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Image / Self / Real-life Stories

Chrissy Teigen pens heartbreaking essay about her pregnancy loss


by Lauren Heskin
28th Oct 2020
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Chrissy Teigen returned to Instagram last night with a series of screenshots of an essay she wrote for Medium about her pregnancy loss.


Since the tragic loss of her and John Legend’s son Jack at 20 weeks on October 1, she’s remained fairly quiet on social media. Now she has returned to explain what happened, why she chose to make their experience public and how she’s feeling now. 

Chrissy begins by explaining that her pregnancy suffered a partial placenta abruption, causing her to bleed constantly. A month of strict bedrest and a series of blood transfusions could not stem the bleeding, which grew heavier and heavier. “After a couple nights at the hospital, my doctor told me exactly what I knew was coming — it was time to say goodbye. He just wouldn’t survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either.”

Chrissy was given an epidural and prepared for labour. Moving through the halls of the labour ward, she distinctly remembers whooping and cheering coming from passing rooms, the experience of her and John’s pain sitting so close to the ecstatic joy of new life. “You kind of wonder how anyone is thinking about anyone but you,” she says.

She talks specifically about the series of photographs she posted that captured the trauma and pain of that day. Asking “a very hesitant John” and her mom to take pictures, Chrissy says even though he “hated” it, “I needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. 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. . . 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. . . 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.

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Despite the raw anguish of these photos, she has no regrets about sharing them. “I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos… these photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me.” Chrissy’s experience is not uncommon, it is estimated that one in eight pregnancies end in miscarriage. 

However, it’s clear she’s struggling with how much she shared of her pregnancy and subsequent loss. Not because she might have “overshared”, but because of the sadness it caused for those she brought along with her. “I feel bad our grief was so public because I made the joy so public… I was so positive it would be okay. I feel bad that I made you all feel bad. I always will.”

Now, she swings between feeling the happiness of her two toddlers running about the house and the guilt of feeling “too happy”. She keeps forgetting she is no longer pregnant, holding her belly as she walks and having a jolt of fear when one of her children bounces over to her, before the reality crashes in again. “The clarity after these moments always make me sad.”

However, her main message is to express how thankful she and John are. For the kind words and actions from friends and strangers, for how embraced they have felt and for the guidance offered. “These strangers always tell me that life will move on, just differently. They tell me to not let anyone tell me this was “God’s plan”, or that we will “have another soon”,” she says. “Thanks to you, I will block this out forever.”

Now, they’re waiting to bury Jack’s ashes under a tree in their new home, “the one we got with his room in mind”.

She signs off:

“With so, so, so much love,

Chrissy”

You can read the full essay here.

Featured image: Chrissy Teigen on Instagram


Read more: ‘Our pregnancy loss broke my heart. This weekend we said goodbye’

Read more: ‘Everything I learnt about grief after my youngest daughter died’

Read more: A day in the working life of bereavement midwife, Sarah Cullen