After taking a much-needed break from social media, Chrissy Teigen wrote an emotional essay about losing her baby, a son she and husband John Legend named Jack, at 20 weeks due to pregnancy complications. In it, she addressed how difficult the loss of her third child was for her whole family and why she decided to document her tragedy before she can "move on and return back to life."
Before she was hospitalized for heavy bleeding and a "weak placenta," Teigen had been joyfully documenting her pregnancy with Jack, a pregnancy that came as a surprise to both her and Legend. "I was excited to share our news with the world. Stories leading up to this had been chronicled for all," Teigen wrote in her essay published on Medium.
Sadly, at the end of September, the couple lost their baby boy due to a partial placenta abruption, as Teigen shared in her essay. She and Legend both shared the heartbreaking news on social media along with some heart-wrenching photos from their time in the hospital. While many parents who've experienced such loss appreciated Teigen's honesty and felt her immense grief, some attacked her for sharing the intimate photos. And in her essay, Teigen directly addressed the criticism.
"I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos," she wrote. "How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done. I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like. These photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me."
The mom of 4-year-old daughter Luna and 2-year-old son Miles explained that she had asked her husband to document the moment even though she knew he "hated" having to do it. "I knew 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," Teigen wrote.
While she admitted in her essay that she feels "bad our grief was so public because our joy was so public," Teigen also noted that she has been struck by how kind so many people were in the aftermath of her loss.
"I went to a store where the checkout lady quietly added flowers to my cart," Teigen shared in her essay. "Sometimes people will approach me with a note. The worst part is knowing there are so many women that won’t get these quiet moments of joy from strangers. I beg you to please share your stories and to please be kind to those pouring their hearts out. Be kind in general, as some won’t pour them out at all."
Teigen's decision to document her loss is not uncommon. As Dan Reidenberg, a mental health expert and executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, told HuffPost that "in times of grief, photos help us capture things that we only have one chance to get to remember." And as Teigen explained on Instagram after posting her essay, "I don’t want to ever not remember Jack."