I didn't tell people I was pregnant until my son was born then I put it on Facebook – secrecy was my security blanket | The Sun

FROM gruelling fertility treatment to heartbreaking miscarriages, these three women spent years trying to become mums.

Here, they reveal why, like Jennifer Aniston, they couldn’t face sharing their hurt and hope with even those closest to them.

‘I didn’t tell friends I was pregnant until my son was born’

Lauren Frost, 32, is an influencer and lives in Eastbourne, East Sussex, with her husband James, 35, a train conductor, and their son Teddy, four, and daughter Lily, two.

“Clicking ‘post’ on Facebook, I couldn’t help but smile as I imagined the shock of all my friends and family as they learned what I’d been hiding for the past nine months.  

"But finally holding my newborn in my arms, I knew it had been the right decision.

"Secrecy was the only way I could handle the heartbreaking years of infertility treatment and baby loss.


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"I met James in 2009 at the leisure centre where we both worked. I was 18 and he was 21, and within six months he was living with me at my parents’ house.

"I was so happy when he proposed in March 2012. We both knew we wanted a family, so a few months before our wedding the following March, I stopped taking the Pill.

"When I didn’t get a period the next month, I was shocked, but assumed I had managed to get pregnant immediately.

"However, another test was negative. For the next eight months, my period didn’t arrive, and my GP referred me for a scan, which showed I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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"It was upsetting, but I remained confident that the medication I’d been given to induce my periods would help me get pregnant.  

"Sadly, it didn’t. So for the next three years, I was on a treadmill of NHS fertility treatment – rounds of drugs to try to kick-start my ovulation, a procedure to flush out my fallopian tubes, and two painful attempts at ovarian drilling.

"But none of it helped. James and I were devastated.

"As it seemed like everyone else around me was getting pregnant easily, envy overwhelmed me. Apart from our parents, we told no one what we were going through.

"When people asked whether we were planning to start a family, I’d just laugh and say: ‘Maybe one day.’

"The secrecy was like a security blanket – it was the only thing we could control.

"When I once did open up to a colleague, they started telling me about a friend who’d had one round of the infertility medication Clomid and now had twins.

"Her well-meaning words cut deep and afterwards I secretly sobbed in the toilets. 

"By 2017, I’d almost lost hope, but that September we began IVF. The joy when our first round worked was indescribable.

"In January 2018, at 20 weeks pregnant, we could finally tell people the news we’d waited five years to share.

"Everyone was thrilled. But our happiness didn’t last. Just five days later, I went to hospital as I was bleeding, and was told I was 2cm dilated.

"On February 5, our beautiful son Leo was born, and died just eight days later. We held a funeral celebrating his short life.

"We were heartbroken. Yet from the darkness came a miracle. Six weeks later, I was feeling sick and decided to take a test.

"I was stunned to see I’d fallen pregnant naturally. But I was also terrified. What if I lost this baby too?

"Apart from our parents and my manager at work, I was determined no one would know I was pregnant until my baby was in my arms.

"At first, friends and family assumed that I was quiet because of my grief. Then, at 16 weeks, I was put on bed rest to take the pressure off my cervix.

"As my pregnancies had been so close together, doctors weren’t sure how likely it was to hold.

"I was so scared of losing this baby that I barely got out of bed, counting down the days until my planned caesarean at 38 weeks.

"After Leo died, I’d shut myself away from friends and family to grieve, so it wasn’t hard to avoid them in those last few months.

"When Teddy was born in January 2019, weighing 9lb 4oz, it just didn’t feel real. Finally I could tell the world. 

"As soon as my Facebook update went live, my phone blew up. Everyone was shocked, wondering how I had kept it quiet, but they were so happy for us.

"I did the same when I fell pregnant naturally with Lily a year later.

"I only shared the news after I had a big bleed at 16 weeks, which again was because of my cervix. I didn’t want to lose the baby and not have anyone know.

"Thankfully, she was born healthy that September, and our family was complete. 

"I still feel the trauma of what we’ve been through, but now I speak openly about my journey on Instagram.

"I want to honour Leo and show other women going through their journey that however they choose to handle infertility, I have their back.” 

  • Follow Lauren on Instagram @the_honest_mum_.   

‘Like Jennifer Aniston, I know the ship has sailed’

Sarah Lawrence, 47, a counsellor, lives in Kent with her husband Jim, 49, who works in financial services.

“I never dreamed I’d have something in common with Jennifer Aniston, but after reading about her secret infertility journey at the end of last year, I felt a deep connection with her. I know the hidden struggle and heartbreak all too well.

"Since the age of 12, I’ve suffered with my periods. At 19, I started taking the Pill to help with erratic cycles and pain.

"When I met Jim through friends in 1995, neither of us was even thinking about kids, but after I stopped taking the Pill aged 28, as it was affecting my mental health, my biological clock kicked in practically overnight. 

"After we got engaged in 2010, when I was 34, we decided to start trying for a baby.

"I hadn’t fallen pregnant by our wedding the following year, but I was still optimistic, though whenever someone mentioned pregnancy or children, it hurt.

"In May 2012, I was thrilled to finally see a positive pregnancy test. Then, at six weeks, we lost the baby.

"I was heartbroken, but still had hope.

"While we didn’t feel able to share the miscarriage with friends and family, I had to tell my boss because I needed time off from my job in financial services. 

