Meghan Markle Reveals She Suffered A Miscarriage In A Powerful New Essay
"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."
What a year it has been for the Duchess of Sussex. She and her husband left the United Kingdom and their senior roles in the royal family. They moved to Canada and then California during a pandemic with their 1-year-old son Archie. They both spoke out against bullying, against systemic racism, shifting their roles in the public eye to activism and philanthropy. And, it seems, they were also quietly dealing with heartbreak and loss behind the scenes. In a raw essay for The New York Times called "The Losses We Share," Meghan Markle wrote about a miscarriage she suffered in July in an effort to break a longstanding culture of silence.
In her essay, published on Nov. 25, Markle described the morning of the miscarriage she experienced over the summer as an ordinary 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," she wrote.
When she was changing little Archie's diaper, she wrote that she 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," she wrote for The New York Times.
Markle went on to miscarry her baby and described what it was like to sit in the hospital with her husband Prince Harry. "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," her New York Times essay continued.
In those moments, she remembered her royal tour in 2019 to South Africa with her husband and baby. At the time, an ITV documentary called Harry & Meghan: An African Journey was being filmed and journalist Tom Bradby asked Markle on camera, "Are you ok?" She thanked him for asking and admitted that no one had asked her, despite the fact that she was "exhausted." The moment went viral and resonated with moms who also wanted to be asked if they were OK.
At the time, Markle had just welcomed her baby Archie in May 2019, and was constantly criticized in the tabloids throughout her pregnancy and early months of motherhood. She was attacked in the press when she chose to give birth to her son in privacy, for the way she held her new baby when they did appear in public at her husband's polo match... it was non-stop. So it made sense that she had such a strong reaction when someone actually asked her how she was doing.
The heartbroken mom had a realization about that question in her hospital room. As she wrote in her essay, "Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, 'Are you OK?'"
It's a question that she hopes will help other women heal. A question that will help women share their grief at the loss of a pregnancy and unburden themselves. "Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few," she wrote for The New York Times. "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."
Markle concluded her essay by sharing her hope that people would reach out to each other this Thanksgiving, when the world is so different and distant, and ask the same question.