Chrissy Teigen writes about pregnancy loss and public grief
Model Chrissy Teigen penned an article on Tuesday detailing the loss of her third child with husband John Legend, her first in-depth public statement since announcing the news weeks ago.
Teigen and her husband announced the loss of their son, Jack, with a series of photos posted to Instagram and Twitter on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 that described “the kind of pain we’ve never felt before.” The model and television personality, who already has two children with Legend, posted about her struggles with her latest pregnancy early on, describing an issue with a weak placenta and abnormal bleeding in social media updates while on bed rest.
In a Medium post on Tuesday, Teigen explained that her doctors had diagnosed her with a partial placental abruption.
“I had always had placenta problems,” Teigen wrote. “I had to deliver Miles a month early because his stomach wasn’t getting enough food from my placenta. But this was my first abruption.”
After one particularly bad night amid weeks of bed rest and at home visits with her doctor, Teigen said it was time to go to the hospital. She described heavier and heavier bleeding until eventually getting bags of blood transfusions — that ultimately failed to help support the fluid around Jack.
“After a couple nights at the hospital, my doctor told me exactly what I knew was coming — it was time to say goodbye,” Teigen said. “He just wouldn’t survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either.”
Teigen delivered Jack at 20 weeks with her husband and mother alongside her. Each of them spent time holding Jack after his delivery, saying their prayers and private goodbyes, Teigen said.
She also described her decision to take photos of the process, a choice that was met with both support and some criticism. The 34-year-old said she “needed to know of this moment forever” and she knew she needed to share her story.
Teigen’s posts moved thousands across the internet, many of whom shared their own personal stories about infertility and pregnancy loss. However, some felt it was inappropriate.
“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,” Teigen wrote. “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.”
Teigen also expressed her thanks for the quiet support she’s received from strangers in recent weeks — a checkout lady adding flowers to her cart or strangers approaching her with notes. And while she encouraged others to share their own stories of loss, Teigen also said that she regrets her pregnancy was so public.
“I was excited to share our news with the world. Stories leading up to this had been chronicled for all. It’s hard to look at them now,” Teigen said. “I was so positive it would be okay. I feel bad that I made you all feel bad. I always will.”
About 1 pregnancy in 100 pregnancies that reach 20 weeks or later are affected by stillbirth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, or spontaneous pregnancy loss, before 20 weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“I beg you to please share your stories and to please be kind to those pouring their hearts out,” Teigen wrote Tuesday. “Be kind in general, as some won’t pour them out at all.”