Child Loss & Grief

Baby Loss – Meghan Markle Reveals She Suffered a Miscarriage

Eloise Edington  |   26 Nov 2020

Photo credit - The New York Times

Photo credit – The New York Times

Words by Holly McElroy

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has revealed that she suffered from a miscarriage in July this year. In an article for the New York Times, entitled ‘The Losses We Share’, Meghan wrote of the ‘almost unbearable grief’ at losing what would have been her and Prince Harry’s second child. Their first child, Archie, was born on the 6 May 2019.

In the article, The Duchess described the moment when it the midst of a normal everyday morning, after having woken up, fed the dogs and whilst tidying up Archie’s crayons, she felt a ‘sharp cramp’. At the time, she was retrieving Archie from his crib and she writes: ‘I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right’.

In a heart-breaking sentiment that will come to define this article, Meghan writes ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second’.

After being taken to hospital, the Duchess writes, ‘hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears.

 Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal’.

Related Podcast – Stillbirth – The Grief of Losing our Daughter & Future

Photo Credit - Deposit Photos

Photo Credit – Deposit Photos

Meghan has been clear from the beginning of her relationship with Prince Harry and since being thrust into the spotlight, that she wished to use her role to make women’s voices and experiences be heard more clearly.

 It was through this article about her own baby loss, that Meghan wishes to encourage others to talk about their baby loss.

In her own words, ‘In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered a miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning’.

Through setting her article in the context of a year of extreme turbulence, during the global Covid-19 pandemic, Meghan called for tolerance and compassion.

In the midst of her miscarriage, the Duchess wrote that she recalled the moment last September when the couple were finishing a long tour in South Africa and she was exhausted, breastfeeding Archie and ‘trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye’ when ITV journalist Tom Bradby asked her if she was OK.

‘Thank you for asking’ she replied. ‘ Not many people have asked if I’m OK’.

Meghan reflected on the power of that moment, ‘I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many- new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering’, she writes.

‘Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realised that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?’

Related Article – Baby Loss – Stacey’s Miscarriage Journey

Through shining a light on her own experience, Meghan hopes it will urge more people to ‘commit to asking others, are you OK’ over the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

Meghan joins a number of figures in the public eye who have recently spoken about their experience of baby loss. Earlier this year model Chrissy Teigen received international acclaim after she spoke out about the pain of losing her son Jack in stillbirth.

According to the charity Tommy’s, an estimated one in four pregnancies end in miscarriages, with 250,000 miscarriages every year in the UK alone. Whilst it is not known how far along the Duchess was, the majority of miscarriages occur within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

All of us at Fertility Help Hub express our deepest condolences to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and praise Meghan Markle for courageously sharing her own story of miscarriage so publicly.

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