Meghan Markle today revealed she suffered a miscarriage over the summer in an article written for a US newspaper.
The Duchess of Sussex has said she lost her second child after feeling a ‘sharp cramp’ while changing her son Archie’s nappy in July.
Writing in the New York Times today Ms Markle described falling ill at home in Los Angeles and being in hospital watching her husband Harry’s ‘heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine’ while they grieved for their baby.
Describing the tragic moment she realised ‘something was not right’, she said: ‘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’.
In the piece called ‘losses we share’, she said: ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second’.
Meghan is the first royal to describe the ‘unbearable grief’ of losing a baby. Zara Tindall suffered two miscarriages while Sophie, Countess of Wessex, lost an unborn baby in 2001.
Ms Markle’s NYT article also describes a year of ‘breaking points’ for the world, including the 1million-plus global Covid-19 deaths as well as the ‘social isolation’ of lockdown and the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US.
Meghan said she suffered the miscarriage while changing Archie’s nappy in July (pictured together in October 2019)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spoke recently about how they feel ‘fortunate’ to have watched son Archie’s ‘first steps, first run and first fall’ during Covid-19 crisis – but have now revealed their own heartbreak at losing a baby
Meghan wrote that the miscarriage had happened on a July morning that ‘began as ordinarily as any other day’.
The Duchess of Sussex said she had woken up, fed the dogs, tidied up Archie’s clothes and crayons before ‘throwing my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib’.
She then felt a pain in her stomach as she changed Archie’ nappy and then dropped to the floor holding him as she lost her unborn baby.
Ms Markle 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’.
Harry and Meghan were last seen together marking Remembrance Sunday where they laid a wreath at the Los Angeles National Cemetery
Meghan says she has written the article about her own loss to encourage others to talk about it.
Justifying the timing of her article, she wrote: ‘This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points,’ Meghan writes. ‘So, this Thanksgiving, ‘let us commit to asking others, ‘Are you OK?’
She added: ‘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.’
The intimate details shared in the article are strikingly at odds with the usual policy of senior members of the British royal family, who reveal almost nothing about their personal lives.
Harry’s grandmother the Queen has never discussed her private life in any media interview in her 68-year reign.
But Meghan and Harry stepped back from royal duties and moved to the United States earlier this year. They have been trying to forge a new role for themselves outside the constraints of life in Britain’s strictly codified royal bubble.
Meghan wrote in the New York Times that after losing her child this year she had thought about the royal visit she and Harry made in September 2019.
She wrote: ‘I recalled a moment last year when Harry and I were finishing up a long tour in South Africa. I was exhausted. I was breastfeeding our infant son, and I was trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye.
“Are you OK?” a journalist asked me. I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering. My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself.
“Thank you for asking,” I said. “Not many people have asked if I’m OK.”
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pictured in South Africa on one of her final royal visits at a charity supporting mothers
The article she also describes the turmoil in 2020 caused by Covid and tensions caused by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US saying 2020 was a year when ‘places where there was once community, there is now division’.
She wrote: ‘A young woman named Breonna Taylor goes to sleep, just as she’s done every night before, but she doesn’t live to see the morning because a police raid turns horribly wrong. George Floyd leaves a convenience store, not realizing he will take his last breath under the weight of someone’s knee, and in his final moments, calls out for his mom. Peaceful protests become violent. Health rapidly shifts to sickness. In places where there was once community, there is now division.
‘On top of all of this, it seems we no longer agree on what is true. We aren’t just fighting over our opinions of facts; we are polarized over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact. We are at odds over whether science is real. We are at odds over whether an election has been won or lost. We are at odds over the value of compromise.
‘That polarization, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever’.
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