Actress and chef Lisa Faulkner spoke to This Morning hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about her heartbreaking journey to becoming a mother.
Lisa, who announced her engagement to TV chef John Torode in January, shared with The Morning viewers her struggles to become a mother, which she has documented in her new book ‘Meant to Be’.
Lisa had previously tried to conceive naturally with her ex-husband, Chris Coghill, and after four rounds of IVF treatments and several miscarriages Lisa became a mother after adopting her now 12-year-old daughter Billie in 2008.
The presenter and chef explained: ‘I wanted to write a book that gave that little bit of hope…Infertility is a really hard one. Just when people start trying to have babies and it doesn’t quite go to plan and it goes from ‘Oh, we’re just going to try and see what happens’ to ‘Okay, rigid trying’ and then that doesn’t work and IVF and everything else didn’t work. I just wanted to be a hand to hold for those people…There is positivity and there are other ways to have a family.’
Lisa eventually did fall pregnant, she revealed: ‘We were trying and I was so excited and to have that pregnancy stick that said ‘Yes.’ I still have it actually, which is really funny.
‘And it ended up that I had an ectopic pregnancy and I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I was filming and I literally passed out and had to tell people as I was rushed to hospital. And when I got there everyone kept saying it was an ectopic pregnancy and because it still had pregnancy in the title I thought that I was still pregnant. I thought that maybe they could move it as they had said it was growing in the wrong place. I had no idea that it wasn’t viable…And it all sort of spiralled from there. But that moment of feeling that I was pregnant and it was amazing was just shattering.’
Speaking about her IVF journey, Lisa said: ‘I think it was really difficult and I think that anyone going through IVF will understand that moment where you build up all your hopes and almost you put your trust into your doctor and it’s a bit like you can be carried along on a sea of medication and everything for a while. And you go ‘I’m doing everything right’ and then it doesn’t work and everyone else in my round got pregnant. And the feeling of failure at something that you think ‘Well, the drugs are there, this is something I should be able to do now’ was just crippling and I did feel like a failure for a very long time.’
Lisa then decided that the next step for her was to adopt, and she adopted daughter Billie when she was 18-months-old.
Lisa said: ‘It’s not an easy step to adoption at all. It took a long time, it took years to get to that bit. I looked at surrogacy, I looked at all sorts of things, adoption overseas and in America.
‘And it was actually my ex-husband, who is a great friend, who said to me ‘I don’t grow a baby, you hand me a baby and I love that baby, what would be the difference?’ And it was actually that thing that I thought ‘Yeah, what actually is the difference?’ And I love my godchildren, I love my nieces, I love my friends, my family and that capacity to love, I thought ‘Well, that’s all you need to start it off.’’
Previously speaking about her adopted daughter, Lisa said: I have got my little girl and I’m completely over the moon with my little angel. She is my number one, she is my everything.
‘I feel very blessed to have her. I’m so very proud of my daughter. I’m surprised by her every day, I think she’s amazing. I am very happy with my lot.’
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