A few short weeks ago, Meghan McCain posed for a glossy photoshoot with her View co-stars for a cover story in New York Times Magazine. But the TV host’s big smile in the pictures belies a sad truth — McCain realized she was suffering a “horrendous” miscarriage that same day. Now, she is sharing her grief and the lessons she has learned in the loss so that her story might help others experiencing similar heartbreak.
McCain, the daughter of late Senator John McCain, opened up about the miscarriage in an emotional op-ed for the Times, telling the publication the initial news of her pregnancy was a happy “surprise.” It would have been the first child for McCain and her husband, Ben Domenech. However, McCain got confirmation she was losing her child “at the worst possible time” — just ahead of her big photoshoot. “I look back at those pictures now, and I see a woman hiding her shock and sorrow. I am posed for the camera, looking stern and strong, representing my fellow conservative women across the country. But inside, I am dying,” McCain wrote, adding, “Inside, my baby is dying.”
McCain is still mourning the loss of her child and is realistic that she will likely carry that longing with her forever, writing, “To the end of my days, I will remember this child.”
While McCain calls her miscarriage a “horrendous experience” that she wouldn’t wish on anyone, she also understands that she is certainly not alone in suffering this type of loss. It is because miscarriages are so “distressingly common” and yet still stigmatic to speak about that the TV host is coming forward with her story. “We deserve the opportunity to speak openly of them, to share what they were and to mourn,” she wrote.
Like so many women who suffer miscarriages, McCain at first looked for fault within herself. “I blamed myself,” she said. Perhaps it was wrong of me to choose to be a professional woman, working in a high-pressure, high-visibility, high-stress field, still bearing the burden of the recent loss of my father and facing on top of that the arrows that come with public life. I blamed my age, I blamed my personality. I blamed everything and anything a person could think of, and what followed was a deep opening of shame. This, I told myself, is the reason my body is a rock-strewn wasteland in which no child may live.”
Eventually, McCain came to understand the miscarriage was through no fault of her own. She found peace in that, as well as in thinking of her dad. “When my father passed, I took refuge in the hope that someday we would be united in the hereafter. I still imagine that moment, even as I trust that a loving God will see it happen,” McCain explained. “Now I imagine it a bit differently. There is my father — and he is holding his granddaughter in his hands.”