Several therapists tell HL that, by publicly mourning the loss of their baby son Jack, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend will help themselves and others grieve a miscarriage.
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Chrissy Teigen, 34, took to Instagram on Sept. 30 to announce the tragic loss of her son Jack with husband John Legend, 41, by her side and experts are now explaining why this is a positive step in a painful situation. “This is a very healthy way to deal with grief because they are addressing it head on,” Hollye Grayson, a Los Angeles based therapist, tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY of the couple who she doesn’t treat. “They are accepting it and acknowledging it.”
The couple first announced they were expecting their third child in August 2020 when the musician released his new music video for “Wild.” The parents to daughter Luna, 4, and son Miles, 2, have been quite open about their struggles to get pregnant and using IVF in the past, but Chrissy and John conceived their third baby on their own.
Still, Chrissy openly shared her struggles on social media after she was placed on bed rest due to a weak placenta and a lot of bleeding. “And it’s so weird ’cause the baby is really, really, really healthy, and he’s big, he’s probably,” she said when accidentally revealing the sex in an Instagram story posted in September. “Anyway, yeah, it’s growing beautifully, everything’s good. I’m feeling good, but my placenta’s really, really weak and it’s causing me to really bleed a lot. So, basically, it’s just pretty high-risk…so we just have to get my placenta healthy again, and that means not moving.”
Being open on social media seems so natural to Chrissy, so it was no surprise that she shared the loss of her son with her millions of followers. (In a tragic coincidence the news came on the cusp of October, which is Miscarriage Awareness Month.) While not everybody is as brave and open as this couple, experts tell HollywoodLife that there is no right or wrong when it comes to grieving.
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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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“Grief is idiosyncratic,” psychotherapist and author of The Brink Of Being: Talking About Miscarriage, Julie Bueno, tells us EXCLUSIVELY. “That might be a healthy thing for them, but having said that, what I do know from the work that I do is grief surrounding miscarriage and pregnancy loss is disenfranchised and it has been silenced and ignored. The majority of women that I speak to very much feel the urge to talk about it and claim it as it very well should be, a grief of their lost baby. In that way, yes, it is very healthy. That’s your need. It sounds like for them, that was a really healthy thing.”
Although the mother carries the baby, it’s important for her partner to honor their feelings as well during the tough time, according to another specialist in this field. “They are grieving also and I think what happens so often is that we…and they assume that their job is to lift up their partner, lift up the one who carried the baby. And so often for them, they don’t allow themselves to grieve,” Debbie Fischer, a Minnesota-based marriage and family therapist who specializes in reproductive complications, says. “For the partner who carried the baby, she sometimes thinks, ‘Well, they must not be grieving in the same way,’ or, ‘They didn’t care as much as I do because they’re not carrying that emotion.’ So I would say it’s OK for them too to show emotion. It’s their child as well and to go in grieving as a couple.”
Fischer adds, “They are going to grieve differently, but they need to communicate really well with how they’re each feeling and to be honest with each other and to be OK to be in that space and in that grief together.”