The Duchess was holding her son Archie when she sensed something was not right in July. “After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. 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,” she wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
Later, with Prince Harry by her side, the Duchess was seen by medical staff in a hospital in Los Angeles. “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,” she said, watching “my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine”.
The Duchess urged people to “commit to asking others, ‘are you OK?’”, especially during Thanksgiving this year in the US. “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she added. “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 from miscarriage.”
Meghan pointed out that there is still a stigma attached to pregnancy loss. “Despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning,” she continued. “Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same.”
Earlier this year, Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend were praised for sharing photos after experiencing a miscarriage. The couple—who have two children together, Luna and Miles—revealed that they had lost their third child, a son, after suffering from pregnancy complications.
Teigen and Legend join other high-profile figures, including Mariah Carey and Beyoncé, in sharing their loss of a child. “What nobody tells you is that miscarriage happens all the time, to more women than you’d ever guess, given the relative silence around it,” Michelle Obama wrote in her memoir, Becoming. “I learned this only after I mentioned that I’d miscarried to a couple of friends, who responded by heaping me with love and support and also their own miscarriage stories.”
This article was originally published on British Vogue