"After changing [my son's] diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right," the Duchess of Sussex recalls in the essay, detailing what would have otherwise have been a routine morning. "I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."
It was previously unknown that the royal couple was expecting thing their second child. Markle goes on to describe the tear-filled moments alongside husband, Prince Harry, hours later at the hospital as the worst was presumably confirmed by doctors. "Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we'd heal," she writes.
Markle goes on to explain her motivations behind writing the essay as two-fold: to help combat the stigma surrounding having a miscarriage, which is a common if not often talked about occurrence many go through, and to spark a larger conversation about grief. Between the hundreds of thousands that have succumbed to the pandemic and the Black lives senselessly lost to police violence that kicked off a wave of protests and a national reckoning, Markle writes about the immeasurable amounts of loss and pain we've experienced this year.
Markle recalls an exchange she had with a journalist last year who asked "Are you OK?" while the royal couple was on tour in Africa. In the essay, she explains that she was struck by the unexpected poignancy of that question. Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband's heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, "Are you OK?"