Pregnancy loss, or miscarriage, is an absolutely traumatic experience for women to go through, but is rarely mentioned or brought to the light. It is not uncommon either, as it occurs in about 10-25% of pregnancies. Chrissy Teigen–model, cookbook author, and wife of John Legend–broke away from the stereotype of not mentioning pregnancy loss. She posted a raw, broken photo of herself on Instagram, along with a description of what she had gone through.
“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough,” she grieved on a powerful Instagram post.
She goes on to explain that, “We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever… To our Jack — I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you.” This is such a powerful testament to the pro-life movement! Teigen, a prominent figure that many women look up to, opened up to her fans around the world and let them in on just a little bit of the pain she was feeling after losing her unborn child.
Teigen doesn’t call it a “clump of cells” or a “tumor.” Rather, she recognizes her preborn child’s humanity. She had a child, and that child died before it was born, and that caused her such a tremendous amount of grief. Not only did she post about this, but she also received a massive amount of responses, many from women who identified with her loss and the struggle of losing a child, whether inside of the womb or outside.
The founder of Tears Foundation, an organization that provides counseling and covers funeral costs of grieving parents, spoke about how powerful Teigen’s testimony is. She explains that, “There is such a silence around pregnancy and infant loss, although 1 in 4 women experience it. Many people may not understand the deep pain and grief that comes when a baby dies, whether it’s due to miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death.” She goes on to repeat the foundation’s message of hope, “It’s a lifetime of lost hopes, plans and dreams for the baby you lost. We want our babies to be remembered. We want you to say their names. We want our baby’s life to be acknowledged just as any other loved one who has died.”
Normalizing conversations about miscarriage is so important in the pro-life movement because it is one way of respecting the life–as short as it may be–of the unborn child. Once society realizes that unborn babies who are miscarried are babies, it is illogical to say that babies who are unwanted by their mother, and are of the same age, aren’t babies as well.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, as well as Respect Life month, and so conversations about the connections between miscarriages and abortion are more than in order. We need to empower women who want an abortion to keep their child, and empower women who have had a miscarriage to grieve their child properly and at the same time recognize that there is meaning behind their child’s short life. In this way, we can become a society that not only empowers women, but also respects life at every stage.