Jessica Rowe felt like "a failure as a woman" when struggling to fall pregnant.

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.

A photo posted by Jessica Rowe (@jessjrowe) on

“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.


Listen: Jessica Rowe walks us through a day in her life. (Post continues after audio.)

Following the birth of Allegra in 2007, who turns 10 this week, the then head of Channel Nine, Eddie McGuire, made headlines around the country when it was revealed he planned to “bone” (or fire) Rowe from her role as co-host on Today Show while she was on maternity leave

As we all now know and remember well, the very public plan was executed, and Rowe was rolled.

After a decade of staying tight-lipped about what happened, the Studio 10 panellist has opened up on the difficult time, admitting, “The older I get, the less I care about what people think. This is who I am and if you don’t like me, well, you can go get stuffed, quite frankly.” (Post continues after gallery.)


“It’s only in the last few years that I’ve really felt comfortable in my own skin,” she continued.

“I used to put far too much pressure on myself to be perfect – I think we can all be guilty of not cutting ourselves enough slack – but I’m not [perfect] and no one is.”

To us, though, Jess, you are absolutely and utterly perfect.