No one on “Today” let out so much as a murmur on Monday this week when Hoda Kotb was away from her co-anchor shift and fourth-hour fare on the morning show. Tuesday, the tears of joy overflowed when Hoda herself exclaimed: “It's a girl!” All her “Today” family heard the news that Hope Catherine Kotb had been welcomed to the world. The seasoned broadcaster was speechless with joy, and older sister, Haley Joy, was already singing “I'm a big sister,” around their home.

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Craig Melvin was moved by the news all the way across the pond in Paris, saying he knew that the arrival was “a long time coming” and long-held in Hoda Kotb's heart before the confirmation that “She's here” ever happened. Naturally, for Savannah Guthrie and Jenna Bush Hager, it was no time until they were planning their visit to the new family of four. Jenna had the gift basket almost assembled by the time “Today” signed off on Tuesday.

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More glowing faces

It’s virtually only a hop, skip and a jump from Rockefeller Plaza to Hoda Kotb's New York apartment, so sure enough, the photos shown off the first thing this morning on “Today,” April 17, displayed the four glowing faces (and one appropriately sleeping, infant). Radiant smiles from the mom-again, a beaming Haley Joy, Jenna, and Savannah Guthrie all formed a quadruple-decker portrait of baby devotion.

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Savannah had the honors of holding Hope Catherine in the pose. Her caption conveyed everything in saying “Holding onto dear Hope. The joy and gratitude of @hodakotb makes my heart sing.”

Guthrie stressed that one of the biggest joys in sharing the precious moments was to witness the bonding between Haley Joy and Hope. “It's something that Hoda had prayed about,” Guthrie remarked. Haley Joy is still sleeping under her baby sister’s bassinet and learning the appropriate foods for an infant breakfast.

Jenna Bush Hager wisely included gifts for Haley Joy in the gift selections, never wanting her to feel left out in the celebration.

Hoda and her partner, Joel Schiffman, told Haley they had a very special “present” when they introduced Hope in person for the first time. The older sister already knew her name and said “Hope” instantly when she saw her.

A joyful welcome from Kathie Lee

Kathie Lee Gifford was as surprised as everyone else when she got word of little Hope being welcomed to Hoda’s family.

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The fourth-hour co-host who sat beside Hoda for 11 years, toasting countless occasions, didn’t waste a minute in declaring that “Hoda’s a mama again,’ during her visit on “The Five” with Fox News in Nashville.

“I knew it was coming, I just didn't know when it was gonna happen,” Gifford confirmed. Besides getting settled full-time in her Nashville home, Kathie Lee is doing publicity for her film and orchestral music project with Nicole C Mullen, “The God Who Sees.”

No one does a segue like Kathie Lee Gifford, and the TV veteran moved from talking about perhaps “doing some porn,” asking, “Why not?” noting that the genre was the only thing she had not done in her long career, to the faith-based film.

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“It just makes me happy to say that, I don't know why,” Gifford playfully elaborated.

The film traces the lives of Hagar, Ruth, and Mary Magdalene, and their ties to David and Christ, through Scripture. Each of them faced struggles that could be part of this morning's headlines-- human trafficking, mental health struggles, isolation, and abuse. Gifford related how the project is “speaking to people” because of those relevant themes.

Music City is several hundred miles from New York City, but a return trip is surely in order for Kathie Lee Gifford, who soon will see Hoda and Hope Catherine for herself, and segue into a warm embrace between friends.

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