'An almost unbearable grief': Duchess Meghan opens up about devastating miscarriage in emotional new essay

By Heather Cichowski

'An almost unbearable grief': Duchess Meghan opens up about devastating miscarriage in emotional new essay

In a moving, emotional essay published in The New York Times, Duchess Meghan has revealed she and Prince Harry suffered pregnancy loss this summer.

"It was a July morning that began as ordinarily as any other day: Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock," the 39-year-old began in the piece, which was published on Nov. 25, and is titled "The Losses We Share."

She said she "felt a sharp cramp" while she was changing Archie's diaper.

"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 continued. "I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."

MORE: 'Really, how are you?': Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan talk about the importance of checking in on loved ones during the pandemic

Meghan went on to write that she and Harry then went to the hospital, where they learned they'd lost the baby, and tried to imagine how they'd heal from the loss of what would have been their second child.

Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry with son Archie during their royal tour of South Africa on Sept. 25, 2019 in Cape Town. Photo: © Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

During this moment, she said she recalled a journalist asking if she was okay during her and Harry's royal tour of South Africa in September 2020. She said she realized how profoundly important that question is to so many people.

"Perhaps the path to healing begins with three simple words: Are you OK?" she wrote.

"Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break 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?'"

The duchess went on to describe 2020 as a year full of loss, writing that's something we've all experienced in our own lives this year, from people who have died from COVID-19 and sudden changes in how we live day-to-day due to the pandemic, to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

She also drew attention to how common pregnancy loss and miscarriage are, but how the subject is often still considered taboo.

"Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few," Meghan wrote. "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," she stated. "Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning."

In closing, Meghan urged people to commit to asking "Are you okay?" in the hopes it brings us collectively together. She wrote that even if we are still physically distanced because of COVID-19, the events of this year have proven how deeply interconnected we all are.

"Are we OK? We will be," she finished.

Celebrities have also spoken out in an effort to create a conversation around miscarriage. At the end of October, Chrissy Teigen opened up about her pregnancy loss in a moving essay in which she discussed her decision to share photos surrounding the loss of her and husband John Legend's son, Jack. The two had previously posted photos from the hospital, in which it was clear just how emotionally devastated they were by what they'd experienced.

In the Royal Family, Zara Tindall has spoken candidly on suffering two miscarriages after having her eldest daughter, Mia Tindall, 6, before she gave birth to daughter Lena Tindall, 2.

"I think you need to go through a period where you don't talk about it because it’s too raw," she said in an interview with The Sunday Times in 2018. "But, as with everything, time's a great healer."

Our thoughts are with the Sussexes and others who have experienced pregnancy loss.

Related news