Can Twitter trolls please just take a break?
On October 1, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend shared the devastating news that they had lost their baby after suffering from pregnancy complications, just one month after announcing they were expecting. In a post to Instagram, Teigen shared black-and-white photos of she and Legend in the hospital. “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough,” Teigen wrote in the long and emotional post.
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We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough. . . We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. . . To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you. . . Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers. We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. . . We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.
Teigen, who has been open about her previous fertility struggles, and had been documenting the recent hospital stay in the days leading up to her latest post, told fans that she and Legend didn’t decide on their two other children’s names until leaving the hospital, but had broken that pattern with this pregnancy, already having a name in mind for their third child. “For some reason, [we] had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack,” she wrote. “So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.”
Ending her post thanking everyone who’d sent positive energy, thoughts and prayers to the couple, Teigen wrote: “We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.”
Read this next: We Need to Talk About What Miscarriage Is *Actually* Like
Soon after news of Teigen’s loss broke, “Oh Chrissy” started trending on Twitter, with fans taking to the social media app to express their support and love to the couple. But, of course—as with anything on the internet—the trolls just can’t stay out of it. Soon, the messages of support for Teigen and Legend turned not so supportive, with several people who identify as conservative using the trend to attack Teigen—both for her loss and for her outspoken comments on Twitter, particularly when it comes to her stance on abortion rights. Christian conservative writer Carmine Sabia was one of these trolls, writing: “Oh Chrissy Im sorry for your loss. Guess it is not just a clump of cells.”
Oh Chrissy Im sorry for your loss. Guess it is not just a clump of cells. https://t.co/qRF3e7R6HG
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) October 1, 2020
Other apparently anti-choice commenters “congratulated” Teigen on her “abortion.”
Oh Chrissy congrats on the abortion!
— Stop Playing It Safe (@gholtfrerich) October 1, 2020
Some sick conspiracy theorists also took this opportunity to insinuate that Teigen deserved this loss because she’s been linked to “Pizzagate.” (ICYMI, for several years Teigen and Legend have been trolled by members of QAnon—an online conspiracy group—who allege that the famous pair are pedophiles with links to Jeffrey Epstein. There is no evidence to support this theory and in a September interview with Marie Claire, Teigen talked about the toll the accusations and trolling on social media was taking on her mental health.)
Oh Chrissy…Ohhhh the irony 🍕🍕
— Floop (@fpack11) October 1, 2020
Honestly, what the heck is wrong with people? It should go without saying that attacking *anyone* online is not good; but attacking a woman who has *just* experienced a trauma is straight-up horrific. And for those looking to use this tragedy to push their anti-abortion agenda—equating a person’s right to choose what to do with their body to someone suffering a miscarriage—is severely misguided and downplays both the gravity of the decision to have an abortion as well as the severity and pain of miscarriage.
The people attacking Chrissy Teigen after the news of her miscarriage are so broken it’s honestly kind of breathtaking to see. I feel sorry for their families. Imagine if your mother or spouse was that twisted by hate.
Off to block a couple hundred or so.
— Tom and Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) October 1, 2020
Some “fans” also took issue with the fact that Teigen would post photos of such a private moment. But, others were quick to defend her, pointing out that by being so open about her experience, Teigen is normalizing talking about miscarriage, a traumatic experience that has for too long been stigmatized and typically swept under the rug.
I’m so sorry for you and your whole family. I had two miscarriages. Your strength in talking about it widely will help normalize it for others who may feel so alone. @chrissyteigen @johnlegend https://t.co/dRErmEYHcc
— Dana Fox (@inthehenhouse) October 1, 2020
While statistically one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, it’s still something that many people who experience it feel unable to speak about publicly, which can be imcredibly isolating. As writer Laura Payton noted in a May 2020 essay for FLARE about her own experience, conversations around miscarriages and the physical and psychological effects they can have on both partners need to be addressed—and the realities of miscarriages need to be discussed in pregnancy and parenting books and guides. “While the physical experience varies a great deal, it is simply unacceptable that sites discussing early pregnancy loss don’t make information about what can happen—like what happened to me—available,” she wrote. “It leaves us in the dark about a very common life event, relying on other women to warn us, even though we’re encouraged to keep miscarriage private. Losing a pregnancy is a devastating experience. Women deserve better information so they can prepare themselves for the pain.”
Chrissy and John have given a lot of people permission not to grieve alone. In the midst of their own deep and enduring pain, they offered a gift to those who know this particular form of heartbreak. Whew. That takes a lot of strength.
— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) October 1, 2020
Read this next: Why Is There Hardly Any Support for Moms After a Miscarriage?
It takes incredible bravery to share an intimate and tragic moment like Teigen and Legend did, so let’s give them the privacy and respect they deserve.