Lisa Faulkner has revealed that her adopted daughter Billie, now six, made the 'hell' she went through with an ectopic pregnancy and three and a half round of IVF 'worthwhile'.
The former Holby City and Spooks star tells this month's Reader's Digest that she and husband Chris Coghill started trying for a baby when she was 'about 30', but endured a 'horrendous' ectopic pregnancy. The couple then turned to IVF, which, the actress says, 'failed miserably'.
The unsuccessful IVF also cost the star all her savings, and was a 'hard time emotionally and financially'. It did however make her decide she wanted to be a mother - and she says she 'didn't care how'.
Lisa and Chris initially fostered little Billie, and later adopted her.
"She is my dream," the proud mum says.
PA Lisa and Billie, then aged three, at Disney on Ice
Despite growing up in the 'safe, idyllic' small town of Esher in Surrey with her parents and younger sister Victoria, Lisa was dealt a traumatic blow at 16, when her mum died. Julie had been diagnosed with cancer when Lisa was 14, and fell ill again after initially going into remission. Lisa says she feels her mum was 'amazing' to have the strength to go through her illness and still protect us from it as much as she could.'
Now 40, Lisa is relaunching herself with a new career in cookery - no doubt inspired by her own mum, who would make a 'huge effort' with her own dinner parties, the leftovers from which Lisa and her sister would creep downstairs and polish off the morning after!
Lisa first cookery book 'Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter' comes out next month. She says her winning appearance on Celebrity Masterchef in 2010 helped her find herself after becoming a mum, and stopped her reverting to the insecurities she had suffered as a child.
Going through the process of having a child, and taking a year off to be a mum I lost my identity again, becoming nervous and shy. Masterchef helped me find myself once more, in this whole new form of cooking.
"I now do shifts as a chef at John Smith's of Smithfields restaurant to improve my cooking!"
What a refreshingly down to earth celeb mum!
Read the full interview in the March issue of Reader's Digest, in shops from 28 February