2008 

Family: Jenna, who has children Mila, Poppy, and Hal, with her husband, said it was 'painful' to become mom before Barbara because people would always ask her why she didn't have kids

Family: Jenna, who has children Mila, Poppy, and Hal, with her husband, said it was ‘painful’ to become mom before Barbara because people would always ask her why she didn’t have kids

Timing: Jenna previously admitted that she felt 'guilt' when she found out she was pregnant with her third child, Hal, just a few months after her sister's wedding in Maine in October 2018

Timing: Jenna previously admitted that she felt ‘guilt’ when she found out she was pregnant with her third child, Hal, just a few months after her sister’s wedding in Maine in October 2018  

‘Our narratives are coming back together, and I just can’t just wait to watch her become a mom,’ said the former first daughter, who shared that her twin has been FaceTiming her with the baby.  

Jenna wrote candidly about the ‘survivor’s guilt’ she felt over her surprise third pregnancy and the Bush family’s history of infertility in her book Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss.

She admitted that even her parents were worried about Barbara’s reaction when she learned she was pregnant with baby Hal, who was born in August 2019.

‘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,’ she 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.’

Reunion: Barbara and Craig have been staying at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, but Jenna confirmed they will be moving back to New York City

Reunion: Barbara and Craig have been staying at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, but Jenna confirmed they will be moving back to New York City

Protective: Jenna shared the first pictures of Barbara and Craig with Cora. She appears to have lightly blurred the face of the baby girl, perhaps in an attempt to maintain her privacy

Protective: Jenna shared the first pictures of Barbara and Craig with Cora. She appears to have lightly blurred the face of the baby girl, perhaps in an attempt to maintain her privacy

Protective: Jenna shared the first pictures of Barbara and Craig with Cora. She appears to have lightly blurred the face of the baby girl, perhaps in an attempt to maintain her privacy 

Grandpa and grandma: Baby Cora is the fourth grandchild of former President George W. Bush, 75, and his wife Laura, 74

Grandpa and grandma: Baby Cora is the fourth grandchild of former President George W. Bush, 75, and his wife Laura, 74

Jenna, who suffered an ectopic pregnancy before having her first child, explained that she and her husband weren’t even trying for another baby.

‘Henry and I had no plans to have more children. It wasn’t even physically likely, Infertility runs in my family, and it was not easy to conceive Poppy. Now I was three years older, two years into what’s termed — rather insultingly, I’ve always thought — advanced maternal age,’ she wrote in her book.

‘What’s more, Henry and I, like many parents of young children, struggle to find time to be … intimate. If we were to have another baby, it would have to be an immaculate conception.

Two years after welcoming her third child, Jenna now has the pleasure of being an aunt. She proudly shared the first photos of her newborn niece, Cora, with her parents on Instagram on September 28, just hours after the infant’s arrival was announced by her elated grandparents.

In her caption, she expressed her joy at meeting her newborn niece, while revealing that the baby girl arrived early.

Major milestone! Barbara and Craig Coyne took their newborn daughter home from the hospital in mid-October, nearly three weeks after she was born

Major milestone! Barbara and Craig Coyne took their newborn daughter home from the hospital in mid-October, nearly three weeks after she was born 

Surprise: Barbara had planned on giving birth in New York, but baby Cora surprised them by arriving six weeks ahead of her due date

Surprise: Barbara had planned on giving birth in New York, but baby Cora surprised them by arriving six weeks ahead of her due date 

‘Dearest Cora Georgia,’ she wrote. ‘Today is the day I got to meet my most beautiful, precious, feisty, niece (a bit earlier than I expected!).

‘I witnessed in awe as my dearest, toughest @barbara.p.bush became a mama. 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.’

Baby Cora is the fourth grandchild of former President George W. Bush, 75, and his wife Laura, 74. The 43rd president and first lady announced the happy news in a press release, calling Cora ‘healthy and adorable.’

‘With full hearts, Laura and I are delighted to announce the birth of our new granddaughter,’ they wrote in a statement.

‘Barbara gave birth to Cora Georgia Coyne on September 27, 2021, in Maine — not far from our family home where Barbara and Craig were married.

‘Cora is healthy and adorable, and we are proud and grateful.’


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