Teaming With Love
For many fans, who cheered the blonde dynamo on through three pregnancies during her 17 years cohosting GMA and sighed contentedly when, eight years after a bitter divorce, she wed Konigsberg, the big surprise is that Lunden has chosen at 52 to build on her brood of three grown daughters. "Even before I met Jeff, I really wanted to find somebody who wanted to have a family," says Lunden, who has written two parenting books. For men and women battling fertility problems, the bigger headline is that Lunden and Konigsberg, 42, are enjoying such a happy, stress-free experience with surrogacy, a word that often conjures up images of heart-wrenching custody battles. "You usually only hear about surrogacy when there's a horror story," says Lunden. "Word needs to get out that it is a viable option if done safely and correctly with a good agency so everyone is protected." As for Lunden, whose current gig as host and producer of A&E's Behind Closed Doors has included rock climbing and skydiving, the prospect of twins seems a great adventure. "I'm not the typical fiftysomething. I don't even have a second thought about it," she says. "I'm choosing a lifestyle where I will have a couple of little ankle biters chasing me around for the next 10 years. I want it!"
If all goes according to plan, on or around June 9, Bolig, 42, also a mother of three girls, will give birth in Cincinnati to twins with whom she has no genetic connection. Konigsberg provided the sperm; a different woman (perhaps Lunden -- she declines to say) provided the eggs. Embryos that resulted from in vitro fertilization (IVF) were then implanted in Bolig, the "gestational surrogate." Lunden and Konigsberg, who at this point are called the intended parents, will be on hand for the delivery, at which point they will become the actual parents, with only their names listed on the birth certificates. Why are they so confident about a happy ending? "This," says Lunden, "is a journey that started quite a while ago."
In November '96, to be precise. By then Lunden, recovered from the 1992 collapse of her 13-year marriage to TV producer Michael Krauss and still months from her bruising ouster by GMA execs, was ready again for love. Seated in a suburban deli, she spotted Konigsberg. "He had this great smile," Lunden recalls, "and I said, 'Why can't I meet a nice man like that?' " A moment later Konigsberg, who owns and directs children's summer camps in Maine, walked up to her table. "There was an unbelievable instant connection between us," says Lunden. The relationship progressed quickly. A few months later, she says, "I did a fertility test, just to make sure. You want to know what your options are." The tests indicated that pregnancy was still a possibility.