It’s hard to imagine comedian Jimmy Fallon feeling somber, but the late night host and new dad to baby girl Winnie Rose has admitted that he and his wife’s long struggle with fertility left him feeling dejected.
“We’ve tried a bunch of things,” Fallon told Savannah Guthrie in a Todayshow interview that aired Tuesday morning. “Anyone who’s tried will know, it’s just awful.”
Fallon revealed that he and his wife, film producer Nancy Juvonen, spent five years trying to have a baby before welcoming daughter Winnie Rose on July 23. “We tried before, we’ve told people, and then it didn’t happen, and it’s just really depressing. It’s just really hard,” he said.
Last week, in a preview of the same Today show interview, the Emmy-nominated host, 38,revealed that he and Juvonen, 46, had used a surrogate.
The couple decided to keep the surrogacy process under wraps, Fallon told Guthrie. “This time, we said, ‘We’re not going to tell anybody,’” he said. “It’d be just more fun if it was just private between me and my wife. And then we get to introduce her to everybody.”
When announcement finally came, it was “so emotional,” Fallon said. “You call everybody, tell them in happened, and it comes out of no where. They’re like, ‘What?’ And then everybody starts crying, and it’s just really happy because we tried for a long time.”
During the interview, Fallon turned to face the camera and offered advice and encouragement to other couples struggling with infertility. “I know people have tried much longer, but if there’s anybody out there that’s trying and losing hope, just hang in there,” Fallon said. “Try every avenue. Try anything you can do, because you’ll get there. You’ll end up with a family, and it’s so worth it. It’s the most worth it thing. I’m just so happy right now, I’m freaking out.”
Fallon also revealed the origin of his newborn daughter’s name—and it wasn’t inspired by the character Winnie Cooper from the 90s TV show The Wonder Years or the famous cartoon bear, as many had suspected. “It’s not Winnie the Pooh at all, even though I love Winnie the pooh,” Fallon explained.
Instead, the couple drew inspiration from Juvonen’s family lake house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. “We went there every summer as we were dating, and we got engaged on the dock of Lake Winnipesaukee,” Fallon said. “You don’t want a name that’s been done, and you don’t want a name that’s so weird people are like, ‘What?’ And ‘Winnipesaukee’ is a little long. So we went with Winnie.”
Plus, there’s a special hidden meaning in the name, Fallon added: “She’s a win for us.”
The beaming new dad also told Guthrie that his baby daughter “turns me into mush. She’s a little angel. She’s so cute and she’s so fun … little girls, especially, unlock something in a dad’s heart.” The second part of Fallon’sToday show interview will air Wednesday.
In a 2011 Parade cover story, Fallon named fatherhood as one of his biggest life goals. “I want to be a dad,” he said. “That’s floating to the top of my list. I think it’s such an important thing. I’m at the age where everyone has kids, and I ask them, ‘Is it like a puppy?’ And they go, ‘It’s 10 times a puppy.’”