By Martin Johnson
Glenis Croft has a long history of miscarriages, but in the latest her precious baby boy Gage made it through.
Mrs Croft was 10 weeks pregnant with twins when she suffered her ninth miscarriage in 19 years, losing one of the foetuses.
Medical staff expected the other also to die. But Mrs Croft said she was stunned when an ultrasound scan a week later showed the foetus - now 14-week-old Gage - was alive.
"I prayed. I believed God had everything in control," said the Papakura woman, who has three other children.
Gage was among seven "miracle babies" aged 5 to 14 weeks at Cornwall Park in Auckland yesterday when their parents held a reunion.
The mothers had all come through a National Women's Hospital clinic that helps pregnant women with a history of miscarriage to avoid having another.
"You go numb to get through," Mrs Croft said. "There's so much emotion involved in having a miscarriage.
"People say, `Never mind; you can have another one.' You don't want another one. You want that baby.
"I wouldn't go through this again. It's way too emotional. It's a strain on every member of the family."
Mrs Croft said the clinic staff linked her miscarriages to a particular anti-body, which they treated with half an aspirin a day. She also had to stop work and have lots of rest.
The clinic, which helps women during the critical first 13 weeks of their pregnancies, is unique in New Zealand.
Each year it treats around 100 women who have suffered four or more miscarriages. It has a success rate of about 80 per cent. One per cent of women lose their babies at or before 12 weeks' gestation.
Money worries last year threatened the 12-year-old clinic and although National Women's gynaecologist Dr Hilary Liddell said yesterday that there was funding until the middle of this year, there is uncertainty beyond that.
Another mother at the gathering, Ruth Scott, said: "We don't want the unit to close. It's been such a positive part of our lives."
By Martin Johnson