I don’t follow celebrities news. Ever. I don’t really care who is eating what, or dating who, or whatever other superficial nonsense they choose to share on Instagram. But your openness about being a mom caught my attention. Something about a supermodel showing us the unsexy side of motherhood made me feel seen. Despite the money, fame and millions of followers on Instagram, your family just seems so…normal. You breastfeed and play with your kids; Order take out and binge eat sour candy until your tongue is destroyed. You accidentally tweeted out the number of your hospital room and had to move because your phone was ringing off the hook. This is how I know you’re my people.
I saw that you were pregnant with your third baby and I was so excited for you. When you started to share the problems with your pregnancy, the bleeding, the weak placenta, the complete bedrest…. I worried for you. I’m sure you had the best doctors money could buy. I am sure you had loads of support and help and all the other stuff people need in that situation. But this morning I woke up to a black and white photo of you crying on the edge of a hospital bed, and I didn’t have to read the caption to know…you lost your baby. My heart broke for you, this stranger who I do not know. You are living through the worst nightmare of mothers everywhere, and I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine your grief. The misplaced guilt and shame you are probably feeling. The ripping sadness of loss. I can’t even comprehend what it is like to come home from the hospital without a baby. My heart goes out to you and your family in the deepest way.
But in addition to condolences, I want to offer you something else: Thanks. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Jack’s story. The story of love, and uncertainty and loss. So many mothers have been in the same darkness you are traveling through right now. Alone. Ashamed. Scared to even speak about their experiences or share their child’s name. And here you are, in front of the whole world, giving them permission to express their pain. You could have gone silent when the complications started. You could have hidden your loss behind layers of uncertainty. You could have kept your son’s name a secret, locked away inside your soul, and that would have been perfectly fine. But you didn’t. Instead you embraced the openness that lead me to follow you in the first place. You shared your struggles, your pain, your story. And your openness in the face of such an inconceivable loss has given millions of women a license to grieve. To open up. To reject stigma. To share their story.
I am writing this with my own baby on my lap. I do not want to put her down this morning. My laptop is balanced on one knee and my coffee is cold. That black and white picture of you with rivers of tears streaming down your face has jolted me. I hug her more tightly. I kiss her soft head. I remember now that she is a miracle. That my life is rich with blessings. Thank you for reminding me that every second with her is a gift. Thank you for sharing Jack with the world. While you grieve his loss, please remember that you don’t owe us anything. You don’t owe us explanations, updates, or apologies. Privacy is still your right. But if you choose to share your pain with us again, we are here, we are thankful, and we are listening.
If you are a Rhode Island mom experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss, we encourage you to find support at the resources below: