Jana admits that she didn’t fall pregnant immediately but when she did, she knew that this pregnancy was very different from her previous “easy” ones.
Jana has son Cornelis, 14, with her ex-husband Chris Rawlinson, and daughters Emily, 6, and Jemima, 4, were born via IVF and the same anonymous sperm donor when the doctor was single.
“I’ve been so nauseous and vomiting constantly this time around,” she explains. “The fatigue has been something else, too.”
But, ever the practical optimist, Jana is partly using her high-risk pregnancy as a learning opportunity for her career.
“Ultimately, I want to work in fertility, obstetrics and women’s health so to be having a high-risk pregnancy, in terms of my age, will help me understand what the women I end up treating are going through. Pregnancy can be really hard!”
Despite the difficulties, Jana says that while she doesn’t yet know the sex of her babies, she does know they’re healthy – and quips that working in a hospital is handy because she can do regular ultrasound checks while she’s at work!
For many people, a busy career and six children would be more than enough to handle. But Jana, a two-time world champion in the 400m hurdles who competed at both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, as well as in the bobsleigh event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, is also pursuing another career aspiration.
“I’ve signed up to join the Australian Army Reserve as a medic,” she explains.
“I’m hoping to work in disaster relief, so I’ll go where needed for a few weeks at a time. I think that kind of work would be more rewarding for me than anyone I potentially help. I think it would be very soul-comforting to do that kind of work.”
In order to incorporate that goal into her life schedule, Jana has a plan.
“I’m going to go part-time at work next year, then I’ll take a few months off when the twins arrive.” In 2023, she says, she’ll forge ahead with both her medical and army reservist goals – with the unwavering love of her husband Gatward, 53.
“He just supports me and is there for me, every step of the way,” she says.
That support was also in place when Jana took part on SAS Australia – the only reality TV show she’s agreed to do, despite many offers over the years.
“It was amazing to have my family’s support while I was doing the show,” she says.
“Now that I’m home, and we’re watching some of it on TV, my girls especially are copying some of the challenges. The other day, Jemima jumped off a massive rock and I had to say, ‘Stop, you could really hurt yourself!’ She was like, ‘Why? You’re doing the same stuff on TV!’”
Jana's eldest child isn’t vocal about his pride, but she says some of his friends’ parents tell her that he’s been talking up her achievements on the show.
“He’s a 14-year-old boy so he’s been playing it very cool, but it’s been great to hear that he’s secretly proud,” she says.
“A big part of me doing that show was to make my family proud and to show my kids especially that you can put your mind to anything you want to achieve.”
Despite the severe bruising, weight loss and strains, Jana adds that SAS Australia is just one of her finest achievements.