The Duchess of Sussex has revealed that she had a miscarriage in July.
In an article for The New York Times, Meghan wrote: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
She describes how she “felt a sharp cramp” after changing her son Archie’s diaper (nappy).
The royal said she went to hospital with Prince Harry where she watched her “husband’s heart break” as she held his hand.
Meghan 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.
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“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.”
Sky News’ royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills has been told by Harry’s team that the Duke did discuss the baby loss with his family.
She describes losing a baby as “carrying an almost unbearable grief”.
“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,” she said.
The article is entitled ‘The Losses We Share’ and the duchess goes on to talk about the importance of asking people if they are OK.
“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?’, she writes.
“Are we?” she asks. “This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points. Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating.”
Prince Harry and Meghan now live in California where they are starting their new life, away from royal duties.
Other royal women have experienced the loss of an unborn baby, with the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall suffering two miscarriages before having her second child.
The Countess of Wessex lost her first baby in December 2001 when she was airlifted to hospital after suffering a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage according to the charity Tommy’s, which funds research into miscarriages, stillbirths and premature births, with most women losing their babies during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Sky’s Rhiannon Mills writes:“It is a heartbreaking and difficult read. Whoever had written it, there are many of us who would sympathise and realise what a brave step it is to put those feelings down on paper for others to read.
“But this is the Duchess of Sussex, one of the most famous women in the world right now, who knows that every word she writes or speaks will be consumed and picked apart by a global audience.
“As she shares details of that moment with Harry as she lay in a hospital bed, and talks of how it felt knowing they’d lost their second child, we get an intimate, raw and unexpected insight that some wouldn’t expect from members of the royal family.
“I’m told that as soon as it happened Harry and Meghan felt they needed to be able to talk about it, and after several months they decided now was the right time to publicly open up.
“They haven’t engaged with charities who work on this issue just yet, it’s still too early, but as we’ve seen in the past with Harry talking about mental health, the couple hope this will have a positive impact on others who’ve felt unable to talk about it because they’ve felt alone or too afraid to.
“I’m told that Harry did discuss the loss of the baby with members of the royal family.
“It’s also worth saying that Zara Tindall, Princess Anne’s daughter and the Queen’s granddaughter, has also spoken about having two miscarriages in the past.
“Since they moved to America Meghan and Harry have been criticised for some of the issues they’ve decided to talk about.
“It makes her decision to share her experience in this way even more telling. A sign of her conviction that opening up, starting a conversation and inspiring others is far more important than what her critics might think.”
If you’ve been affected by this story and want to talk to someone, you can call the Miscarriage Association for support on 01924 200799, or the Samaritans free on 116 123 or at email@example.com