'There is grief, shame and shock so often that come with an experience like this, plus the heartbreak of your body continuing, after the loss, to act as if it had a child to nurture'
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend announced the tragic news last week that they had lost their third baby ‘about halfway through pregnancy’ after complications.
Chrissy was hospitalised on Sunday night due to bleeding, and the following Wednesday, the couple confirmed that their son, who was reported to be 20-24 weeks, had died, releasing a series of black and white photographs of the heartbreaking day.
‘We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,’ Chrissy posted to her social media platforms, alongside the photographs. ‘We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough.’
The post continues: ‘We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.
‘To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you.
‘Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers. We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you,’ Chrissy continued. ‘We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.’
But while Chrissy and John’s brave statement did prompt the outpouring of love and support that you would expect, it also prompted a lot of abuse, with many judging their public mourning and use of social media so close to the tragedy and accusing it of being a publicity stunt.
Among the high profile names to come to Chrissy and John’s defence was Kate Beckinsale, who took to her Instagram to share her own experience of losing a pregnancy at 20 weeks.
‘I’ve noticed people criticizing Chrissy Teigen for sharing deeply intimate photos of the loss of her baby,’ Kate captioned her Instagram. ‘As if there’s some protocol during soul-scouring calamity that, if not observed, emboldens people who do not know her or her family to say how she should be handling the unimaginable.’
She continued: ‘Years ago, I lost a baby at 20 weeks. I had managed to keep my pregnancy quiet and I absolutely collapsed inside and no one would have known. There is grief, shame and shock so often that come with an experience like this, plus the heartbreak of your body continuing, after the loss, to act as if it had a child to nurture. Your milk comes in, with no one to feed. It can be the loneliest, most soul destroying period of time, particularly if you are not in the position of having an emotionally connected, supportive partner like Chrissy has.’
Her post went on: ‘I think it’s an honour to be allowed into another persons grief, especially with a subject like this which so often puts a woman into that hall of mirrors state of life continuing as if the world hasn’t, for you, come to a bloody and terrible halt. Sending so much love to the Legend family, but also so much to the women and couples who have kept it quiet and suffered. I know there are so many. Thank you @chrissyteigen for making sure it is abundantly clear how devastating this is, and how life changing it can be without support. Let’s let the grieving decide what’s right for them. Send support or keep quiet . This is a really hard time to bear. Blessings and hugs to all x’
This is very important conversation that needs to be had.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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