Jenna Bush Hager Said Becoming a Mom before Her Twin Sister Barbara Was a 'Painful' Situation

Gracious Egedegbe
Apr 20, 2022
01:30 P.M.
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Jenna Bush Hager and her twin sister, Barbara Bush Coyne, always did everything together as kids. However, as adults, life happened, and Jenna tied the knot before her twin. Here is what she had to say about getting married and becoming a mom before Barbara. 


Jenna Bush Hager is popularly known as an American news personality, author, and journalist. In addition, she is also one of the daughters of the 43rd U.S. President, George W. Bush, and former First Lady, Laura Bush. 

Over the years, Jenna has enjoyed a stellar career, appearing on TV and garnering massive fame and support. Although the "Today" co-host has achieved a lot in showbiz, she considers family more important than anything. 

[Left] Picture of Jeanna Bush Hager; [Right] Picture Jeanna Bush Hager and her sister, Barbara Bush Coyne | Source: || Getty Images


She is happily married, a mom of two, and a fantastic sibling to her fraternal twin sister, Barbara Bush. Time and again, Jenna has spoken candidly about what family means to her, and she has never failed to be open about the bond she shares with Barbara.

The twin sisters grew up in the spotlight thanks to their family's involvement with politics — their grandfather, George W.H. Bush, was also President of the US. 

Jenna Bush Hager on "TODAY" Monday May 13, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images


During an interview, Jenna revealed that despite growing up in the White House, her childhood was normal when her grandfather was vice president and president.

But in 2001, everything changed when her father became Commander in Chief. According to the news personality, her low-key childhood in West Texas immediately vanished, and she started living differently. Jenna revealed that she and Barbara were not ready for the change.

"It's not easy. I know as a mom now to watch your kids fail. I mean, I can't even imagine what it would be like to do that publicly, but we weren't really prepared," Jenna recalled. Here are more details about the twin sisters and their close bond.



George W. Bush's twin daughters Jenna and Barbara during a pre-inaugural event January 19, 2001 in Washington, DC | Source: Getty Images

Jenna and Barbara could not be more different. While the former is an extrovert, the latter is more reserved. However, they share a tight sister bond that only gets stronger with time and the same desire to pursue their passions in life. Barbara once revealed that she found a best friend in her sister. In her words:


"Jenna is my point of reference. I've never known the world without her in it, minus one minute. Or without her next to me."

For Jenna and Barbara, it is not surprising to see them share such a bond, as it usually exists between twins. The pair would always play together as children, and there was no dull moment. 

Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager during an interview with Emily Bingham, 2017, Louisville, Kentucky. | Source: Getty Images


Jenna and Barbara would read together, go on walks in the alleys, dig for buried treasures, and engage in mischief. To date, the twins still do things together, as their relationship remains intact.

"We have our own unspoken language—a look that makes one of us fall on the floor laughing or the slight inflection in our voice that conveys everything," Barbara once revealed.


On the other hand, Jenna opened up about the reason for their unbreakable bond. During a podcast, the author revealed that she and Barbara were so close because they were in sync. 

According to Jenna, they were the same age and shared much history, so there was no competition, and they experienced everything together.


Jenna and Barbara Bush, stand on the podium as they await their father, George W. Bush's inauguration 20 January 2001 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC | Source: Getty Images


While most twins achieve every milestone together due to their age, it was not the same for Jenna and Barbara. The former made it known that it was interesting how adulthood happened, and she met and married her husband, Henry, while Barbara did not, despite having a lot of boyfriends.

According to Jenna, irrespective of her twin's achievements, people always asked about her relationship status, and it was painful. Jenna confessed:

"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." 


In addition, the journalist revealed that people also wondered why her twin had not had kids. Unknown to them, Barbara had already decided to have kids on her own if she did not meet anybody. She decided after their grandmother had encouraged her to take a step towards motherhood. 

"So Barbara froze her eggs and was planning, if she didn't meet somebody, to go ahead and do it, and then hopefully meet someone else," the "Today" co-host explained.


Barbara Pierce Bush at the Forbes Under 30 Summit at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 6, 2015 | Source: Getty Images


At 39, Barbara finally became a mother, welcoming her daughter on September 27, 2021. The following day, her father and the former US President took to Twitter to announce the news. He wrote:

"With full hearts, Laura and I are delighted to announce the birth of our new granddaughter. 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."


That same day, Jenna also wrote a note to her newborn niece in an Instagram post. Alongside photos of Barbara and Cora, the journalist wrote:

"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. And today is the day I fell in love!"

Barbara shares her daughter with her husband, Craig Coyne. The pair first met in 2018 while Barbara and Jenna were on a book tour. 


Not long after, they started dating, and in October 2018, the lovebirds tied the knot at the Bushes' Walker Point compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Speaking about her sister's wedding, Jenna said:

"It was a very secret wedding, a little bit like my elusive sister. But also, just family in a place that means family love, and it was just beautiful."


Henry and Jenna Hager cut their wedding cake during a reception in their honor following the ceremony at Prairie Chapel Ranch May 10, 2008 near Crawford, Texas | Source: Getty Images


Jenna has been married to her husband, Henry Chase Hager, for more than a decade. The pair first met during Jenna's father's 2004 re-election campaign, when a mutual friend invited Henry to his future wife's house to watch a football game.

Not long after, the pair started dating, and three months into their relationship, Jenna proposed to Henry. Unfortunately, he turned her down because he felt she was very young. However, in 2007, Henry proposed to Jenna, and this time, she accepted. They tied the knot in 2008.


The couple is doting parents to three children — Margaret "Mila" Hager, Poppy Louise Hager, and Henry Harold Harger. They welcomed their first child, Mila, on April 13, 2013. Poppy was born on August 13, 2015, while Henry Jr arrived on August 2, 2019.

Several times, Jenna has opened up about her experience as a mother. She once shared what it was like to be a working mom when she welcomed Mila. In her words:

"It's hard, but many moms have done it before me and many will do it after. I'm happy I work because I want to show her the power that women have to do it all. But you just can't do it all at the same time."


Jenna considers motherhood one of the most rewarding jobs and will continue to do everything to make sure her kids are happy and comfortable.