Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on Motherhood After Miscarriage and Cancer

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As Today co-anchors, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie know what it's like to run a broadcast together. And as parents, they know the obstacles in the road to motherhood. 

As the cover stars of Good Housekeeping's April issue, out Tuesday, the morning news duo opened up about the challenges they overcame in growing their families. For Kotb, fighting breast cancer spurred a challenge with fertility. 

"I remember that my oncologist called and we were talking about freezing my eggs. She basically said that given my age and [my breast cancer treatment], it was pretty close to a dead end," she recalled to the magazine. "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?"

To cope, "I just pushed it away," Kotb continued, "because the reality seemed impossible to bear. How do you survive knowing you can’t have what you desire and what you feel like you actually physically need?"

However, that road hadn't come to an end for Kotb. The journalist, who was dating now-ex Joel Schiffman at the time, ultimately adopted two daughters, Haley, 5, and Hope, 2 -- with some inspiration from fellow mom Sandra Bullock

"I don’t think I would’ve adopted if it hadn’t been for Joel. Having a stable relationship in that moment was really important," she explained. "Once that fell into place, it didn’t seem as scary to me. I also read about Sandra Bullock and the children she adopted. I’d always felt a weird connection to her, though I only knew her from the show. But she was my age, and I just thought, Wow, she’s really cool. I called her, and we talked. She said adopting was the most important thing she’d ever done. When I had made the decision to adopt and was on the plane to pick up my [first] daughter, I called her again. She said, 'It’s about to begin!' Sometimes all you need is a model before [you realize], I can handle it."

She also has a fellow mom in Guthrie, who understands what it's like to face uncertainty in your quest to have children. While Guthrie gave birth to her first child, daughter Vale, with husband Michael Feldman in August 2014, according to the magazine, she suffered a miscarriage afterward. In December 2016, she welcomed a son named Charley after undergoing two rounds of in-vitro fertilization. Now a mom of two, Guthrie can still remember tempering her hopes a decade ago. 

"I stopped even letting myself hope or believe I could [get pregnant], because the years were getting on," Guthrie, who was in her forties at the time, told Good Housekeeping. "It wasn’t that I thought it was impossible; I just thought it wasn’t likely. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I just tried to tell myself that it would be OK if it didn’t happen: Maybe it’s not meant for me, and that’s OK because I’ve already been blessed so much in my life. I’m not entitled to have a baby too. Looking back, that mindset was probably a self-defense mechanism."

Now years into their lives as moms, both women acknowledge there are benefits to becoming parents later in life. 

"Hoda and I are both at a point in our careers where we have a lot more certainty about our schedules — that helps. By this time in life you’ve seen a few things and you know how to weather the ups and downs," Guthrie said. "I’m glad my kids don’t have the stressed, anxious and insecure 30-year-old version of me. The peace and calmness that comes with age is a great thing for kids to see in action."


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