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.”