Aussie sports hero talks about her failed marriage and heartbreak after three miscarriages: ‘It was devastatingly dark’
- Jana Pittman has opened up about her struggles after life as an Olympian
- The former Aussie star saw her marriage fall apart and suffer miscarriages
- Daily Mail Australia provides the latest international sports news
Jana Pittman has lifted the lid on life after her devastating failure to make it to the Olympics, with the former athlete opening up about the breakdown of her marriage and multiple heartbreaking miscarriages.
Talking to the Courier MailPittman revealed how her heartbreak in Beijing – which she did not participate in due to a toe injury – was the start of a series of setbacks for the Aussie star.
She divorced husband Chris Rawlinson shortly after her “devastatingly dark” experience when she pulled out of the Games in China.
She then failed her first attempt at an entrance exam to study medicine at university before meeting a new man, Carlo.
‘It really hurt; It still does, to be honest,” she said of her marriage breaking up. “I may not have been successful in the Olympics, but the failure of my marriage is still one of the things that can rightly make my heart beat.
“Around the time I failed the entrance exam, my ex-husband also met his future wife – and all hope of reconciliation vanished completely.
Jana Pittman has been candid about the breakdown of her marriage and the heartache of a miscarriage
The Australian athlete split up with her ex-husband Chris Rawlinson after Beijing
Pittman — who specialized in the 400-meter jump and 400-meter hurdles — said she “splattered” with dating but “still had a flame” for Chris.
She later met Carlo, and she soon became pregnant after a few months of dating.
“The hardest part was that I had been pregnant for the second time a few years earlier when I was still married to Chris, and we lost that pregnancy,” she said.
So my feelings were mixed; the pain of that miscarriage had been awful, especially since I’d struggled alone, told only one friend, and didn’t even tell Chris until many years later. I am now firmly convinced that women should share their pregnancy with their loved ones earlier: yes, it is terrible when a miscarriage occurs, but that is precisely when we need support.’
She described how she felt both fear and elation when she became pregnant with Cedric’s baby, but it wasn’t to be.
A few days later I woke up late, fatigue still fighting against my normal cheerfulness, and went to the bathroom. I saw a small blood spot. I screamed for Carlo, who came running upstairs, and I collapsed in his arms.’
The couple tried again for a baby and soon became pregnant, deciding to move to Sydney to be closer to Jana’s family. However, when she went for a scan, Jana received more devastating news.
“I climbed onto the bed and the sonographer applied the usual ultrasound gel before placing the cold probe over my abdomen. She found the blob right away… but it didn’t flicker! I knew our seed was dead. He or she was gone.
She revealed how she had suffered a series of setbacks after missing the 2008 Games
Pittman said it was a “devastatingly dark” period in her life as she miscarried three times
Pittman is now a mother of six and is married to Paul Gatward, a Sydney businessman
“Nothing can prepare you for this loss. Even writing this 12 years later brings tears to my eyes for what could have been. All my hopes and dreams for this baby shattered. I felt robbed and so alone.’
Jana described the next 12 months as “the biggest psychological battle I’ve had to go through,” with her family and friends rallying to support her.
The former Olympian is now a mother of six and is using an anonymous sperm donor for her second and third children – Emily and Jemima. She is now married to Sydney businessman Paul Gatward, and the couple share three children.