Ten years on from the birth of her first daughter, TV presenter and self-proclaimed “crap housewife” Jessica Rowe has opened up about the struggles of falling pregnant and the heavy toll the journey took on her mental health.
“I thought I was a failure as a woman because I couldn’t fall pregnant,” 46-year-old Rowe told Body + Soul on Sunday.
At the time, Rowe was 35, married to fellow journalist Peter Overton and desperately trying to get pregnant with the couple’s first child. But as is the case for many couples, things just weren’t going to plan, and eventually, the pair turned to IVF.
“When I did finally have Allegra, after going through IVF, I felt worse. I had this idealised, perfect image of what being a mum would look like and it was nothing like that,” she said.
“I loved Allegra like nothing before but I was crippled by the level of despair and sadness I felt. What made it worse was that I knew how lucky I was so I told myself I had no right to feel so wretched. There was a period when I was sure I was losing my mind.”
As it happened, though, Rowe wasn’t losing her mind, but rather suffering from post-natal depression. And to add salt to the wound, she was also going through one of the worst periods of her career.