Hayley Holt on losing a baby and falling in love

Kiwi broadcaster Hayley Holt isn’t afraid to do things differently.

Her unique career path jumped from ballroom dancer to snowboarder to television and radio host to Greens MP and now TVNZ sports reporter.

And with a high-profile career firmly established, Holt’s approach to trying to start a family was ‘backwards’, as she described it.

In a wide-ranging chat on the Between Two Beers podcast, Holt opened up on her decision to start trying for a baby in her late 30s with her long-time friend, and now fiancee, Josh Tito.

“My friend Josh came over one day when I was in this mood and said: ‘What’s wrong with you? You seem really unfun today,’” Holt said.

“I said: ‘I’m nearing 40 and I’m trying to meet somebody because actually, I just want a baby and I don’t even care about having a relationship. But I feel like you have to and I just feel stuck.’

“And I think any woman who gets to that age who does want a family who is single will go through that. I mean, it’s really horrible place to be in, because you sort of tried to force something. And Josh went away and thought about that.

“So the next time he came over, he was like: ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to be a young dad, and I can help you out if you want to just have a baby’.

“And so we went on this weird date, but we’re both quite odd. And we both kind of revel in uncomfortable situations. So we stuck with it.

“So we went to this rooftop club where they were having a salsa class type thing. So we did some salsa. And then we went back home and you know, the magic happened.

“And actually, I think it was magic because I didn’t hear from Josh for like three months.

“And I don’t know, he obviously was like, ‘what am I doing? I think maybe he scared himself. And I didn’t really think about it either. Because you know, you’re not going to get pregnant after one go.

“And I got pregnant after one go. I hadn’t even timed it. I mean, this wasn’t really thought out.

Photo: Instagram / theholtbolt
Photo: Instagram / theholtbolt
“So I was about three months pregnant and said to Josh: ‘I really need to talk to you. You know, I couldn’t get more obvious than that.

“He was really happy. He was like, ‘this is cool’. And I said ‘I don’t expect anything from you, but would love you to be in the child’s life’. Because you know, it’s about the child now.

“So from there, I had it in my head that we needed to be best friends - to co-parent well as I know how important that is.

“And so we started, you know, going to the beach and we started hanging out and going out for dinner and meeting each other’s friends and family. And we both started to quite like each other.

“It was quite awkward because we were both sort of trying to not let anything happen, but it just sort of happened.

“So it kind of happened naturally in a weird way, but backwards.

When NZ went into lockdown in March 2020 Holt invited Tito to move in with her and her parents, who he’d never met.

“He’s brave, brave boy. Lockdown was brilliant,” Holt said.

“And then obviously, during lockdown, we sort of found out that things weren’t going so well with Frankie. So it was brilliant and beautiful.

“And Josh and I were falling in love, but also it was sort of tinged with this sort of fear and uncertainty. And then ultimately, you know, terrible sadness over losing Frankie, who we were both so excited about at the stage.

“And that was, it was awful. But it was just such an amazing way to see what kind of man Josh was. And he just really looked after me, he was so nice. But yeah, we lost Frankie, and it was it was heartbreaking.

“It’s one of the most terrible things that can happen to you in life. And I remember when he had died, and I was still pregnant, and Josh and I were both very quiet, but then we could both tell it was something else.

“So I sort of said to him, ‘One of the pieces of sadness in this is that, you know, this is the end of us now because, you know, I’ve, I think I’ve fallen in love with you.’

“And he said the same thing. He said, ‘you know, one of the reasons I’m really sad is that I want us to stay together.’

“So the beautiful thing that came out of all that was we realised that we love each other.”

In the podcast Holt gives an unflinching account of her battle with alcohol and the heart-breaking insight into the loss of Frankie Tai, who was stillborn on April 25, 2020. She also shares the joy and happiness that one-year old Raven brought into their lives, when he was born last year.