pregnancy

'He hated it.' Chrissy Teigen has shared the story behind the raw photos of losing her baby.

This post deals with pregnancy loss and might be triggering for some readers. 

After a number of days in hospital, Chrissy Teigen's doctor told her the news she knew, deep down, was coming.

Pregnant with her third child, a son named Jack, Teigen's doctors had diagnosed her with partial placenta abruption. 

This is when the placenta partly and fully separates from the inner wall of the uterus. It can decrease or block the baby's supply of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding in the mother.

"Finally, I had a pretty bad night in bed, after a not-so-great ultrasound, where I was bleeding a bit more than even my abnormal amount," Teigen wrote in an essay on Medium, after the loss of Jack in September when she was 20 weeks pregnant.

"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."

Her doctor told her 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. 

"Late one night, 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."

Soon after, Teigen and her husband John Legend shared their loss publicly along with a series of photos showing their grief and final moments with Jack.






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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. . . We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital.  But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack.  So he will always be Jack to us.  Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. . . To our Jack - I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive.  We will always love you. . . Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers.  We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. . . We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience.  But everyday can’t be full of sunshine.  On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.

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Among all the responses; the outpourings of love, the condolences and 'thank yous' for being so open about a topic many still sweep under the rug, were other mutterings: 'Why would you take photos of such a personal moment?'

On Medium, Teigen explained.

"I had asked my mum and John to take pictures, no matter how uncomfortable it was. 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 Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story."

Teigen said she "cannot express how little" she cares about those who hate the photos, or questioned her decision to take and share them.

"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."

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Teigen's essay, written as a thank you to her supporters and everyone who sent her kind messages, also explained her ongoing journey with grief.

"People say an experience like this creates a hole in your heart. A hole was certainly made, but it was filled with the love of something I loved so much. It doesn't feel empty, this space. It feels full," she wrote.

"Maybe *too* bursting full, actually. I find myself randomly crying, thinking about how happy I am to have two insanely wonderful little toddlers who fill this house with love. I smother them with love while they 'Muuuuuuum!!!!!' me. I don’t care."

She said she also cries when she gets mad at herself for being "too happy".

"Sometimes I read things that make me gut laugh, or see an Instagram post worthy of a like... And, I always forget I’m not pregnant anymore. I hold my belly when I walk around. I have a moment of freak out when the kids jump on my non-existent bump. The clarity after these moments always make me sad."

She said the moments of kindness - from loved ones and strangers both in person and on the internet - "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."

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I didn’t know how to come back to real life so I wrote this piece for Medium with hopes that I can somehow move on but as soon as I posted it, tears flew out because it felt so....final. I don’t want to ever not remember jack. . . Thank you to everyone who has been so kind. Thank you to the incredible doctors who tried so hard to make our third life a reality. Thank you to my friends and family and our entire household for taking care of me through all the adult diaper changes, bed rest and random hugs. Thank you John for being my best friend and love of my life. A lot of people think of the woman in times like this but I will never forget that john also suffered through these past months, while doing everything he could to take care of me. I am surrounded, in a human therapy blanket of love. I am grateful and healing and feel so incredibly lucky to witness such love.

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She wrote how the essay was what she needed to say before she could "move on from this and return back to life", although after sharing it she wrote in an Instagram post that "as soon as I posted it, tears flew out because it felt so....final. I don't want to ever not remember Jack".

Teigen ended the essay with another thank you.

"Jack will always be loved, explained to our kids as existing in the wind and trees and the butterflies they see. 

"Thank you so much to every single person who has had us in their thoughts or gone as far as to send us your love and stories. We are so incredibly lucky."

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

Join the community of women, men and families who have lost a child in our private Facebook group.

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