Former anchor says prenatal depression made her wish for a miscarriage

Hayley Matthews said her crippling prenatal depression convinced her that she is a terrible mother and even her wish she had a miscarriage.

A mother told how crippling prenatal depression convinced her that she is a terrible mother, and even her wish she had a miscarriage.

The former TV news anchor Hayley Matthews, 38, fell pregnant with her second son after four years of trying with partner Kenny Maddison, 37.

But instead of feeling happy, she was struck with a depression, and it became perfectly convinced that she would be an unfit mother, who was not strong enough to have a baby.


Her feeling was so strong that they secretly hoped she had a miscarriage, the looked into having an abortion and not tell anyone that she was pregnant for six months, aside from her partner.

With the help of the guidance she got through the pregnancy, they called it “the worst nine months of my life”.

Matthews, a former STV presenter, gave birth to a baby Oryn last month and is on the mend.

She is brave to speak out to remind women they “can’t be everything to everyone” and that there is no such thing as the “perfect mom”.

“I had a quick search on the internet about abortion and the procedure,” Matthews, of Edinburgh, said. “I sat there crying and thinking ‘I can’t do that, but I don’t think I’m strong enough to have a baby.’ It was six months before I told anyone – I could be the face not to say.”


“I didn’t tell many people that I was pregnant because I knew that I was a terrible decision and would be a terrible mother,” she said. “I say to myself, ‘I asked.’ I thought that if I had a miscarriage the is possible the best. It was terrible, I knew deep inside, but it felt as if someone had taken over my head. It was a slow process before I felt better about it.”

“These first few weeks are amazing and I am over the moon,” she said. “There’s a part of me feels guilty about how bad I felt at the start, and at the time there was a part of me that hoped Mother Nature would be the end of the pregnancy for me. I just can’t get my head around, because I felt like a completely different person.”

“I look at him and think: ‘I’m so glad that I do not do anything stupid,” she said.

Matthews said she secretly looked at having an abortion and not tell anyone that she was pregnant for six months, aside from her partner.

“Live at Five” presenter, Matthews left her job in 2017 to spend more time with her son, Harris, now 6, after feeling years of “debt” in the miss due to her busy job.

Leaving for work at 7 am and home at 8:30 am she is fond of her work, but was rarely home to put him to bed, and was before he went to school.

She decided to resign and go freelance – and almost immediately became pregnant, so she had to stop taking anti-anxiety medication.

“To be able to take my son to school and drop him at breakfast club, and with him to the park, be able to ask him what he wants for dinner, its very important for me,” she said. “Before I became pregnant I was working as a TV presenter, thousands of people had gone for the command. But I realized that my spiritual health and my family were more important. I never wanted to be on tv to be famous, I just wanted to tell people of the stories.”

“I Was leaving for work at 7 am and home at 8:30 pm, it was as if you were on a treadmill,” she said. “That freelance and sits there every day looking for the motivation to e-mail people was difficult. It was a very different pace of life. I don’t think I’m in the mood to become pregnant.”


Within six months, she was expecting her second child, but with no close family nearby in Edinburgh, Matthews began seriously to doubt whether she was fit to be a mother.

She said that she was swallowed up by thoughts she was not strong enough to be a new mother again, but now realizes it was an aggravation of the feelings they had about the “everything”.

Doctors care for Matthews at the beginning of the pregnancy decided to take her anti-anxiety medication she was prescribed, which they described as “absolute hell”.

“I was told to cut down on the tablets, and eventually had no other choice,” she said. “When you have that responsibility for a life that is growing inside you, the pressure is so great. I was on the verge of making a very bad decisions. I could not have an abortion if it was not right for me, but I didn’t want to be responsible for a child.”

With the help of a counselor, Matthews began to talk about her fears – including that they won’t bond with the baby when he was born.

They gradually began again, a low dose of the medication, and at the end of the pregnancy felt a tinge of excitement.

But she was still haunted by fear and concern, she would be the fight to go to with a newborn baby.

“Our bodies, such as fuel tanks, if you have too little serotonin you feel really flat,” she said. “I think the therapy helps more than tablets, someone say:” maybe this is the reason why you feel this way.’ That is much more useful, but the tablets take the fear off.”

Oryn was delivered by C-section at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh on Oct.24, with a weight of 8 pounds, and Matthews’ fears were overcome and they got a band with him.

In an effort to encourage other women to seek help, she decided to tell her story – and is still receiving counselling once or twice a week, as well as taking anti-anxiety medication.

“It was definitely one of the worst periods of my life,” Matthews said. “You can’t be everyone all the time. And with my son to school and drop him at breakfast club, and with him to the park, be able to ask him what he wants for dinner, are very important for me.”

“It is the pressure that we put on ourselves, the only people who suffer at the end of the day is for us,” she said. “As females, we are subject to that pressure – the idea that you have your nails done two times per week, get hair done, everyone puts pictures on Instagram of their perfect life. It’s a shame, we are just beating ourselves.”

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