The Underworld actress took to Instagram Friday to defend the way Teigen chose to document and share the unexpected loss of the unborn baby boy she was expecting with husband John Legend. Beckinsale said there’s no “protocol during soul-scouring calamity” when the “unimaginable” occurs — and added that she should know because she also experienced the loss of a pregnancy at 20 weeks.
“I’ve noticed people criticizing @chrissyteigen for sharing deeply intimate photos of the loss of her baby,” Beckinsale began. “As if there’s some protocol during soul-scouring calamity that, if not observed, emboldens people who do not know her or her family to say how she should be handling the unimaginable.”
She went on to share that, “Years ago, I lost a baby at 20 weeks. I had managed to keep my pregnancy quiet and I absolutely collapsed inside and no one would have known.”
Beckinsale, who has a grown daughter Lily with ex Michael Sheen, wrote about the “grief, shame and shock” associated with the loss. She also pointed out how the body continues, “after the loss, to act as if it had a child to nurture. Your milk comes in, with no one to feed.”
She described it as “the loneliest, most soul destroying period of time, particularly if you are not in the position of having an emotionally connected, supportive partner like Chrissy has.”
Beckinsale called it an “honor to be allowed into another person’s grief, especially with a subject like this which so often puts a woman into that hall of mirrors state of life continuing as if the world hasn’t, for you, come to a bloody and terrible halt.”
She concluded by sending love to Teigen’s and Legend’s family, but also to “the women and couples who have kept it quiet and suffered. I know there are so many.” And she thanked Teigen for “making sure it is abundantly clear how devastating this is, and how life changing it can be without support. Let’s let the grieving decide what’s right for them. Send support or keep quiet. This is a really hard time to bear.”
Teigen’s pregnancy, announced in Legend’s music video for “Wild” in August, had been high-risk and she went on bed rest last month. However, due to excessive bleeding she was hospitalized last weekend — at just about halfway through her pregnancy. The Lip Sync Battle host, cookbook author and model had several blood transfusions and while the baby was strong, her placenta wasn’t, she explained to her many followers. Days later, she shared the heartbreaking news that she lost the pregnancy.
With that post, Teigen bravely shared some of the photos she documented in the hospital amid her gutting perinatal loss. One showed her and Legend holding the swaddled unborn child — as real and raw as it gets.
Mental health experts have long encouraged parents to hold the baby, to name the baby, to take photos and encourage relatives and friends to see the baby as part of a heathy grieving process. There are even photographers who specialize in documenting that type of bereavement.
Vilailuck “Pepper” Teigen, Teigen’s mom who lives with the couple and cooks with the Cravings author, was invited to say goodbye as well. Seeing her cry, kiss and pray over the baby was just as gut-wrenching.
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