Chrissy Teigen has penned an important and heartbreaking essay on her decision to document her miscarriage. Just under a month ago, the model and her husband John Legend, revealed that they had lost their third child, a son, after suffering from pregnancy complications. They named him Jack. The couple – who have two children, Luna and Miles – shared photos of the moment on social media, and now Teigen has written an intimate testimony explaining why they chose to do so.
In an essay published on Medium, Teigen revealed that she lost Jack halfway through her pregnancy. She was given multiple blood transfusions and was diagnosed with partial placenta abruption. “I had already come to terms with what would happen: I would have an epidural and be induced to deliver our 20 week old, a boy that would have never survived in my belly (please excuse these simple terms),” Teigen wrote. “I was previously on bedrest for over a month, just trying to get the little dude to 28 weeks, a ‘safer’ zone for the fetus.”
Both Teigen and Legend had spent days in hospital hoping for the best, but things didn’t improve for them. “My bleeding was getting heavier and heavier. The fluid around Jack had become very low – he was barely able to float around. At some points, I swore it was so low I could lay on my back and feel his arms and legs from outside my belly,” Teigen wrote. “After a couple nights at the hospital, my doctor told me exactly what I knew was coming – it was time to say goodbye. He just wouldn’t survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either. We had tried bags and bags of blood transfusions, every single one going right through me like we hadn’t done anything at all.”
Teigen was then told it was “time to let go”. “I cried a little at first, then went into full blown convulsions of snot and tears, my breath not able to catch up with my own incredibly deep sadness,” she wrote. “Even as I write this now, I can feel the pain all over again. Oxygen was placed over my nose and mouth, and that was the first picture you saw. Utter and complete sadness.”
Teigen then asked Legend and her mother to take photos of her to document their loss, even though it made them uncomfortable. “I explained to a very hesitant John that I needed them, and that I did NOT want to have to ever ask. That he just had to do it. He hated it. I could tell. It didn’t make sense to him at the time,” she wrote. “But 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.”
Since their loss, the couple has been praised for helping to destigmatise pregnancy loss which is still considered to be a taboo for many. However, some people have expressed their hatred towards the publicly-shared photos. “I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done,” she said. “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.”
As Teigen has grieved, she’s been contacted by many people, all sharing their own pregnancy loss stories with her, saying “the moments of kindness have been nothing short of beautiful”. “I went to a store where the checkout lady quietly added flowers to my cart. Sometimes people will approach me with a note,” she wrote. “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.”
From British Vogue