Miscarriages are incredibly painful, personal events.
They’re also shockingly common. Somewhere from 10 to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, according to the Mayo Clinic, though the number may be much higher because many women don’t realize they’re pregnant.
Celebrities are not immune from reality. Some have eve chosen to share their stories in an effort to make other families feel less alone in their grief.
On November 25th, Meghan Markle told the world that she suffered through a miscarriage this year. In an article published in The New York Times called “The Losses We Share,” Markle described the pain and fear she felt when she miscarried in July.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote. But in spite of the “staggering commonality of this pain,” she continued, “the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
Her op-ed was an attempt to shift that cycle. She encouraged readers to check in with each other. “This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points. Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating,” she wrote, encouraging everyone to ask each other a simple question: “Are you okay?”
This September, Chrissy Teigen shared a heartbreaking post and a series of devastating photos taken just after she miscarried.
Teigen was 20 weeks along when she was diagnosed with “partial placenta abruption,” which blocks the supply of nutrients and oxygen from the baby to the mother.
“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 wrote in the post.
Later, she responded to critics by telling them that the post was intended specifically for people who had experienced similar grief.
Beyonce and Jay_z
Beyonce first spoke about her miscarriages in 2013, in the HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream. She described the events as “the saddest thing I’ve ever been through.”
Her husband, Jay-Z, mentioned the event and the birth of his daughter Blue Ivy in his song “Glory,” which featured the lyric “Last time the miscarriage was so tragic, we was afraid you’d disappear, but nah, baby, you magic.”
In a 2020 interview with Elle, Beyonce opened up about the miscarriages she suffered before Blue Ivy’s birth, and how motherhood has changed her.
“Success looks different to me now. I learned that all pain and loss is in fact a gift,” she said. “Having miscarriages taught me that I had to mother myself before I could be a mother to someone else.”
The beloved former First Lady told ABC News about how alone she felt when she miscarried, before the birth of her daughters Sasha and Malia.
“I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed,” Michelle said. “I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them. We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
Eventually, Obama was able to conceive through IVF. “That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen and the biological clock is real because egg production is limited — I realized that as I was 34 and 35, and we had to do IVF,” she continued. “I think it’s the worst thing we do to each other as women: not share the truth about our bodies and how they work and how they don’t work.”
The Friends actress suffered a miscarriage while starring on the show, and said it was “terrible having to be funny” while grieving. A scene where Rachel gives birth was particularly painful for Cox, who was later diagnosed with a MTHFR gene mutation, which often leads to blood clots that cause miscarriages. “I get pregnant pretty easily, but I have a hard time keeping them,” she said.
Finally, with the help of IVF, she was able to welcome her daughter Coco at the age of 40.
Alanis Morrissette – People
When she appeared on Armchair Expert, Alanis Morrissette said that she “had a bunch of miscarriages” between having her three kids. Trust and hope kept her going even as she feared she’d never be able to have the three kids she dreamed of.
“We were chasing and just showing up and then surprises and then devastations and all of it,” she said. “But, I mean, I do trust. I have this trust pilot light thing that keeps cooking along — even when there’s a torrential downpour it’s still flickering — of hope and faith and vision for something to work out, whatever it is.”
The process was a learning experience as well as a deeply painful event. “I … learned so much about my body and biochemistry and immunity and gynecology through the process,” she said. “It was a torturous learning and loss-filled and persevering process.”
The Jar of Hearts singer experienced a miscarriage in January 2020.
“Today I had a miscarriage,” she wrote. “Baby was 11 weeks old, we are shocked & completely heartbroken…I am so sad but not ashamed. … To all the mothers who have been here and who will be here, I see you and I love you.”
Meghan McCain discussed her miscarriage in a 2019 episode of Good Morning America, where she described the complexities of her feelings about motherhood and the surprising intensity of her emotional response.
“I’ve always been agnostic about having kids,” she said. “I don’t feel naturally maternal. I don’t feel this natural draw to motherhood. And I think my response and how sad I felt afterward surprised me.”
Like many of the other women on this list, McCain hoped to make other women feel less alone with her announcement. “Nobody talks about this kind of stuff,” McCain continued. “The only experience I’ve ever had on TV when women are pregnant is streamers and excitement, which is wonderful and amazing, but I just think there’s a lot of other women out there who have my experience and you are not alone.”
Carrie Underwood opened up about the three miscarriages she suffered in 2017 and 2018, saying, “I’d kind of planned that 2017 was, you know, going to be the year that I work on new music, and I have a baby. We got pregnant early 2017, and didn’t work out.”
At first she tried placing her faith in God, and tried to resist the urge to be angry. “I had always been afraid to be angry,” she told CBS. “Because we are so blessed. And my son, Isaiah, is the sweetest thing. And he’s the best thing in the world. And I’m like, ‘If we can never have any other kids, that’s okay, because he’s amazing.’ And I have this amazing life. Like, really, what can I complain about? I can’t. I have an incredible husband, incredible friends, an incredible job, an incredible kid. Can I be mad? No.”
But when it seemed like she was going to suffer through a fourth miscarriage, she “got mad,” and began to ask, “Why on Earth do I keep getting pregnant if I can’t have a kid? Like, what is this? Shut the door. Like, do something. Either shut the door or let me have a kid.
“And for the first time, I feel like I actually I told God how I felt,” she added. “That was like a Saturday — and the Monday I went to the doctor to, like, confirm, another miscarriage.” But the baby survived.
The year was formative for her. “It was … a very soul-searching year for me,” she said. “There were some personal things that happened. And I had the accident and all of that to get through … and just life. Life is full of ups and downs, and I might have had a few more downs than ups last year.” That same year, she suffered a bad fall on the steps of her Nashville home, which led to surgery and stitches on her face. The year shifted her perception of the world. “It was also a perception thing, because I look at myself [now] and I see it quite a bit, but other people are like, ‘I wouldn’t have even noticed.’ Nobody else looks at you as much as you think they do,” she said. “Nobody notices as much as you think they will, so that’s been nice to learn.”
Shay Mitchell – Daily Mail
In 2019, Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell revealed she suffered a miscarriage the year prior. “I miscarried and lost the child of my hopes and dreams,” she wrote in a heart-wrenching Instagram story. “Sometimes it’s easier to only showcase the good times on social media, which is what leads many people to criticize it for its lack of authenticity,” she added, and shared a photo of an ultrasound alongside a broken heart.
“The support and affection that so many of you show me lifts me up during even my darkest days, one of which happened last year after I miscarried and lost the child of my hopes and dreams,” she wrote.
Mitchell continued, “In the spirit of the new year, I think that we need to remember that we are all on this journey together — in good times and bad — and to remind ourselves that we seldom really know or understand the struggles and hardships that other people are going through.”
In the song “Happy,” Pink sings, “Since I was 17, I’ve always hated my body / and it feels like my body’s hated me.”
She later told USA Today that the lyric was about a miscarriage she suffered as a teenager. “The reason I said [that] is because I’ve always had this very tomboy, very strong gymnast body, but actually at 17 I had a miscarriage,” she said. “And I was going to have that child.”
The miscarriage made the singer feel broken, but her confessions and songs are aimed at helping others through the same struggle. “When that happens to a woman or a young girl, you feel like your body hates you and like your body is broken, and it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do,” she continued. “I think it’s important to talk about what you’re ashamed of, who you really are and the painful s—. I’ve always written that way.”
The singer suffered through a number of miscarriages since but now has two children with her husband Carey Hart.
If you or a loved one has suffered or is suffering through a miscarriage:
Visit www.sidsandkids.org or call the 24-hour bereavement line at 1-800-308-307