pregnancy

"The one thing I so dearly wanted couldn’t be planned." Jennifer Hawkins shares her fertility struggle.

Content Note: This post discusses miscarriage, and may be triggering to some readers.

When Australia first met Jennifer Hawkins in 2004, she was the 20-year-old quintessential Aussie beach girl and newly crowned Miss Universe.

But unlike other former Miss Universe Australia contestants turned models and media personalities who’ve built impressive social media followings, the model, TV presenter, brand ambassador and business owner has always remained intensely private.

In May, Hawkins announced on social media she and her husband, model, property developer and entrepreneur Jake Wall, are expecting their first child together – a daughter due in Spring, 2019.

It was a picture-perfect pregnancy announcement, but what we didn’t see on Instagram was the couple’s very private, years-long struggle with infertility.

In an exclusive cover interview with Stellar, Hawkins has spoken for the first time about her experiences with infertility, including a miscarriage.

In 2017, the couple who have been together 16 years and married for six learnt Hawkins was pregnant. At their first scan, they were told there was no heartbeat.

Side note – Tina Arena spoke to Mia Freedman about her miscarriage in the video below. Post continues after video.

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“Last year was such a tough year for Jake and me. It was the toughest year of our lives. I felt like I almost broke and, in fact, it’s still really raw. But Jake was amazing. He let me sit with the pain, feel it and not be OK,” 35-year-old Hawkins told the publication.

“As a woman and a type A personality, I’m used to planning everything. I think this will happen, then this will happen. It seemed like a lifetime as month after month people constantly asked us when we were going to have a baby.

“I had so many years of planning, but the one thing I so dearly wanted couldn’t be planned. Everything crumbled. Women want everything to be OK. Sometimes it’s just not.”

Hawkins said finding out she had miscarried on the ultrasound table was “a difficult way to find out”. At the same time, doctors told the former Myer ambassador she may have endometriosis, a common but difficult to diagnose condition where uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus.

Endometriosis can cause infertility, and surgery confirmed Hawkins had stage 4 endometriosis.

Mamamia’s Leigh Campbell shared her experience with endometriosis and infertility on the No Filter podcast below. Post continues after audio.

Understandably, the couple were cautiously excited when, six years after their 2013 wedding, Hawkins fell pregnant again. Even after passing the customary 12-week mark, Hawkins and Wall only shared their news with close family and friends, “ticking off each week” until they felt confident to tell the world.

Previously, Hawkins had only briefly spoken about her and Wall’s plans to have children with the media. In hindsight, and knowing a bit more about their fertility struggles, her discretion on the subject makes sense.

“The questions [about when we’ll have kids] never end and I’m aware of that and I’m OK with that,” Hawkins told Best Weekend.

“We would definitely love to have a family, the timing though is something you have to keep between your husband and yourself, it’s important to keep that private.”

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In the 15 years that’ve passed since being crowned Miss Universe, Hawkins has achieved more than most.

Establishing her swimwear line, Cozi by Jennifer Hawkins in 2007 was just the start of a business buzz that’s been hard for Hawkins to shake ever since. Her tanning range, Jbronze has cemented its position in bathroom cabinets across the country, and Sesión, her tequila brand with Wall, has done the same in liquor cabinets.

With an estimated net worth of more than $10 million, Hawkins also has her million-dollar property portfolio, J Group Projects, and lucrative brand ambassadorships with Mount Franklin and Colgate.

Speaking to Mamamia in 2017, Hawkins said her journey from model to CEO has been “a roller coaster ride”.

“It’s not always rosy… oh my gosh yeah, I’ve made some mistakes, but the downs make the ups so much more exciting,” she said.

 

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When you love an outfit but the pants won’t zip up! ???????? Onset today @jbronze__

A post shared by Jennifer Hawkins (@jenhawkins_) on

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Now, Hawkins is looking forward to her next chapter, motherhood.

“Just to see a bump is like no other feeling when you’ve wanted it for so long. I don’t care if I put on weight or get stretch marks; the only thing I can think about is her being healthy.”

You can read Jennifer Hawkins’ full interview with Stellar here.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

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