Amal and George Clooney. Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

London - She's a top barrister, mother of twins, activist and fashion icon — and she's also married to George Clooney.

But Amal Clooney would not be here today if, 40 years ago, her pregnant mother had been persuaded by doctors to have an abortion.

Baria Alamuddin had a condition called placenta praevia and spent two months in hospital in Lebanon where she was told she should "lose the baby". But the determined mother refused because she had dreams in which she saw her daughter's face - and when Amal was born the baby was "exactly" as she saw her.

Alamuddin, a journalist, revealed the story in a feature for Vogue in which she and her daughter spoke candidly about motherhood.

"My pregnancy with Amal was a rather difficult one," Alamuddin said. "I was told that I should lose the baby. I said no. I kept on having these dreams in which I would see her face." In the end, the child was born "exactly as I saw her". 

Placenta praevia is where the placenta stays low in the womb and may block the baby's way out - but fortunately, in most cases the cervix is not fully covered.

Mrs Clooney, 40, appears on her first Vogue cover photographed by Annie Leibovitz in a pink Alexander McQueen dress and Cartier earrings. She married her husband, 56, in 2014 and they have twins, Ella and Alexander, now ten months old.

READ: Amal Clooney to represent Reuters reporters held in Myanmar

During the Vogue interview Clooney was in Los Angeles filming a commercial and it was the first time he had been away from his children. Amal said his absence had "nagged at him more than he'd expected".

Their home - a £12-million 17th-century manor on the River Thames in Berkshire — has been taken over with all the trappings of parenthood and the pair have been thrilled that their children are already speaking.

Mrs Clooney said: "We've had some ''Mamas' and 'Dadas' ", adding with a coy smile: "George was very careful to ensure 'Mama' was the first word."

Next month she will help host the Met Gala in New York, one of the most prestigious events in the US social calendar. The human rights lawyer said: "I hate the idea that you somehow have to be put in a box. There's no reason why lawyers can't be fun."

Daily Mail