Meghan Markle today revealed she suffered a miscarriage over the summer in an article written for the New York Times.
The Duchess of Sussex has said she lost her second child after feeling a ‘sharp cramp’ while changing her son Archie’s nappy in July.
Writing in the New York Times today Ms Markle described falling ill at home in Los Angeles and being in hospital tearfully watching her husband Harry’s ‘heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine’ as they grieved for their baby.
Describing the tragic moment she realised ‘something was not right’, she said: ‘After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. 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’.
In the piece called ‘The Losses We Share’, she said: ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second’. It is not known how many weeks pregnant Meghan was, but most women suffer miscarriages in the first three months.
Ms Markle’s New York Times article also describes a year of ‘breaking points’ for the world, including the 1million-plus global Covid-19 deaths as well as the ‘social isolation’ of lockdown and the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US.
‘Polarization, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever’, she wrote.
Today Meghan wrote that her miscarriage had happened on a July morning that ‘began as ordinarily as any other day.’
The Duchess of Sussex said she had woken up, fed the dogs, tidied up Archie’s clothes and crayons before ‘throwing my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib’.
She then felt a pain in her stomach as she changed Archie’ nappy and then dropped to the floor holding him as she lost her unborn baby.
Ms Markle wrote: ‘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’.
Meghan says she has written the article about her own loss to encourage others to talk about it.
Justifying the timing of her article, she wrote: ‘This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points,’ Meghan writes. ‘So, this Thanksgiving, ‘let us commit to asking others, ‘Are you OK?’
She added: ‘Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.
‘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. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.’
Meghan wrote in the New York Times that after losing her child this year, she had thought about the royal visit she and Harry made in September 2019.
She was moved when British journalist Tom Bradby had asked her: ‘Are you ok?’ having just had Archie.
She wrote: ‘I was exhausted. I was breastfeeding our infant son, and I was trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye’.
Meghan said that she admitted she wasn’t ok, saying it later became clear that it would ‘resonate’ with other mothers.
She said that it wasn’t her admission that helped her most it was the question Mr Bradby asked her.
The Duchess was being filmed at the time and she thanked the journalist for asking.
Her New York Times article also describes the turmoil in 2020 caused by Covid and tensions caused by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US saying 2020 was a year when ‘places where there was once community, there is now division’.
Meghan also then describes being in New York in her ‘late teens’ and seeing ‘a woman on her phone in a flood of tears’ – but decides not to speak to her.
Pondering whether that happened she said: ‘Now, all these years later, in isolation and lockdown, grieving the loss of a child, the loss of my country’s shared belief in what’s true, I think of that woman in New York. What if no one stopped? I wish I could go back and ask my cabdriver to pull over’.
In the final part of her piece the Duchess of Sussex warns of the ‘danger of siloed living’ and concerns that many ‘sad, scary or sacrosanct are all lived out alone’.
She then encourages people to stop people to ask: ‘Are you OK?’, adding that she believes that the ‘load of grief often becomes lighter’ when talked about.
The article ends: ‘Are we OK? We will be’.
A Buckingham Palace source said today there was understandable sadness in the royal family about the disclosure by Prince Harry’s wife, which came in the New York Times article.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have openly shared their hopes of having two children to complete their family.
It was no secret they dreamed of welcoming a new addition – a baby brother or sister for Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry told activist and chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall in 2019 that he would only have two children ‘maximum’ for the sake of the planet.
The ITV interview that inspired Meghan’s miscarriage article after she was asked: ‘Are you ok?’
Meghan Markle said that she is ‘existing, not living’ while struggling with the pressures of royal life and media scrutiny.
The Duchess opened up during an emotional interview with broadcaster Tom Bradby for a documentary last October.
Mr Bradby, a friend of Prince William and Prince Harry, asks her if she is ok after an emotional and tiring year.
The Duchess of Sussex’s voice cracks as she reveals she has found it difficult to cope after getting married and giving birth, adding: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m ok.’
She replied: ‘Look, any woman especially when they are pregnant you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging, and then when you have a new born – you know…
‘And especially as a woman, it’s a lot.
‘So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed it’s, well…’
She continues: ‘Also thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.
She wrote: ‘I recalled a moment last year when Harry and I were finishing up a long tour in South Africa. I was exhausted. I was breastfeeding our infant son, and I was trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye.
‘Are you OK?’ a journalist asked me. I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering. My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself.