Chrissy Teigen candidly sharing the crushing news of her pregnancy loss makes those who have gone through it feel less alone. People like me.

By Melissa Mills
October 01, 2020
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I spent the morning crying.

Like every other day, I immediately started scrolling through my phone while still in bed. Today, before the sun was even up, I saw a heartbreaking post by Chrissy Teigen where she shared that she and John Legend suffered a pregnancy loss. Just days after being admitted to the hospital after weeks of bed rest for excessive bleeding from her placenta, Teigen revealed to fans that she and Legend are mourning the loss of their baby—a son they were calling Jack— after announcing they were expecting in August.

"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before," Teigen shared in a devastating Instagram post. "We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough."

Teigen, who previously said she was about halfway through her pregnancy and technically suffered a stillbirth, has openly shared her complications and showed her followers her tears, her pain, her truth. "We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience," she wrote. "But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it."

And while friends, fans, and other celebrities were quick to shower the couple with love and prayers for healing, the haters didn't hesitate to call Teigen's choice to share this update—and photograph the excruciating experience—narcissistic, shameful, and exploitative. How dare she put something so private on social media.

The thing is, Teigen sharing her pregnancy loss so publicly was triggering for me—but it was also honest and brave and much-needed. It was cathartic to feel a connection to Teigen and the many, many followers who commented with their own tragic losses and how they have been able to pull through. Because I've had two miscarriages but never had the courage to share my story with anyone but family and close friends. Until today.

October 1 creeps up on me every year. That's because I suffered two miscarriages exactly two years apart—on October 1, 2017 and October 1, 2019. Coincidentally, it's also the first day of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, a time to recognize families that have experienced loss.

Now I've shared a lot online—my engagement story, my ups and downs with my husband after having our son, and even embarrassing sex stories—but I've never talked openly about my miscarriages before. Somehow they seemed too personal; something I should keep private. But, more than that, they felt too small compared to the pain others are going through.

Unlike Teigen, who was farther along in her pregnancy and posted an emotional photo holding the baby she lost, my miscarriages were chemical pregnancies. They both happened extremely early and I was only really aware of what was happening because I had been trying to conceive and testing leading up to my missed period.

The first time, before my son was born, it happened just days after I excitedly told my parents they'd be grandparents. After an ultrasound to confirm what I knew in my gut was happening—that there was just too much blood for things to be OK—a nurse at the hospital told me there was "no evidence" that I was ever pregnant at all. She meant that it was too early for anything to be detected on the scan, but the handful of pregnancy tests I had previously taken said otherwise. Still, it was over.

The second time, when my son was 1, it happened the same day that a friend who was farther along experienced her own loss. I was at the playground helping my kid go down the slide when I felt the bleeding start. We stayed at the park another 30 minutes. I didn't want to acknowledge what was happening. I just wanted my son to have a fun afternoon—and to be there for my friend who was in pain herself.

Both times my pregnancy news was still basically a secret; my husband and I were just wrapping our heads around it. The early timing made it feel insignificant compared to other women who suffered pregnancy loss when they were further along, like what Teigen is going through now. But my miscarriages were painful—emotionally, yes, but cramps were also a constant reminder of the new emptiness—and I still grieved the babies that would never be. There's nothing insignificant about a loss, no matter when it occurs.

The fact that Teigen decided to share her family's heartbreaking news is actually helping to destigmatize pregnancy loss and show others that it's more common than we think. The reality is that 1 in 4 women will experience miscarriage, and it's probably happened to someone you know. We've all just been taught that it's taboo to talk about our bodies, our periods, our pain. Not to announce that we're expecting until after the first trimester to "be safe." To keep miscarriages, and the anxiety and depression that may follow, hush-hush.

But every time a story like Teigen's—or mine—is shared, a door is opened to end the stigma of pregnancy loss. It helps to create a community of those who have felt the same pain. It's telling other parents that they don't have to do this alone. They can grieve openly and get the support they need.

So on the first day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, let's send our love and condolences to Teigen and her family, honor baby Jack, and promise to keep bringing awareness to pregnancy loss and end the isolation that so many women who experience it feel. Let's break the silence this October—and every month.

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