A popular figure in the style world is breaking the silence around pregnancy loss. On Dec. 6, Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine opened up about her recent miscarriage in an essay titled, “The Baby I Lost, the Person I’m Finding.”
Medine revealed that she suffered a miscarriage in November at 14 weeks into her first pregnancy. “It is pain I don’t wish upon Hitler’s most devout follower,” she wrote. “It felt impossible to deal with emotionally, but even harder to try and suppress, which I so wanted to. “
As Medine was coping with her loss, several close friends announced that they were pregnant, which worsened her grief. Describing her feelings in the aftermath, she wrote:
“It’s only been 11 days. I felt it instantaneously: I had gone from pregnant to regular again in a cruel, brutal flash. The second beating heart was no longer there, the bouncing had conclusively been terminated. But I don’t want to be a regular person. I want to be pregnant. I’ll take the vomiting and the fatigue and the severe mood swings — I swear I’ll work on the nastiness — just please, give me a baby.
Most mornings I wake up and wish I was still sleeping. I tried so hard to figure out why this happened to me, what I did to deserve it, whether I had made some unwitting deal with my deity that I would see professional success but personally, was destined to years of suffering. I take it back. Am I being punished? Tested? I don’t know.”
Medine said she didn’t want to write this essay for sympathy but instead to share her sense of hope. The previous day, she wrote, she felt hopeful and renewed for the first time since her miscarriage.
That morning, the blogger gave her husband a warm hug, to show him how much she appreciated his support in the midst of their loss. “I thanked him for collecting my bones when I couldn’t stand up straight, for watching 26 episodes of ‘Friends’ next to me, even with a splitting migraine on Thanksgiving day,” she wrote. “For letting me say terrible, terrible things to myself. For allowing me to indulge that harsh voice in my head ― for understanding that this voice is just trying to protect me. Even though it doesn’t quite know how.”
Reflecting on those “terrible” things she said to herself, Medine emphasized the importance of self-love. After thanking her husband, she said she looked into the mirror and apologized to her body for her self-loathing words.
“I thanked my body for recovering,” she wrote. “I told us that it’s okay to be sad. That we would get through this, that we’re strong.” Ultimately, she told her body, “I love you.”
Dave Kotinsky via Getty Images
Medine shared an email she sent her Man Repeller team after her miscarriage. In the note, she asked her colleagues to write down things they admire about themselves and things they’re grateful for ― an exercise to promote the kind of self-love she struggled to feel.
The journey has been difficult for the blogger, and it’s not quite over. “Honestly, though, I’m still pretty broken,” Medine wrote. Although in some moments she feels strong, she said that at other times she feels too weak to leave the house or do anything other than hug her knees to her chest and close her eyes.
“But I’m also confident that with time — the greatest healer we know and have — the weak moments will get smaller and shorter,” she concluded. “That when I say we’ll have our baby, no matter what it takes, I’ll genuinely believe it.”
After Medine published her essay, many readers thanked her for opening up about her loss and emphasized the value in sharing these stories.
@ManRepeller Thank you for sharing, Leandra. Most women hide miscarriages and they are so common, we need to hear each other’s stories.
— Sam Mah (@orenji_8) December 8, 2016
@ManRepeller I can’t stop crying:( I wish you the best. This was such a powerful article. Thank you for your sweet words amidst the pain.
— OMG,Yanil! (@thenyorkerstyle) December 6, 2016
@ManRepeller Heartbreaking, but hopeful too. I’m sure many will find Leandre sharing her experience helpful & comforting.
— Jenny Brownlees (@JennyBrownlees) December 11, 2016