In an op-ed written for The New York Times early Wednesday, Meghan Markle shared that she suffered a miscarriage. She realized what was happening on an ordinary day this past July while changing firstborn son Archie’s 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,” Markle wrote. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
The piece by the Duchess of Sussex was, overall, meant to encourage people to check in with others to make sure they’re keeping their heads above water after the year we’ve all had. Globally, 2020 has been filled with losses of different kinds — in life, good health, in time with friends and family, employment, and a sense of unity particularly in the “United” States. In her attempt to do so, she revealed that she wondered if she and husband, Prince Harry, often ridiculed online and in the press, would be OK after miscarrying their second child.
“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,” she said. “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heartbreak as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?'”
Markle’s revelation also was an attempt to lift the stigma of talking about miscarriages and pregnancy loss. Because it is more common than we think, the duchess wanted to help other mothers remove their shame.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few. 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. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning,” she wrote.
“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,” she added. “We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Markle joins a growing list of women who’ve used their platforms to share their own experiences with this. Hit the flip to see other notable ladies who opened up about their own losses.
The First Lady revealed a lot in her memoir, Becoming, including the miscarriage she had during her journey to motherhood. Though she ended up birthing daughters Malia and Sasha, she opened up about the loss so that others could feel comfortable doing the same.
“I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” she said in an interview with Robin Roberts in 2018. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken. So that’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen and the biological clock is real because egg production is limited. And I realized that as I was 34 and 35. We had to do IVF. I think it’s the worst thing we do to each other as women not share the truth about our bodies and how they work and how they don’t work.”
“I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” the star wrote in her book, We’re Going to Need More Wine. “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
Before welcoming her daughter Kaavia with Dwyane Wade via surrogate in 2018, Union was open about her struggles with infertility.
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’” she wrote in the book. “A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause.”
The former Love and Hip Hop star and podcaster shared in 2019 that she lost a child, a daughter she had named Sanaa, at five months pregnant.
“When I want to cry about it, and I’m not an emotional person, I do. When I’m really upset about something, I just express myself. I don’t hold it in. If I need to talk about her, which is on a regular basis, I do,” she told us last October. “Sometimes I might be watching something and out of the blue I’ll want to talk about her. That’s what I’ll do because that’s what I was told when it first happened — don’t feel like you need to hold it in, and I don’t. I don’t hide her or make myself think that she’s something not to be proud of. The biggest accomplishment I’ve ever had was her.”
She has since been blessed with her rainbow baby, welcoming another baby girl on November 11.
Tameka “Tiny” Harris
Tiny shared in a recent interview with VLAD TV that delivering her daughter Leyah stillborn in 2007 was an experience that impacted her deeper than anything else she’s gone through.
“It was probably like my saddest moment in my life, when I was at my darkest time,” she said. “I’m always pretty upbeat. I don’t really have a lot of times where I’m like down or feeling depressed or whatever. I don’t really have those moments that much, thank God. I’ve had it here and there, but that was the most I’ve ever been like out of it for weeks and weeks and weeks at a time.”
“I was just like, the thought of having a baby but not going home with a baby, that just traumatized me,” she added.
In September, the model, TV and Twitter personality revealed that halfway through her pregnancy, she and John Legend’s son Jack was delivered stillborn following some complications. When she posted photos of herself grieving the loss in the hospital, there were some people who were critical of the move. She wrote in an essay for Medium in October that she wasn’t concerned about them because she knew who she published the photos for.
“I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done,” she wrote. “I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like. These photos are only for the people who need them.”
Earlier this year, model Jessica White opened up about her experience suffering miscarriages during her relationship with Nick Cannon after a troll on social media said Cannon had given everyone but her at least two kids.
“You don’t know anything about my life. If you did you would know how my partner and I struggled with infertility,” she wrote in response. “I am a good women [sic] with a good soul and recently had a miscarriage. When you all are spewing this negativity you have no idea how you hurt other women. This is a part of my life that I struggled with and frankly, this is unacceptable. Who are you trying to attack? When you do this to people you are only bringing negativity and judgment to yourselves. I am choosing to clear this up once and for all. You all have no idea what I personally have gone through including the loss of my children with my partner. Please be careful with what you say to any women including me you don’t know their private pain people who have lost children go through. I will not tolerate this and I am standing up for myself and the countless other women who have infertility issues as well as the ones who have miscarried countless times. I wish you well. Think about your words they can save a town or destroy the village. Ase and be blessed.”
A mother of two daughters from her first marriage, reality star and actress Tami Roman shared that she and second husband Reggie Youngblood were open to trying to have a child together through a surrogate after she suffered multiple miscarriages.
“He has no children. We tried three times. We–unfortunately–suffered three miscarriages. And now we’re considering a surrogate,” she said earlier this year. “I saw Kandi had somebody have her baby. I said, ‘Oh okay chile, that’s what we doing now?’ So we got the eggs and we harvested those and now we’re looking for a person to carry.”
On her birthday in 2018, Eudoxie, wife of rapper Ludacris, shared that she’d experienced a miscarriage.
“This year didn’t necessarily start off right for us,” she wrote. “I had a miscarriage and needed to have surgery. It was very easy to complain and self pity but I refused to let the enemy win. I stayed faithful and prayed up. I spent hours focusing on the many ways the Lord has blessed me. How could I complain when God has blessed me with the opportunity to already experience motherhood? I’m sharing this with you all to remind you to live in gratitude. When the enemy tries to knock you down, get even closer to your faith. My faith has been tested many times throughout my life but I’m only getting stronger. Life will not always go as planned and keeping a positive and grateful attitude will only bring more and bigger blessings.”
The Real co-host and comedian revealed her own heartbreaking experience with miscarriage, which changed her desire to have children in the future.
“I finally went to the doctor and I was pregnant. And I’m going to tell you something, your body goes through so much,” she said on the show in 2017. “And then at that time I started processing ’cause then I had to start saving for the baby. I had to start doing all this. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, what am I going to do?’ Right? And then it was like the dude that I was with, he was excited, but I was still like really really nervous. But then, eventually, you know that nature takes over, you’re like, ‘You know what, there’s nothing I can do. I’m just gonna have to have this baby and I’m just going to deal with it.’ And sure enough, as soon as I was like okay with it, about eight weeks, I miscarried. Yup. So I was pregnant. So, you know, I just never wanted that feeling again.”
The rapper shared her own experience with pregnancy loss on Love and Hip Hop. She had an ectopic pregnancy that led to a miscarriage in 2017.
“After the miscarriage, I was like, ‘I’m calling Love and Hip Hop, I’m telling them to take all of that out of the show. I just don’t want to talk about it,'” she said. “My husband was the one who encouraged me to open up. ‘Babe, the reason why people love you and relate to you is because you’re real and you’re honest,’ he said. ‘If you say how you really feel, there’s some women out there that you’re really gonna help. And you’ll realize that it’s not just you,’ he said.”
After being able to deliver her rainbow baby and “Golden Child” Reminisce, Remy encouraged other women in similar situations, saying, “for those who are having issues starting a family, whether it’s infertility, or rebounding from a miscarriage like me, there is nothing wrong with you. You are still amazing. Whether you can or cannot bare children, it does not diminish or lessen the fact that you’re a woman, and you are you. My journey has been difficult, and a lot of women go through difficult things. But we are strong. And I wouldn’t change any single part of my story.”