By Danielle Galvin
This column discusses pregnancy loss and miscarriage, a warning in case it is a triggering topic for you.
When American TV personality and model Chrissy Teigen shared the heartbreaking details of the loss of her unborn son Jack recently, she received thousands of messages.
Messages from women who had lost babies, at varying gestations, in different circumstances, in other maternity wards across the world.
Reading the story of her loss, and studying the incredibly raw photos she put on social media that showed her on a hospital bed being induced, knowing her child would not survive, it was impossible to not be moved.
“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” she wrote alongside the black and white photos.
She wrote about how touched she was to read of other women who had reached out to her.
All who knew of the same kind of pain she and her partner John Legend had endured.
One thing that struck me about Teigen sharing her story – is that I genuinely had very little knowledge of what pregnancy loss can look like. It’s the first time I have seen it.
It’s estimated one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.
I know there are people who have suffered through miscarriages – who told no one but their husbands, maybe their parents too.
Maybe it had been “too early” to share the news.
But it left them alone, in pain, and grieving.
Grieving for what could have been, losing all hope.
But the positivity out of Teigen’s story is the fact that she wanted other women to know they’re not alone, and she felt buoyed by the support.
Her story shows an interesting shift in recent years.
We are now, more than ever, talking about pregnancy and infant loss.
I have read so many stories recently from celebrities, influencers, regular people – who have shared their loss and miscarriages online.
There has been a shift. A huge shift.
Slowly, we are breaking down the walls of shame and embarrassment, or pain, that stop us from talking about losing a baby. Whether it’s at 6 weeks along, 16 weeks or full-term.
If it happens to so many women, how can we not?
We owe it to ourselves, and to every woman out there, who’s endured this sort of pain alone.
Who suffered in silence because they couldn’t bear talk about it.
And for those who so desperately wanted to talk about it but couldn’t find the words, or who felt they weren’t far enough along to justify their sadness.
I hope reading people like Teigen’s experience is a lesson to all of us that we don’t need to suffer in silence and that it’s OK to talk about the most painful events in our lives.
And maybe, slowly, we can all be better in how we respond too.
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