Here's Why Grieving Parents are Coming Together Online to Defend Chrissy Teigen's Pregnancy Loss Photos
Early this morning, October 1st, Chrissy Teigen posted to Instagram to inform her followers that she and husband John Legend sadly lost their unborn son, whom they had begun calling Jack. In her post, Teigen included five gut-wrenching photographs from the night they lost Jack, which has caused some controversy among people who are questioning whether the star should have posted intimate photos from such a personal trauma. However, many people who have been through the same grief Teigen and Legend say yes, and are now opening up about their own losses.
"On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out," Teigen wrote in the caption of her Instagram upload. "But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it."
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, a time of the year to raise awareness about stillbirth, miscarriage, SIDS, or any other cause of death of an unborn child or infant. According to Star Legacy Foundation, infant death and pregnancy loss affects tens of thousands of families across the United States, and yet the topic is one that is rarely talked about.
By visually letting others in to feel her pain despite it being such a personal tragedy, Teigen has, perhaps unknowingly, caused a massive crack in the foundation of the stigma attached to pregnancy loss.
Since her post went live, mothers, fathers, families, and friends have noted that they've found it easier to talk about their experiences with pregnancy loss and infant death. Some have even shared their own photos depicting their trauma and eventual recovery.
"In solidarity with our patron saint of honesty, @chrissyteigen, I share the only "hidden" photo on my phone," Twitter user Justine Harman tweeted on Thursday. "1/8/18, the day I found out—alone at the hospital—that my baby didn't have a heartbeat. It hurt like absolute, smoldering hell. And then I hid it. Thank you, Chrissy."
Another user, referring to the backlash Teigen has received for sharing photos from the loss, wrote, "For those people who have vicious and nasty things to say to and about Chrissy, her sharing was not for you. It's so that our pain is not taboo."
"Last month we celebrated our baby boy's would be 18th birthday," another user, Kmo, shared. "The sorrow dims but never disappears."
Several people noted that the photos Teigen shared further drive home the hollowness one feels after losing a child, and the want to capture those fleeting moments is a practice that is common and should be normalized.
These photos weren't just taken because Teigen is an influencer and celebrity. In fact, many hospitals and private organizations alike offer this service to families suffering with the loss of a child.
And if anyone who is side-eying Teigen's choices in any way needs a reminder, "IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO POLICE HOW PEOPLE GRIEVE," Twitter user Maria Del Russo clarified.
Teigen has always been open and honest about pretty much everything in her life, but her candidness surrounding her pregnancy loss is especially meaningful. The pain she feels is a pain that's been felt by so many others, and it should not be a pain any of us should suffer with alone.