Chrissy Teigen was not alone in mourning the baby she and John Legend called Jack. So many of us felt her grief from afar on Thursday, after learning the news Teigen had lost her baby about halfway through her pregnancy. And those close to her were also deeply affected by this pain, including Teigen’s mother, Vilailuck “Pepper” Teigen, who shared her own post about losing Jack on Thursday night. (Warning: The video below may be very hard for some to watch.)
“My heart aches love you so much baby Jack,” Vilailuck wrote on Instagram, adding a phrase in Thai that translates to “To happiness,” according to People.
The post is a video of the grandmother and cookbook author crying as she looks at the baby (out of the camera’s view) held in a doctor or nurse’s arms. She says, “I’m sorry” to him, caresses him, and kisses him on the head. To say this is heartbreaking to witness is a vast understatement.
Along with the black-and-white photos Teigen posted after losing the baby, this is such an important post. It can’t have been easy to put a moment this private and painful out into the world. But this family has made a sacrifice that will help so many other families experiencing pregnancy loss. While parents are now becoming more comfortable speaking about the grief they feel after miscarriage or stillbirth, we have seen very little from grandparents. But their sadness makes so much sense. To the younger parents out there, think about the excitement you might one day feel about your babies having a family of their own. Then think about what it would be like to see your own children go through this one day.
Others who have gone through this appreciated Vilailuck’s post.
“My first-born was a stillborn and my mom stayed by her for hours while the drugs they gave me wore off,” karymaynard commented on the post. “The soul connection between a grandchild and their grandmother is deep. And now you have the hard job of caring for your daughter…. I send you so much love and I am sorry you have to experience such trauma and pain. I will be praying for you and your family.”
After Teigen shared her loss on Wednesday night, she received an outpouring of support from friends, celebrities, and other people who have had miscarriages and stillbirths. (We’re not going to give space here to the anti-choice haters and cruel QAnon conspiracy theorists who also flooded her feeds. They don’t deserve your eyeballs or your brain cells.) A few heartless souls criticized her for showing the intimate moment she held her baby at the hospital — which, yes, it is hard to see. But many explained why it was so good that she did this.
“These photos are so important, not just for breaking taboo, but also for your own memories,” noshrinkingv commented on Teigen’s Instagram. “I lost my daughter Scarlett at 33 weeks, and the photos I have during the horrendously sad birth process are also memories of her and her life. A double-edged sword of saying hello and goodbye in the same moment. As painful as it is looking back, seeing her face in those pics means so much. I think of her every day, and even though the feeling of love is accompanied by the sharp pain of the memories of tragedy as loss, it is HER. It is all wrapped up together. I wish you love in surviving your loss. One day you will no longer cry in the shower so no one hears you, you will wake up without pain of the memory of the loss and you will remember Jack with warmth and a sigh.”
If you or someone you know has experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of an infant, visit Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support to find local support groups and other resources to help cope through this difficult time.
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