Parents Who’ve Lost a Baby Understand the Importance of Chrissy Teigen’s Bereavement Photos

Photo credit: Chrissy Teigen/Instagram
Photo credit: Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

From Woman’s Day

Trigger warning: this post discusses infant loss.

Melanie Rodger was a 20-year-old soon-to-be mom living on a military base in Japan with her husband, as excited as anyone would be when they’re expecting. She had enjoyed a textbook pregnancy for 32 weeks, imagining all the future memories she would make as a mom to a newborn son. Then, during a routine OB-GYN appointment, her doctor started to show concern: at 35 weeks pregnant her belly was measuring about the same as it was at 32 weeks. Something was wrong.

“The OB called me on a Friday night, and we had tickets to see the new Harry Potter movie out in town at a Japanese theater,” Rodger tells Woman’s Day. “I remember the phone ringing right before we left and I thought, ‘Who would be calling on six o’clock on a Friday night?’ So I answered the phone and it was the OB I had seen that day and he had told me that they were more concerned than they’d ever been my entire pregnancy.”

Rodger had been diagnosed with “intrauterine growth restriction” — a condition in which a fetus grows smaller than it should be and, as a result, is at higher risk of low birth rate, decreased oxygen levels post-birth, problems handling the stress of labor and delivery, trouble maintaining body temperature, and high red blood cell count. Her doctor told her they would likely induce her at 37 weeks, but not to worry: at most an induction would require a week’s stay at the hospital and some steroid injections for her son so that his lungs could develop. The following Monday, Rodger was induced.

“I remember this rush of excitement, like ‘OMG it’s finally that time to have a baby and he’s going to be here. He’s going to be our baby,'” Rodger says.

Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Melanie Roger
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Melanie Roger

After 32 hours of labor, baby Bennett was born at 2:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Rodger wasn’t able to hold him, as he was rushed to the warming table and then quickly to the nursery. But still, she wasn’t worried. “When he was born alive and crying I didn’t think there was going to be any situation when he wasn’t coming home with us,” she says.

30 hours later, baby Bennett died.

So when Rodger saw the pictures Chrissy Teigen posted of her pregnancy and infant loss, she instantly knew how Teigen felt. The helplessness that follows the realization that there’s nothing more the doctors can do. The pain of having all your future plans — all the family outings, birthday parties, and lazy Sundays spent cuddling on the family couch — that you’ve conjured up in your brain suddenly vanish. The devastating emptiness and overwhelming sense of longing that leaves you almost breathless the moment you walk out of the hospital without a baby.

“I saw the first picture she posted, just looking down at her feet

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Chrissy Teigen Breaks Her Silence Following the Tragic Loss of Her Baby Boy

Earlier this month, Chrissy Teigen and her husband, John Legend, shared the devastating news that they’d lost their baby boy, Jack, at around 20 weeks due to complications with his placenta. Throughout her pregnancy Chrissy had been posting regular updates online, detailing the complications she was unfortunately facing.



Chrissy Teigen posing for the camera: Chrissy Teigen has broken her silence following the tragic loss of her baby boy, Jack, in a new moving blog post. She addresses those who questioned her photos


© Daniele Venturelli – Getty Images
Chrissy Teigen has broken her silence following the tragic loss of her baby boy, Jack, in a new moving blog post. She addresses those who questioned her photos

When Jack tragically passed, the brave couple also chose to share their grief with the world alongside a series of intimate photos, taken while in hospital. Baby loss awareness charity, Tommy’s, said this can be an important part of the grieving process for parents (in response to trolls leaving cruel messages on Chrissy’s social media accounts). Following that, Chrissy has been relatively quiet online, bar telling fans she and John are ‘quiet but okay’.

Now, the model, cookbook author and presenter has spoken in greater depth about what she’s been going through in a moving blog post. It begins with her thanking everybody for their kind words during this intensely difficult time, and for sharing their own stories too. She adds that notes beginning with ‘You don’t have to respond to this’ were helpful, as she felt quite overwhelmed (but appreciative) of the support.



graphical user interface, text, application: Chrissy's Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy


Chrissy’s Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy

Speaking about the moment she was told by doctors that her third child would not survive to full term, Chrissy wrote on Medium: ‘After a couple nights at the hospital, my doctor told me exactly what I knew was coming — it was time to say goodbye. He [Jack] just wouldn’t survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either. We had tried bags and bags of blood transfusions, every single one going right through me like we hadn’t done anything at all. Late one night, I was told it would be time to let go in the morning.’

Addressing the people who (bafflingly) went out of their way to write nasty messages underneath her personal photos, Chrissy said that John was reluctant to capture their pain at first, but that she knew she ‘needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story.’



a close up of a person talking on a cell phone: Chrissy's Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy


© Chrissy Teigen – Instagram
Chrissy’s Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy

Showing an amazing amount of strength, she added, ‘I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done. I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like.

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