Fertility issues couldn't stop Jessica Rowe and Peter Overton from becoming parents, now they can't get enough of family life with their girls

It's no wonder they're so devoted to their daughters after such a difficult road to parenthood.

By Maddison Leach
We may know them as the familiar faces who have lit up our TV screens for years now, but when they're at home Jessica Rowe and Peter Overton are just "mum and dad".
The couple, who have been married for 18 years after a chance encounter at the Logies, share two beautiful daughters - Allegra, 15, and Giselle, 13 - and are all about family life.
It's no surprise that they're so devoted to their daughters given how trying the road to parenthood was for the couple.
After tying the knot back in 2004, Peter and Jess knew they wanted to start a family together, but struggled with fertility issues.
After falling in love, Peter and Jess knew they wanted to start a family together. (Image: Instagram)
"Aged 33, and newly married, I'd wrongly assumed that becoming pregnant would be easy," the 51-year-old wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald last year.
"We had a huge mortgage with a perfect baby room set aside, but suddenly there was a glitch in our plan: after two years of trying, my body was letting me down."
Concerned that time was against them, Peter and Jess saw a specialist who diagnosed Jess with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which reduces the frequency with which a woman ovulates and produces eggs.
The condition can wreak havoc on a woman's fertility and make falling pregnant "the old fashioned way" incredibly difficult.
"So I thought, yeah OK, we'll do IVF and it will be an inconvenience, but at the end we will have a baby," Jess wrote in her memoir Is This My Beautiful Life?.
That meant hormone injections, working with a fertility nurse, regular blood tests and more in the hopes of falling pregnant - but Peter and Jess were up to the challenge.
Unfortunately, conceiving a child through IVF turned out to be more emotional and tricky than the hopeful parents ever expected.
Jess found it especially gut-wrenching to undergo fertility treatment while seeing other women around her seemingly fall into pregnancy and motherhood with ease.
"I wanted to scream, 'I'm on IVF and I don't know if I can be a mum. I have just come from having a blood test to see if my body is responding to the hormones I'm pumping through my body," she wrote.
"Don't tell me how wonderful it is to be a mother! And don't you dare complain about how tired you are."
WATCH: The Weekly chats with Jessica Rowe, Peter Overton and their daughters. Story continues after video.
Fortunately, with Peter by her side, Jess was eventually able to fall pregnant with their first child - a little girl she first saw as "inky black smudge on the screen above me in the IVF clinic".
Allegra Penelope Overton - whose name is Italian for "glad" - arrived on January 18, 2007 to the complete and utter delight of her parents.
In a statement at the time, they said: "We are overjoyed by the arrival of our little miracle. It was the happiest day of our lives and we feel blessed to be a family."
But just six weeks after her daughter's birth, Jess began experiencing worrying symptoms that would later be identified as post-natal depression.
"I felt very anxious, I had panic attacks – I'd never had panic attacks before – and I felt like there was a pane of glass between me and the rest of the world," she recalled in a piece for The Australian Women's Weekly.
Jess with her daughters when they were younger. (Image: Instagram)
Realising she needed help, Jess turned to her mum, then Peter, both of whom encouraged her to speak to a psychiatrist who was able to get Jess the support and medication she needed.
"I remember three weeks after starting my anti-depressants, I was standing in our front garden," Jess recalled of her mental health journey.
"Allegra was having her lunchtime sleep when suddenly I could smell the gardenias in our front garden... I could feel a return of hope."
She spent the next year working on her mental wellbeing and finally started to feel like herself again during a date night with Peter - the very night their second child was, miraculously, conceived naturally.
"I put on my black bodysuit with tight black Sass & Bide jeans and we tossed back glasses of pink Champagne, laughing and sharing tales of our changed lives," Jess wrote in her book.
WATCH: Jess Rowe opens up about post-natal depression. Story continues after video.
"When I got home that night I peeled off my shimmery jeans and felt sexy for the first time..." and the rest, as they say, is history!
Giselle Charlotte Overton arrived ahead of schedule on April 9, 2009, after Jess went into labour while Peter was in the middle of filming 60 Minutes.
"Pete was out filming a 60 Minutes story and he got the call from Jess saying 'right, we're on'," Channel Nine spokeswoman Heidi Virtue said at the time.
Though the road to parenthood wasn't a simple one for the couple, Jess and Peter have been devoted to their daughters ever since and can't praise them enough.
From sweet family snaps on social media, to Jess' many tributes to her girls on special occasions like birthdays, it's clear they love life as "mum and dad".
In honour of their gorgeous family bond, we've rounded up some of the best photos of Peter and Jess with their daughters Allegra and Giselle.