Duchess Meghan Markle has revealed she was pregnant with a second child in early 2020 but ultimately suffered a miscarriage in July.

The Duchess wrote in an opinion piece written for the New York Times that she was changing the diaper of her first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, when she 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,” she wrote. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”

The royal went on to describe the difficulty and pain she and her husband Prince Harry felt afterward, dealing with the loss of their child.

“Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal,” she wrote.

She thought back to an interview during a royal tour in late 2019 in which a journalist nearly brought her to tears by asking her, “Are you ok?”

Meghan wrote, “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heartbreak 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?'”

The Duchess continued the piece to discuss the need for compassion and open dialogue around the topic of miscarriage, without the fear of discrimination. “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she said.

She cited a statistic by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimating that around 10% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Furthermore, because 80% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester, women are often told they should keep their pregnancies silent for the first three months.

“Despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning,” Meghan wrote.

The duchess concluded by emphasizing that people are all connected through the pain they endure and that 2020 especially was a year of shared experiences that required shared compassion. “We aren’t just fighting over our opinions of facts,” she wrote. “We are polarized over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact. We are at odds over whether science is real. We are at odds over whether an election has been won or lost. 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.”

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