When Hayley Holt welcomed her darling boy Raven 18 months ago, she thought life couldn't get any sweeter. After tragically losing her firstborn son, Frankie Tai, in 2020, becoming a mum again was a dream come true. And now life has delivered another blessing – at 43, Hayley is now pregnant with a baby boy due in May.
"I still can't quite believe Raven will be getting a little brother," says Hayley, sharing her happy news in an exclusive interview with Woman's Day. "Because of my age, I was pretty sure we'd just have Raven, so for this to happen feels really special and amazing. I feel incredibly blessed."
After keeping the pregnancy under wraps for almost five months, the TVNZ sports reporter admits it's getting harder to hide her blossoming baby bump. Carefully placed scripts and loose-fitting tops can only do so much, so with all Hayley's prenatal tests and scans showing a healthy, growing baby, she's delighted to finally share her news.
"It's been so nice to start to tell people," she says. "We kept it to ourselves for as long as we could because we wanted to be sure everything was going well. But now it feels great to share the news, and everyone has been so excited and happy for us."
Hayley says that while she thought their family was complete with Raven, her fiancé Josh Tito had other ideas. The 33-year-old tradesman has always wanted a big family and was never in any doubt that Hayley would fall pregnant again after Raven.
"I tried to prepare him for the fact we would probably be a family of three, but he always had faith that the universe would provide – and he was right!" she laughs, admitting she was totally shocked when she returned a positive pregnancy test late last year.
"My period was a bit late, but I still didn't really believe I could be pregnant. I was in shock! Josh was at work, so I sent him a photo of the positive test and he was so stoked. He couldn't believe it. He was surprised, happy and over the moon. He's one of those people who is just meant to be a dad. He is so good at it, so this baby is fulfilling all his dreams."
The couple were also delighted to learn they're expecting another son, adds Hayley. "We keep laughing about the fact we've somehow made three boys! I really like the idea of Raven having a brother. He's a social little guy and I know he's going to love having a mate to run around with. We've talked to him about how Mummy has a baby in her tummy, so now he points at my bump and says, 'Baby!' It's pretty cute."
Despite being an older mother, Hayley's pregnancy has been straightforward so far. The first trimester brought mild morning sickness – "I felt terribly drained and really hungry all the time" – but now, at 25 weeks, her only complaint is tiredness.
"I think that's more to do with being a working mum with a toddler," says Hayley, who left her Breakfast role two years ago to take up sports presenting on 1News.
While Hayley can't wait to meet her little bundle, she also admits the idea of adding a newborn to her already-hectic life is daunting. With Raven sharing his parents' bed, she's not quite sure how another wee person will fit into the mix and she admits to feeling nervous about how a second child will impact Raven. At the same time, she's confident he'll be a wonderful big brother.
"It's the logistics I'm a bit terrified about. I can't get my head around how it's going to work. The other day, I helped Mum look after my brother's son, who's nine months old, and it was hectic! I had the little one crawling off into the kitchen and Raven running off outside. I was thinking, 'Which one do I save?'
"It's quite a scary prospect having two babies and, at the moment, Raven has us all to himself, so I hope he doesn't feel betrayed when the next one comes along. I'm sure he'll adapt and take it in his stride."
Since she and Josh suffered the loss of Frankie Tai in April 2020, when Hayley was seven months pregnant, the broadcaster says they became a tight unit, which only intensified after Raven arrived. She knows the next baby will change the dynamic and she's excited to see what comes.
"There's something quite intense about our little threesome," she says. "After what we went through with Frankie, there was a sense that Raven was just this very special little boy and our circle became really tight.
"I feel like this next one's going to come in and break that all up, but in a great way. I think he'll expand our horizons and sort of shake us out of our little circle. It's going to be exciting."
Being an older mum-to-be means Hayley is under closer monitoring by her obstetrician, with fortnightly scans to check her unborn baby continues to thrive. Given what she went through with Frankie, Hayley has understandably felt nervous at times, but at the same time, being pregnant again has brought back happy memories of carrying Frankie.
Nearly four years on from the toughest time of her life, Hayley has to pinch herself about where she is.
"I wasn't sure we'd ever get our happy family, but now we've been blessed once again," she reflects. "We've got our happy family and more! I feel so lucky. I can't wait to meet our new little boy."
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