Jenna Bush Hager has opened up about the emotional moment her grandfather George H.W. Bush told her he couldn’t wait to meet her first child while he was sick in the hospital.
The Today host shared the story on Tuesday’s show, recalling how her family thought he was dying. The former president was hospitalized for complications related to bronchitis in late 2012, right before she announced her pregnancy.
‘I’ll never forget when I was pregnant with Mila, my grandpa was very sick, and he was in the hospital,’ Bush Hager, 41, told her co-host Hoda Kotb. ‘We went to say goodbye to him.’
She shared how her father, former President George W. Bush, warned her not to cry before she walked into the room.
‘I was visibly pregnant, and my grandpa said, “Oh, I can’t wait to meet that baby.” He said, “There’s death and there’s life, and I can’t wait to meet that baby,”‘ she explained. ‘And in my mind, I thought, “He’s never gonna meet this baby.”
Jenna Bush Hager, 41, opened up about her first pregnancy on the Today show, recalling how her grandfather George H.W. Bush ‘very sick’ in the hospital at the time
Former President Bush (pictured with Barbara Bush in 2017) was hospitalized for complications related to bronchitis in late 2012
Bush Hager (pictured pregnant in February 2013) said she was visibly pregnant when she went to say goodbye to her grandfather, who told her he couldn’t wait to meet her baby
‘My dad had to step out bawling crying. I was crying, and my grandmother [Barbara Bush], who was needle-pointing in the corner, said, “Of course, he’s gonna meet the baby.” She willed him to live.’
After spending two months in the hospital, her grandfather returned home in January 2013. She and her husband, Henry Hager, welcomed their daughter Margaret Laura ‘Mila’ Hager that April.
Not only did he get to meet his first great-grandchild, but he also met Bush Hager’s daughter Poppy, who was born a few years later in 2015.
George H.W. Bush died at age 94 from vascular Parkinson’s disease in November 2018. The weekend after his funeral, Bush Hager found out she was pregnant with her son, Hal.
The former first daughter was reminded of her grandfather’s desire to meet her first child while she and her co-host Hoda Kotb were discussing the moment they learned they would be mothers.
Bush Hager found out she was pregnant with Mila while attending one of her best friend’s weddings in California.
Bush Hager recalled how her father started ‘bawling’ and had to step out of the room
‘My grandmother, who was needle-pointing in the corner, said, “Of course, he’s gonna meet the baby.” She willed him to live,’ Bush Hager told her co-host Hoda Kotb
George H.W. Bush was able to meet both of Bush Hager’s daughters before he died in 2018. He is pictured with Mila (left) and Poppy (right)
Bush Hager found out she was pregnant with her son, Hal, the weekend after her grandfather’s funeral in 2018
‘The first night, I was like, “I’m feeling a little funky.” And they’re like, “No, no.” By the last night, my friends were like, “You gotta go to CVS,”‘ she recalled.
The mother of three explained that she was feeling nauseous and had other ‘little signs’ that she was pregnant at the time.
‘Some of [my friends] had been pregnant or were pregnant, and they were like, “That’s what happened to me.” It was this hilarious thing,’ she said.
Bush Hager added that her husband was with her when she found out she was pregnant and was relatively nonchalant about the life-changing news.
‘He was just like, “Great, that’ll be fun. Let’s have kids,”‘ she said.
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