A year after she gave birth, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry suffered a miscarriage. The Duchess of Sussex revealed that she and her husband were pregnant and secretly lost a baby over the summer.
In an essay for The New York Times on Wednesday, November 25, titled “The Losses We Share,” Meghan recalled an ordinary morning in July at her and Harry’s home in Montecito, California, when she first realized that she had lost her second child.
“Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table. Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib,” Meghan wrote, referencing her and Harry’s 1-year-old son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor.
She continued, “After changing his diaper, I felt 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. I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
Meghan then described herself in a hospital bed, holding Harry’s hand after doctors confirmed that she had lost her pregnancy. “I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears,” she said. “Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
The miscarriage comes a year after Meghan and Harry welcomed their first child in May 2019. In the essay, Meghan recalled a moment on her and Harry’s tour of Africa in September 2019 when she was “exhausted,” still breastfeeding Archie and “trying to keep a brave face in the very public eye.”
When an ITV reporter asked if she was OK, Meghan responded with an honest answer, “not knowing that what I said would resonate with so many — new moms and older ones, any anyone who had, in their own way, been silently suffering.” She then thanked the reporter “for asking” how she was.
In the essay, Meghan wrote that she thought about that interview when she was in the hospital with Harry. “Watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?’” she wrote.
Meghan ended her essay by writing about how “losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by a few.”
She continued, “We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Meghan then asked readers to “commit to asking others, ‘Are you OK?'” during Thanksgiving this year, especially given the political division in the United States after the 2020 election.
“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 wrote.