*Hoda Kotb graces the cover of People magazine this week with her “dream baby,” Haley Joy.
The “Today” host, 52, came into her daughter’s life on Valentine’s Day after years of feeling as though something was missing in her life.
“It was like a puzzle piece that just snapped in. I felt it,” she said about holding Haley for the first time. “It was as if she had been with me forever.”
She tells People of their first meeting: “I was exploding in tears.
Hoda reveals she had nearly given up on the idea of becoming a mother after her treatment a decade ago for breast cancer left her unable to conceive. She then got divorced less than a year after her recovery.
While she had her family and close circle of friends, privately, “there was a hole,” she told the magazine. It didn’t help that people often asked her if she had children.
“I’d feel like, ‘Ouch.’ I knew inside it was supposed to be for me,” she said.
Hoda is currently enjoying her maternity leave from “Today.” The anchor said she drags an air mattress into Haley’s nursery every night just to be next to her daughter’s bassinet.
“It’s one of those things where you think you’ve done it all, you think you’ve felt it all,” she said. “But I just didn’t know that this kind of love existed.”