With her son Ethan clinging to her in a fierce hug while she cradles a growing baby bump, controversial MKR cook Jess is almost unrecognisable.
In an exclusive shoot with New Idea, the 31-year-old blonde shows off her beautiful young family of three, which is about to become four!
While Ethan, four, quietly plays in the corner of their Sydney apartment, Jess and her husband Jason reveal they decided to see if they could have another child as soon as filming for MKR wrapped.
‘This is something we’ve wanted for a very long time,’ Jess tells New Idea. ‘And it’s something we didn’t think would happen straight away.’
Suffering from endometriosis, Jess and her husband of seven years were told by doctors that they would struggle to fall pregnant with Ethan.
So when it came to baby number two, the couple – who are high-school sweethearts – weren’t counting their chickens before they hatched.
‘After I had Ethan the pain went away, but I’ll always struggle with it,’ Jess reveals. ‘Because Ethan was a big baby, I had some complications after giving birth and right now there are shadows and cysts and blood clots on my ovaries. So, it’s something that we have to watch because we’re really lucky.’
Due in October, Jess says she may not carry the baby – a boy – to full term.
‘They’re going to monitor me and see how I go,’ she explains.
‘We’re going to get to 37 weeks and then we might have to induce.’
While on screen, Jess and her older sister Emma have been entertaining audiences with their quick quips.
But the Sydney mum-of-one has been lying low off screen, suffering from severe morning sickness.
‘I’ve been so sick from the first day I fell pregnant to now,’ Jess explains.
‘I’m so nauseous even right now!’
On hand to help her through everything, her sister is also her best friend and neighbour.
‘We literally live next door to each other,’ Jess confirms, laughing.
‘She’s so excited – she was my birthing partner with Ethan and she came over the minute I went into labour.
‘She was doing more work than Jason. I vomited all over her, so she was with me the whole way and she’s going to be there for this one!’
Planning to take just six weeks off work to care for her newborn bub, Jess says she can’t be away from her job as manager of a real estate agency – especially after taking six months off to film MKR.
‘Luckily for us our mums can help and I can go into work, as well as working from home,’ she says.
‘Then in February next year when Ethan goes to school, I’ll have to put the baby into day care and go back to work full-time.
‘If you take one step out of this industry, you’re completely forgotten. Being female in real estate it’s so hard. I have to keep fighting for my spot.’
While MKR took a toll on her work-life, Jess reveals the competition also put a strain on her relationship with Jason.
‘It’s almost like we broke up, lived separate lives, and then had to come back and make it all work,’ Jess says.
But Jason is quick to add: ‘We’re stronger than ever now.’
As for having more babies in the future, it’s a firm no from Jess.
‘He’s getting de-sexed,’ she says emphatically.
‘And I’m happy with that,’ Jason adds, laughing.
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!