The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has revealed she had a miscarriage in July, writing in an article of feeling “an almost unbearable grief”.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan said in a piece for the New York Times.
Meghan and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, had their first child, Archie, on 6 May 2019.
Meghan wrote that “loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020”.
The 39-year-old shared her experience to urge people to “commit to asking others, ‘are you OK?'” over the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
The duke and duchess moved to California to live away from the media spotlight, after stepping back as senior royals in January.
The duchess began her article by describing a “sharp cramp” she felt while looking after her son Archie.
“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 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.”
The duchess continued: “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.
“Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same.”
Miscarriage: The loss of about one in four pregnancies
- 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
- Unlike stillbirths, miscarriages do not have to be registered or recorded anywhere so there are no official statistics, but it is estimated that about one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage
- The majority of miscarriages happen within the first 12 weeks and by far the majority of those happen within the first eight weeks. When a woman gets to the second trimester – the middle three months of pregnancy – there is a much smaller likelihood of miscarriage
- About half of miscarriages are thought to happen because something has gone wrong with the early development of the egg cell or sperm cell
- Miscarriages can also happen because of a blood clotting problem which can starve the baby of oxygen, hormonal problems, a problem with the shape or strength of the uterus or cervix, large fibroids (non-cancerous growths) in the uterus, or infection
- The main two risk factors for miscarriage are a woman’s age and the number of miscarriages she has had before. As women age, their eggs too get older and there are more likely to be abnormalities
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