Barbara Hepworth-Jones

Barbara Hepworth-Jones, 35, a clinical research education advisor, had three miscarriages after she first got pregnant at age 29. After attending the Royal London's recurrent miscarriage clinic she gave birth to identical twins, Ellen and Louisa.

"At the time of the miscarriages my job was quite stressful and involved a lot of travelling. I was convinced that stress had contributed to the miscarriages, partly because the GP advised bed rest. I felt very guilty but I couldn't change my lifestyle - I wanted to carry on working after having a baby.

I spent hours looking up things in medical journals, desperately trying to find a cause or treatments that would make it all right next time. I think I was also looking for reassurance that it wasn't my fault. I got depressed and couldn't stand to be with friends who were pregnant. The only thing that helped was talking to other women who'd had miscarriages too.

My husband was obviously upset but he seemed to feel fairly confident that next time things would go OK. His main problem was dealing with me - I thought we'd never have a baby. I didn't tell anyone at work about the miscarriages. My employers didn't like people getting pregnant and I knew I wouldn't get any long-term projects if maternity leave looked likely.

After the third miscarriage I went for various tests at the Royal London, most of which were negative. They said it was possible that my immune system was rejecting the baby, so I was immunised with my husband's white blood cells. Studies done since show the difference this makes is marginal, but at the time I felt it might help.

When my pregnancy test was positive I attended their early pregnancy support clinic. I could phone up if I was worried and got a lot of TLC. They held a special scanning afternoon for recurrent miscarriers, when there were no happy, very pregnant women in the waiting room. I would see the heartbeat on the scan and feel confident for a few days then, when that wore off, it was only another three days until the next scan. That care and reassurance really got me through.

I was certain it would go wrong, so I didn't acknowledge that I was going to have babies until six weeks before the due date, when I bought two Babygros. Within two days I gave birth to identical twin girls - premature but healthy. I've done a lot of reading and I'm fairly sure that my miscarriages were just bad luck, caused by chromosomal abnormalities. But at the time you can't appreciate that."

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