While lying in a hospital bed last year, Chrissy Teigen shared near-constant updates to her Instagram account. She showed her 34 million followers the ingredients of her favorite sandwich and described the amount of blood she was losing. Eventually, she shared heartbreaking photos of the moment the couple said goodbye to the child they lost.
Teigen’s fans have come to know what to expect from her. She opened up to them about undergoing IVF and celebrated when she welcomed her children with husband John Legend.
Now, she wants others to join her in speaking more openly about infertility and the toll it takes. “I feel like the more we’re open about talking about something, the more normalized it becomes,” she tells USA TODAY.
“I’m happy to be the one to be able to yell loudly from the rooftops and talk about my uterus and talk about my everything. If that’s going to make other women feel that they can do it too, then I will be that person, and I’m happy to do it.”
Teigen says women often suffer in silence when dealing with infertility issues, which prompted her to be frank about her own experiences.
“I didn’t realize what an un-talked about a thing it was… The outpouring of love that we got when we shared those photos – honestly, since even Luna and Miles,” she says. “Everybody’s seen every high – and the highs are Luna and Miles – and then every low, and everyone’s been there for us.”
Despite the pain of last year, Teigen says she’s “doing great.” “I’ve had to let go of so many things, so many tough times. Of course, things have been hard for everybody, but for our family especially, you know. We’ve been through the excitement of getting pregnant naturally and then losing a baby, and it’s just been gut-wrenching and crazy,” she says. “But I can honestly say at this time in my life now, and after so much healing and therapy and such a community that has rallied around us, I feel really truly good and feeling very at peace.”
She says it was important to her to keep the conversation going. “I didn’t want to just have my babies after having fertility struggles and then stop talking about it,” she says. “Hearing from other women made me know it was something that needed to be talked about more.”
She adds, “I always thought it was essential to share all of our challenges, and you know all of the good things, but most importantly all of the bad things,” she said. “Because in a year where we are really all in our own minds and bubbles, it can be tough to understand or see things from an outside perspective.”
On Monday, Teigen launched the Fertility Out Loud campaign with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and Ferring Pharmaceuticals, which aims to help those struggling to grow their families. National Infertility Awareness Week runs through April 24.
Teigen says she’s endured the “isolating” feelings of struggling to get pregnant, from embarrassment to feeling “like a failure.”
“You feel like your body was designed to do it, so why can’t it do this thing? …You feel like you couldn’t do this one thing that God created you to do,” she says.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight couples struggles to get and stay pregnant.
“That was something that I wish I had known when I was trying, because, to me, it felt like for everybody around us, it was just happening… the way that you think things happen, but (infertility) is so much more common.