One of the downsides of being a public figure when you share so much of your life is also sharing when super hard things happen. Sadly, as most of you have already heard, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend lost their baby halfway through the pregnancy last night. Teigen has been in the hospital due to heavy bleeding she has been experiencing. It is unclear precisely what the problem was, but she did mention issues with her placenta.
Hearing the news today hit me hard as I had something similar happen to me at the same point in my pregnancy with one of my twins. It’s never easy to lose a child that far along, but when said child was perfectly healthy (which I believe hers was), it is doubly hard. I had a session with my therapist today. We talked through some of the grief I have been holding on to yet was unaware of until recently. My second son Alef was born too soon and died only because of something my body did.
I can only imagine the range of emotions Chrissy is feeling. From a deep sadness that feels like a ton of bricks to mourning her child’s loss and pregnancy. Both were ripped away from her prematurely and so suddenly. She may be feeling so much guilt over what happened, and what could have been. Regret that there there was nothing she could do to protect her unborn child from what her body was doing. All these feelings, while her body is adjusting to postpartum life.
There is no crueler joke than having to be in labor and delivery and hearing other newborn cries knowing that your baby will never take their first breath. She was leaving a hospital after a delivery empty-handed, a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. You can’t walk away from such an experience like that unscathed and without some PTSD.
If Chrissy and I were friends and I could council her today, I would tell her all those feelings are normal. That the pain will get better over time, but there will always be a hole left in her heart for the brother her children will never play with or spend a single family holiday laughing all together. I would tell her that I know this pain and that someday you will understand his fate. But that day is not today.
I talk a lot about how hard it is to experience a loss like this after having to go through so many fertility treatments as they have. While this pregnancy was spontaneous, probably something she thought she wasn’t able to achieve independently, it must feel like a double whammy. Baby Jack made it through significant surgery; clearly, he was a strong and healthy embryo from the get-go. Unfortunately, she will never know why the loss was to happen at this point. We don’t get to know why or ever get answers for unfortunate situations like these.
If she were next to me now, I would tell her to feel the pain and work through it as she can in any way that feels right.
I remember the first time I came home from my almost two month hospital stay between my twins’ birth. We were sitting at the kitchen table when the babies’ ultra-sound picture was sitting in a cute little frame. I lost it and began balling uncontrollably. Despite my husband telling me at the time, I needed to “get back into life,” I knew it had to be at my pace, not his. He didn’t feel the life of our unborn children inside me, I did. He did not know how hard it was every time I realized I wasn’t pregnant any longer. He didn’t know that it took every last bit of strength that I had to leave my surviving twin in the NICU, not knowing what her fate was to be.
Chrissy will get through this as she has no other choice. She has other children and a husband that need her. The only way to make it to the other side is by going through it.
Shortly after I came home, I withdrew from most friends and family members. I wasn’t in a place where I could handle the pity or advice. There was nothing anyone could have said that could “snap” me out of it. I had to do the work on my own. I took myself off of social media entirely for a very long time. I was too raw and emotional to see that life had moved on while I was stuck sitting with such deep pain. I wasn’t ready to deal with all that had happened and fully acknowledge the loss.
So please leave Crissy and John and the entire family alone. Let them grieve this unthinkable loss. Don’t send them messages or advice or hate mail because frankly, even if this has happened to you, their situation is not yours.
If Chrissy and I were side by side right now, I would take her hand, let her talk and cry and scream. I wouldn’t say a word unless she had questions. I would hold her hand as she wept on my shoulder and tell her how her baby Jack’s memory will always be for a blessing.