Great Britain

Chrissy Teigen describes losing baby in heartbreaking detail: 'Utter and complete sadness'

A few weeks after Chrissy Teigen made her harrowing stillbirth public in candid social media posts, the model and author has shared an intimate testimony about her experience, including her decision to have photos taken from her hospital bed during the event and what the public response to them has meant to her.

In an essay , Teigen detailed how she and her husband, the musician John Legend, lost their third child just over halfway into the pregnancy. Teigen was admitted to hospital after persistent bleeding and multiple blood transfusions, and diagnosed with partial placenta abruption. She was induced to give birth to the infant, whom they had named Jack.

“I had already come to terms with what would happen: I would have an epidural and be induced to deliver our 20 week old, a boy that would have never survived in my belly (please excuse these simple terms),” Teigen wrote. “I was previously on bedrest for over a month, just trying to get the little dude to 28 weeks, a ‘safer’ zone for the fetus.”

The couple had monitored the bleeding for days, hoping for things to heal, then it began to get worse.

“My bleeding was getting heavier and heavier. The fluid around Jack had become very low – he was barely able to float around. At some points, I swore it was so low I could lay on my back and feel his arms and legs from outside my belly,” Teigen wrote.

“After a couple nights at the hospital, my doctor told me exactly what I knew was coming – it was time to say goodbye. He just wouldn’t survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either. We had tried bags and bags of blood transfusions, every single one going right through me like we hadn’t done anything at all.”

“I was told it would be time to let go in the morning. I cried a little at first, then went into full blown convulsions of snot and tears, my breath not able to catch up with my own incredibly deep sadness. Even as I write this now, I can feel the pain all over again. Oxygen was placed over my nose and mouth, and that was the first picture you saw. Utter and complete sadness.”

Teigen described how she had requested Legend and her mother take photos to document the delivery, “no matter how uncomfortable it was”, even though they knew their baby would not survive.

“I explained to a very hesitant John that I needed them, and that I did NOT want to have to ever ask. That he just had to do it. He hated it. I could tell. It didn’t make sense to him at the time. But I knew I needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after [giving birth to their other two children] Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story.”

Teigen’s openness about her stillbirth had been praised by many who saw it as an important step in demystifying an extremely common experience for women but nevertheless one that is often incredibly distressing.

chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen)

pic.twitter.com/iBFKYtYwi2

In the blogpost, she hit back at critics who told her she ought not to have shared such intimate photos of the delivery.

“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,” she said.

“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. The thoughts of others do not matter to me.”

She followed up by describing the experience of the epidural – “I had always laughed about how much I loved epidurals … not so much this one” – and the delivery itself.

“The doctors yelled for a bit and … I don’t know what to say, even now. He was out. My mom, John and I each held him and said our own private goodbyes, mom sobbing through Thai prayer,” she wrote.

“I dunno how long he had been waiting to be delivered for. That will probably always haunt me. Just writing it makes my nose and eyes tingle with tears. All I know now is his ashes are in a small box, waiting to be put into the soil of a tree in our new home, the one we got with his room in mind.”

Teigen thanked the many people who had contacted her to share their own experiences of pregnancy loss, saying “the moments of kindness have been nothing short of beautiful”.

“I went to a store where the checkout lady quietly added flowers to my cart. Sometimes people will approach me with a note. The worst part is knowing there are so many women that won’t get these quiet moments of joy from strangers. I beg you to please share your stories and to please be kind to those pouring their hearts out. Be kind in general, as some won’t pour them out at all,” she wrote.

Members of the general public along with other high-profile entertainers have responded positively to Teigen’s openness on social media.

Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu)

I ♥️ you @chrissyteigen thank you for this, your transparency and all the healing you've inspired. We shouldn't have to suffer in silence and everyone who truly understands is incredibly grateful for this and you, always. https://t.co/m8Znd7vNm4

“Thank you for this, your transparency and all the healing you’ve inspired. We shouldn’t have to suffer in silence and everyone who truly understands is incredibly grateful for this and you, always,” the actor Gabrielle Union said on Twitter.

The actors Busy Phillips, Yvonne Strahovski, Ellen DeGeneres and America Ferrara were among the many to express their support for Teigen and her family on Instagram.

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