"Back at work two weeks later, a colleague patted my stomach and asked if I had any news. I fell apart, and as I finally told someone, we both ended up in tears. 

"I had a growing sense of shame about my infertility. If someone asked: ‘Do you have kids?’ I’d change the subject, plaster a fake smile on my face or just walk away. 

"It never got easier. Meanwhile, my cycles were getting worse.

"I’d been seeing doctors for years, but never got answers. In late 2013, I decided to see yet another gynaecologist, who referred me for a laparoscopy to examine my abdomen and pelvis.

"I was told I had stage four endometriosis and wouldn’t be able to have children naturally. 

"Devastated and in denial, I tried acupuncture, homoeopathy and reflexology. I bought crystals for fertility and followed a special diet.

"Like Jennifer Aniston, I ‘threw everything at it’. Eventually, I started seeing a counsellor, and working with her helped me accept that what the doctor had told me was true. 

"We had been offered IVF on the NHS after the laparoscopy, but decided not to pursue it, as during my last investigation we’d found out only one of my ovaries was working, so the chances of it being successful were small.

"And after everything we’d been through, I couldn’t face going through the adoption process.

"Jim and I would not be having a baby – and we were able to draw a line under it.

"In 2015, I developed adenomyosis – endometriosis within the muscular lining of the womb – and in November 2017, aged 42, I had a hysterectomy.

"Only then did I start opening up to people. Some were shocked and sad for me. Others were angry that I hadn’t told them.

"That reaction ended some relationships, as I refused to be forced to defend my decision. 

"Jennifer Aniston’s comment that ‘the ship has sailed’ struck me deeply. She’s accepted what has happened in her life, just as I have in mine.

"But it isn’t easy. Events like christenings and the anniversary of my miscarriage still cause me pain. 

"Unfulfilled at work, I decided to make a change. I started coaching in 2018 and qualified as a counsellor in August 2020, specialising in those who aren’t child-free by choice.

"I used my heartbreak to find a new direction – and I’m dedicated to helping others find theirs.” 

  • Visit Sarahlawrenceonline.com.

‘When I finally shared our story, I felt such relief’

Lisa Pay, 43, runs a property management company with her husband Phil, 45.

They live in Dorset with their son Leo, four.

“Seeing Mum’s face, my heart hurt. All she’d ever wanted was for me to be healthy and happy. Now I had to witness her anguish as she learned that our IVF cycle had failed.

"She listened as I explained that I’d been hiding my infertility, despite my desperation to have a baby, for four years – I hadn’t felt able to tell loved ones what I was going through.

"In my 20s, I was sure that having a baby would just happen in the future.

"In 2008, aged 29, I met Phil at work and within a few months I knew he was The One.

"We got engaged in September 2010 and discussed trying for a baby.

"A week before our wedding the following August, I threw my Pill in the bin.

"My best friend Kerryn was pregnant at my wedding and I told her we were going to start trying, too, and she was so excited, but otherwise, I kept my plan quiet.

"A naturally private person, I didn’t share personal things with many people.

"Six months after the wedding, I was still feeling positive, but after a year passed with no baby, worry began creeping in. By 18 months, each period had me in tears. 

"I knew family and friends were wondering what was going on, as I’d always wanted children, but thankfully no one asked directly.

"And I didn’t say a thing – it was my way of protecting myself. I didn’t want to disappoint or worry my mum Sonia, now 84, or anyone else.

"I thought it better to wait till I had happy news to share. But that news never came. 

"We decided to have tests to see if there was any reason we couldn’t get pregnant, but it was found to be unexplained.

"We finally started IVF on the NHS in the summer of 2015, when I was 36, and I was optimistic. 

"The secrecy wasn’t easy. But by that point I just couldn’t face sharing what was going on. 

"When we heard the IVF hadn’t worked, we were devastated. Then, later that same day as Phil and I went for a walk, we ran into Mum.

"I tried to keep my emotions hidden, but she clearly knew something was wrong. 

"I hated lying to her. We knew that we had to tell both our mums the truth.

"Finding the words was hard, but afterwards I was relieved they finally knew what was going on.

"Hearing on Christmas Eve 2015 that our second cycle hadn’t worked either was heartbreaking.

"I wouldn’t let myself cry and even stopped talking to Phil about it.

"It was a dark time for me.  But a few weeks later, I wrote a WhatsApp message to close friends and family.

"I shared our whole fertility story and once it was sent, I felt a wave of relief.

"I didn’t have to pretend any more. Everyone was so supportive.

"We looked into trying IVF again privately, but as my egg production was low, our chances were tiny – so we made the difficult decision not to go ahead.

"That’s when we started thinking about adoption. In the summer of 2016, we attended an information evening and left feeling inspired.

"But I knew I wasn’t emotionally strong enough after what we’d been through, so we put the plan on hold. 

"By January 2018 we were ready. This time there wasn’t any secrecy.

"As soon as we applied, we told all our friends and family. It was so liberating to be open about everything. The process was challenging, but we had no doubts.

"It was amazing to be approved as adopters in October 2018 and were matched with an incredible baby boy the same day.

"Leo was placed with us in January 2019, aged seven and a half months. Today, I look at my resilient, funny, digger-obsessed son and my heart is full.

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  •  Visit Aspireadoption.co.uk.

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