The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle has opened up about the devastating miscarriage which she suffered last July, sharing her story in a personal essay published in The New York Times this morning
In the essay, Meghan recalls clutching her firstborn child, Archie, as she knew that she was losing her second.
It was an ordinary July morning, Meghan describes. “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,” she writes.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
Meghan then goes on to describe those heartbreaking moments that followed in the hospital, when she and her husband, Prince Harry, came to grips with what was happening.
“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.”
“Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realised that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?’”
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” Meghan added. “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. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Meghan recalls her and Harry’s tour of South Africa, shortly after her son Archie was born. After feeling exhausted and run-down, a reporter asked Meghan “Are you OK?”, something she rarely gets asked, but was grateful for.
Meghan then asks people to “commit to asking others, ‘Are you OK?’”.
“We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it’s forcing us to look into one another’s eyes — sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears. For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another.”
“Are we OK? We will be.”