Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, said that she had a miscarriage in July, giving a personal account of the traumatic experience in hope of helping others.
Meghan described the miscarriage in an opinion piece in the New York Times on Wednesday, writing that “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
Meghan and husband, Prince Harry, have an 18-month-old son, Archie.
The duchess, 39, said that she was sharing her story to help break the silence around an all-too-common tragedy.
Britain’s National Health Service says that about one in eight pregnancies in which a woman is aware that she is pregnant ends in miscarriage.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many, but talked about by few,” Meghan wrote. “In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
In a startlingly intimate account of her experience, the duchess described how tragedy struck on a “morning that began as ordinarily as any other day: Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table. Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib.”
“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 wrote.
Later, she said, she “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.”
Buckingham Palace said that it was “a deeply personal matter we would not comment on.”
Sophie King, a midwife at UK child-loss charity Tommy’s, said that miscarriage and stillbirth remained “a real taboo in society, so mothers like Meghan sharing their stories is a vital step in breaking down that stigma and shame.”
“Her honesty and openness today send a powerful message to anyone who loses a baby: This may feel incredibly lonely, but you are not alone,” King said.
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