A nurse who has undergone 14 miscarriages is preparing to take part in the London Marathon.
Staffordshire woman Karen Clayton, an auxiliary at Good Hope Hospital, is aiming to raise awareness of the need for more research into why women miscarry.
More than one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage, with around 250,000 women in Britain affected each year.
The 36-year-old mother-of-five, who lives in Tamworth with her husband Mark, hopes that by telling her story she can highlight the need for better research into the causes. Mrs Clayton battled anorexia as a teenager.
"Mark and I were engaged when we began trying to start our family, and we were both delighted when we discovered I was pregnant," she explained.
"I was 19 and still fighting anorexia but had been getting help and eating healthy food, so I thought my body would be able to cope.
"Doctors had been telling I was pregnant, then that I wasn’t. Nobody seemed to know for sure. Then in April 1990, at 14 weeks, I miscarried while at home.
"I was devastated, as was Mark and he felt so helpless."
The couple persevered and on February 2, 1992, Mrs Clayton gave birth to a baby boy Jason, and then on March 23, 1993, sister Sarah-Louise was born.
But after a three year break, the couple began trying to expand their family further.
In between the births of Leigh-Anne and Phillipa on May 17, 1996, and May 10, 1999, she miscarried four times.
"All the doctors did was tell me to go home and get some rest, they didn’t seem to know why my body kept rejecting these babies," added Mrs Clayton. "There was no other support for me out there, or so I thought."
A recent Miscarriage Association survey of more than 300 women revealed four out of five received no aftercare, while less than a third (29 per cent) felt they got no emotional support.
After Mrs Clayton’s youngest daughter, Kathryn, was delivered 15-weeks early by an emergency Caesarean section on September 14, 2000, she suffered a potentially life-threatening miscarriage. Since then the mother-of-five has overcome eight more miscarriages, all between 12 and 18 weeks of pregnancy.
She said: "My story may sound extreme and I realise how lucky I am to have my five wonderful children.
"I had to accept that I couldn’t afford to get pregnant again because of the stress it was putting on my body and I couldn’t do that to my family.
"So I decided to help the Miscarriage Association by becoming a telephone rep for them, so I can offer support and advice to women going through similar experiences."