Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are mourning the loss of their second child.
In a moving account written in the New York Times on Wednesday, Meghan revealed that she suffered a miscarriage – which would have been a sibling to her son, Archie — in July of this year.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan, 39, wrote in the Times essay over roughly 1,000 words.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” Meghan added, recounting how she and her husband, 36, shared tears later as they comforted each other in a hospital bed.
Meghan went on to share that she was at the couple’s new home in Montecito, Santa Barbara when she realized something was wrong that July morning.
“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,” Meghan 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,” she continued. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
“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,” Meghan explained, adding: “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.”
“Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
The couple has shared the news with their families. And, with the time of reflection around Thanksgiving approaching, she and Harry decided to talk openly about their loss, a source says.
Also in the essay, Meghan recalled the moment in South Africa towards the end of her tour with Harry, when she was asked in her famous television interview with Tom Bradby if she was “OK.” Now, the Duchess of Sussex says that the question has helped her in dealing with her loss.
“Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heartbreak 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?’” Meghan wrote.
She then shared that she hopes more people will be open about checking in with loved ones and not be afraid to ask if they are OK.
“As we plan for a holiday unlike any before — many of us separated from our loved ones, alone, sick, scared, divided and perhaps struggling to find something, anything, to be grateful for — let us commit to asking others, ‘Are you OK?’ As much as we may disagree, as physically distanced as we may be, the truth is that we are more connected than ever because of all we have individually and collectively endured this year,” she wrote.
Meghan continued, “We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it’s forcing us to look into one another’s eyes — sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears. For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another. Are we OK? We will be.”