Two years ago, news of Chrissy Teigan and John Legend’s loss of their son, Jack, trickled through the world. They were met with both support and criticism for sharing their loss, especially in such a raw and vulnerable way. The news came on the eve of Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month, and it was a stark reminder of just how much more awareness and understanding is needed around these devastating losses.
A year later, Chrissy posted a heartbreaking update with a new photo, marking the anniversary of Jack’s loss: “and to the son we almost had. a year ago you gave me the greatest pain I could ever imagine to show me I could survive anything, even if I didn’t want to. i didn’t get to take care of you but you came and went to get me to love myself and take care of myself because our bodies are precious and life is a miracle. they told me it would get easier but yeah, that hasn’t started yet. mom and dad love you forever.”
And loss parents everywhere nodded in understanding. Chrissy has so vulnerably shared herself through this excruciating loss and life after, and we are so grateful for the awareness she has continued to raise.
Now, two years out from her loss of Jack, Chrissy is pregnant after loss. She hasn’t held back as she has shared about the emotional experience. In September, she tweeted, “I finally feel the baby so I don’t need to text my doc for a daily drive by ultrasound anymore.”
I finally feel the baby so I don’t need to text my doc for a daily drive by ultrasound anymore
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 20, 2022
Our hearts are with Chrissy and John as they continue to navigate their pregnancy after loss, and we’re holding hope for them as we await the safe and healthy arrival of their fourth child.
Just four weeks after her loss in 2020, Chrissy shared a heartbreaking, raw, and beautiful essay about the birth and loss of her son. She wrote about taking and sharing the photos:
I had asked my mom 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.
I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done. 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.
People who have not experienced loss can have a hard time understanding why parents would want to share photos of their babies who died.
So, we asked the moms in our Pregnancy After Loss Support community, “Why do you share photos of your babies who died?”
- They are our children, and we love them. We share our living children, and we love our babies who died just as much.
- They are beautiful and perfect and deserve to be shared.
- So they can be remembered. One of our greatest fears is that our babies who died will be forgotten. Photos are a reminder to those around us that they were here. They existed. And we love and miss them.
- We are proud of these children and we want the world to know about them.
- We want people to understand that they were real and perfect babies, not just a pregnancy that didn’t work out.
- We need support and love through our grief.
- Many of our loved ones never got to meet these precious children, so sharing photos is a way for them to get to know our babies who died.
- To spread awareness that pregnancy, infant, and child loss still happens.
- It is our job as their parents to keep their memory alive and share their legacy.
- It is a way to parent our children, even after their death.
- They are unique children who deserve to be celebrated.
- To educate on the experience of grief and loss.
- They matter.
- These are the only photos and memories we will ever have of our children who died, and we treasure them.
- They bring us joy. We want the world to know our babies.
- So others know they are not alone.
- They are woven deeply into the fabric of our family’s story and deserve to be shared and spoken about.
- We shared our pregnancies, so we will also share their arrival.
- So others know the signs so they may not have to experience loss as well.
- We think of them every day, even as the world marches on.
- They lived. They existed. Death can’t take that away.
- So others know that their losses were not their fault.
- They made an immense impact on our lives.
- They made us parents, and we want to celebrate that.
- Their existence isn’t a secret, and we don’t want to hold their memory alone.
We are their voice. We speak their names. We share their photos. We tell their stories. Because they can no longer do those things. And we will honor them for as long as we live.
- How to cope with the death of your baby
- 10 Ways to Support a Bereaved Parent during Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month
- Dear Meghan, I am sorry for the assumptions I made about your pregnancy after loss
- Because of you, my child, I will forever have footprints on my heart
- What to Expect When Your Baby Dies
- “Why do my babies keep dying?” The Importance of Sharing our Stories–Even Celebrities
I support Chris’s. Nobody can tell you how to grieve, period. May Jack rest in peace
I am going to use some of these comments with reference and credit to you in my new book Whisper their names ” . Please let me know if you have any objections.thankyou for your work.
Jennifer, I have reached out to you by email. ~Valerie
Thanks for sharing Chrissy, my Son and his beautiful wife lost their first baby at 7 mos and I’m sure glad they took pictures! Sheppard Grace is my little Angel and I will always love her and they even FaceTimed with me after the birth. I’m so thankful they had the strength to do that as it was so special even though it was the most difficult time in our lives. Thank you for bringing awareness to this way too often tragedy. We’re hopeful that they’ll soon have a family but Sheppard will always be a part of our family and I’m thankful to God for her but miss her terribly 💜
Out of the nightmare and worse day of our life will become our most precious memories. This is what I told my daughter after her near death and the death of my grandson. Because in all the pain we had to dig deep to find the blessings. She got to be pregnant and carry him, we got to see the ultrasounds and watch him grow as her bump became noticeable, she gave birth to the most precious tiny little boy, we got to hold him, see his beauty , trace every perfect feature, she rocked him, we took irreplaceable pictures and gave him all our love in our hearts that day . So many never get any of these blessing we where given. These memories are difficult and devastating, but are all we have. We will be celebrating his first birthday next Sunday . It will be heartbreaking but Griffin will always be our blessing that God gave us and forever be our precious sweet boy that we love so much.
47 years ago I lost a little girl at 21 weeks…I was never given the opportunity to see her, and to this day I have regrets for that. My friends never wanted to discuss the loss, and yet I was consumed by it. I have never forgotten her, and quietly remember her every January 10th. I celebrate those women who are able to gain the strength to hold their “still child”, to take pictures and to honour the life that could have been…my loss has now been channeled into talking with others who have lost. It has given me strength to forgive those friends who didn’t know how to help even after all these years… We had a 2 year old daughter at the time, and then had 2 more daughters now grown with children of their own…yet I have never, nor will I ever forget all those years ago.
I lost a child at 4.5 mons of pregnancy. I had just become comfortable with getting into the 2nd trimester. I cried for days. My ex was extremely unsupportive. The dr. Gave me the passing comment “it happens more often than you think” to I guess comfort me in the most callused way. They asked me if I wanted to know the gender. I said no. I regret that often. I hated seeing pregnant people. I declined invites to baby showers. And when I got pregnant with my last daughter and some complications arose I had a full meltdown. It is not easy. Talking about it and raising awareness is the first step. But becoming comfortable with knowing you did experience a loss and it is okay to be sad and also happy about other things is the next and harder step.