The Duchess of Sussex has revealed she suffered a miscarraige in July, in a heartbreaking article published in the New York Times.
Meghan Markle explained that she felt “an almost unbearable grief”, and that “loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020”.
Markle and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, welcomed their first child, Archie, on 6 May 2019.
‘Talked about by few’
In the article, the Duchess explained the painful events that lead up to the miscarriage, recounting how she know ‘something was not right’ after feeling sharp cramps.
She wrote: “I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him [Archie] 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.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.
“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."
The Duchess explained that losing a child means “carrying an almost unbearable grief”, and added that it is a tragedy experienced by so many, yet talked about by few.
Following her loss, Meghan discovered that in a room of 100 women, as many as 10 to 20 will have suffered from miscarriage.
But despite the staggering commonality of shared pain, the conversation around miscarriage still remains taboo and “riddled with (unwarranted) shame” that can leave women to suffer in a cycle of solitary mourning.
The road to healing
Markle also referred to her TV interview with ITN journalist Tom Bradby in South Africa, during which she was “exhausted” and desperately tried to “keep a brave face” in the public eye.
The interview went viral after the Duchess made an off the cuff remark after being asked by Bradby if she was OK.
She remarked: “Thank you for asking, not many people have asked if I’m OK.”
In her article in the New York Times, Markle suggests that the path to healing can begin with just three simple words: “Are you OK?”
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy up to, but not including, 24 weeks of pregnancy. If the baby is lost after this point it is classed as a stillbirth.
There is no registered or recorded data on how many miscarriages happen, but it is estimated that about one in four pregnancies sadly end in miscarriage.