Meghan Markle Reveals Pregnancy Loss in a Moving Personal Essay

Writing for "The New York Times," the duchess explains how healing begins with three simple words.

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Even before she joined the British royal family and became the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle has been using her platform for social justice. She's been particularly vocal about supporting women, from her 2015 speech at the U.N. Women's conference to an essay for Time in 2017 about how the stigma surrounding periods affects women's education around the world. Now, Markle has made her mission even more personal in an essay about experiencing a miscarriage for The New York Times. With her words, the duchess hopes to connect with others who have gone through the same heartbreak, and in a larger sense, anyone who has experienced loss and isolation in this harrowing year.

The essay, titled "The Losses We Share," is captioned, "Perhaps the path to healing begins with three simple words: Are you OK?" For anyone who follows Markle, these three words will bring to mind an interview she did that made headlines last year. In an ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, reporter Tom Bradby asked Markle how she was doing, and she gave a very honest response: "Thank you for asking. Not many people have asked if I'm OK."

Given that Markle was a new mother who was in the public eye and had just filed a lawsuit against a British newspaper, the answer seemed very loaded. Now, it's clear that Markle was struck by the exchange, too, and it has given her a deeper understanding of where healing starts. Read on for more details from her moving essay, and for more on Meghan Markle, check out The Powerful Messages Behind Meghan Markle's Post-Royal Wardrobe.

Read the original article on Best Life.

She writes about the morning she knew she lost her second child.

Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke en Duchess of Sussex, arrive in Dublin, on the 1st of a 2 days visit to Dublin, 2018
Albert Nieboer/ Netherlands OUT/Point de Vue OUT / dpa/Alamy Live News

Markle opens her essay by writing about waking up to a typical July morning: "Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table." But, soon, after changing her son Archie's diaper, 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," she writes. "I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."

She went to the hospital with her husband, Prince Harry. "I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears," she writes. "Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we'd heal."

Markle says the conversation around miscarriages is "riddled with (unwarranted) shame."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit a local secondary school in Asni. Featuring: Prince Harry, Harry Duke of Sussex, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, surprising prince william facts
John Rainford/WENN/ Alamy

According to Mayo Clinic, around 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But, as Markle points out, "the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning." With her essay, the 39-year-old duchess is helping combat this stigma.

"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," she writes. "In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing."

She also writes about the resonance of the infamous "Are you OK?" question.

Meghan Markle looks at interviewer during ITV interview on Oct. 20 from Africa
ITV

In her essay, Markle also opens up about her exchange with Bradby when she was in South Africa. "I answered him honestly, not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many—new moms and older ones, and anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering," she explains. "My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn't responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself."

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And how those three words can help us all heal.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle holding their son Archie
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

"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?'" Markle writes. She goes on to list the ways in which many of us are not OK this year. She talks about COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the division that exists in the U.S. "That polarization, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever," she writes.

So, Markle encourages everyone to "commit to asking others, 'Are you OK?'"

She continues, "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."

"Are we OK?" she ends the essay. "We will be."

Markle isn't the only celebrity to recently open up about a miscarriage. Read about Chrissy Teigen's moving essay in Chrissy Teigen Just Explained Why She Shared Pictures of the Son She Lost.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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