Meghan Markle revealed that she had a miscarriage in July, which she called “an almost unbearable pain”.
“I knew, as I grabbed my first child, that I was losing my second child,” wrote the wife of Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex in an article in the American newspaper The New York Times.
She described how she saw “my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold my shattered pieces”.
Meghan wrote that “loss and pain plagued each of us in 2020”.
The 39-year-old former actress shared her experience to encourage people to “commit to asking others, ‘Are you okay?'” During the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.
The Duchess and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, moved to California to live out of the media spotlight, after they stopped becoming senior royalty in January.
The couple had their first child, Archie, on May 6, 2019.
The Duchess begins her article by describing an “acute cramp” that she experienced while caring for her son Archie.
“I threw myself on the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us calm, the melody cheerful in sharp contrast to my feeling that something was not right,” she wrote.
“Hours later, I was lying on a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the wetness of his palm and kissed his fingers, wet from our tears.
“Looking at the cold white walls, my eyes are glassy. I tried to imagine how we would heal.”
The Duchess continued: “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable pain, experienced by many, but spoken by few.
“In the pain of our loss, my husband and I found that in a room with 100 women, 10 to 20 of them suffered a miscarriage.
“However, despite the striking similarity of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, full of shame (unjustified) and perpetuating a cycle of lonely mourning.
“Some have courageously shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks the truth, it allows all of us to do the same.”
The duchess also referred to a TV interview in which a journalist asked her if she was okay during her trip to South Africa last year.
She said she was questioned during a time when she was “trying to keep a brave face in the public eye”.
“I answered honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many – new mothers and elders, and anyone who, in her own way, suffered silently,” she said.
The Duchess is the second member of the Royal Family to speak openly about a miscarriage.
In 2018, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, Zara Tindall, talked about having two miscarriages before having her second child.
‘Breaking the taboo’
It is estimated that one in four pregnancies ends in spontaneous abortion, according to the NGO Tommy’s.
Sophie King, who works at the institution, said that talking about the loss of the baby during pregnancy is “a real taboo in society”, so “mothers like Meghan sharing their stories is a vital step in breaking the taboo and shame”.
“Meghan’s article praises the bravery of parents who share their stories, and those who prefer to suffer in particular can still find comfort and connection when reading about the experiences of others,” she said.
“Your honesty and openness today send a powerful message to anyone who loses a baby: it can be extremely lonely, but you are not alone.”
- Spontaneous abortion is the loss of a pregnancy up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. If the baby is lost after this point, it is classified as stillborn.
- Unlike stillbirths, abortions do not need to be registered, so there are no official statistics, but it is estimated that about one in four pregnancies in the UK results in abortion.
- Most spontaneous abortions occur within the first 12 weeks, and by far the vast majority occur within the first eight weeks. When a woman reaches the second trimester – the middle three months of pregnancy – there is a much less chance of miscarriage.
- About half of spontaneous abortions are believed to occur because something went wrong with the initial development of the egg or sperm.
- Spontaneous abortions can also occur due to a blood clotting problem that can deprive the baby of oxygen, hormonal problems, a problem with the shape or strength of the uterus or cervix, large fibroids (non-cancerous tumors) in the uterus or infection .
- The two main risk factors for miscarriage are the woman’s age and the number of miscarriages she has had. As women age, their eggs also age and abnormalities are more likely.
Source: UK Abortion Association
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