THE Duchess of Sussex revealed her miscarriage heartache yesterday, saying she held on to firstborn Archie knowing she was losing her second child.
She called July’s tragedy “an almost unbearable grief”.
⚠️Read our Meghan and Harry blog for the latest news on the Royal couple
In an article for the New York Times, Meghan, 39, said she felt a painful stomach cramp and dropped to the floor with one hand still holding Archie, now 18 months.
Meghan added: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
She and husband Harry, 36, were taken to hospital where Meghan said she “watched his heart break” as doctors in California broke the news that they had lost their unborn child.
The couple informed the Queen and members of the Royal Family after the miscarriage in July.
It is understood Harry was supported by brother William and father Prince Charles in the dark days that followed.
A source close to the Queen said: “There is understandable sadness in the family.”
Meghan’s 1,000-word editorial, titled The Losses We Share, described her as a mother, feminist and advocate.
She wrote: “It was a July 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.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.
“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.”
In the article, Meghan also tells of Harry’s devastation.
I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.
She wrote: “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?’.
Meghan also wrote that “loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020” and urged others to ask loved ones that question over the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
Talking is the first step to help
By Lizzie D’Angelo, research policy director at Tommy’s
MEGHAN and Harry’s decision to speak out will help countless others going through something similar feel less alone in their grief.
At Tommy’s we were heartbroken to hear of their experience, but we applaud them.
They have shown pregnancy loss can affect anyone. Now we must properly fund research into it.
And the first step is making it more acceptable to talk about loss.
She also wrote of challenging any taboo attached to miscarriages.
Meghan, who did not say how far she was into pregnancy, wrote: “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, ten 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 licence 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.”
At the time of her loss, and in the weeks that followed, Meghan and Harry remained in the public eye. Meghan filmed a video for the UN’s Girl Up leadership summit.
She also appeared with Harry in a video urging Americans to take part in the US election — a breach of royal protocol.
‘I’ve known her torment’
By Lindsay Hope, Sun writer and mum of three
I’LL never forget waiting to see my baby wriggling inside me on an ultrasound screen.
My son was one and would soon have a sibling.
I’d told family I was 13 weeks pregnant and a few friends had guessed. I’d even thought of some names.
But I’d no clue of what was to come. Miscarriages affect one in four pregnancies — but you never expect it to be you.
I could see there was a problem within minutes. Then came those unbearable words: “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”
I fought back tears as I was told the baby had stopped growing.
I felt an incredible sense of emptiness and glanced at my husband, who was broken. We bolted out of the clinic, trying not to look at the happy, expectant parents.
Then we had the awful job of breaking the news to everyone we know.
Well done to Meghan for speaking out on such a taboo issue. I hope her words bring solace to thousands of other people.
My heart goes out to them.
But charities praised Meghan for speaking out on miscarriage. Sophie King, a midwife at Tommy’s, a UK charity for research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, said: “It’s a real taboo in society.
"So mothers like Meghan sharing their stories is a vital step in breaking down that stigma and shame.”
Zoe Clark-Coates, founder of baby loss charity the Mariposa Trust, said: “We’re just not great as a culture talking about things that make us sad or really open us up emotionally.”
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