The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has opened up about having had a miscarriage over the summer.
In an opinion piece for The New York Times, Markle recalled a morning in July 2020 when she was changing her son Archie’s diaper when she felt what she described as 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,” the Duchess wrote. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
Hours later, she was in a hospital bed with her husband, Duke of Sussex Prince Harry at her side. “Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal,” she wrote.
She recalled a poignant question posed to her during her trip to South Africa in late 2019, which was the first official duty of the then-four-month-old Archie. The trip was made to highlight a number of charities and issues experienced in the country, such as gender-based violence and drug abuse.
The trip was documented by the British channel iTV, and she made note of how broadcaster Tom Brady asked her if she was “okay” during filming.
“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,” Meghan wrote.
“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. ”Thank you for asking’, I said. ‘Not many people have asked if I’m OK’.”
This question was front of her mind when she received news of her miscarriage.
“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 wrote.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she continued. “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.”
The Duchess also spoke on the pain felt worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve heard all the stories: A woman starts her day, as normal as any other, but then receives a call that she’s lost her elderly mother to Covid-19,” she wrote.
“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 concluded.
The couple made the landmark announcement of stepping down from their royal duties in January 2020, and distanced themselves from the royal family.