I’ve written about Lily Allen a few times since she announced her pregnancy this summer. The British singer has been unusually open and honest about her pregnancy discomforts, both physical and emotional. We have followed her trials and considerations as she has publicly navigated the sometimes difficult terrain of pregnancy: maternity fashion, differences of opinion with her partner, and feeling bad about herself as her body image has altered along with her pregnant shape.
So I’m very sad to have to report that Lily Allen has lost her baby. The 25 year old singer was 6 months pregnant.
According to reports, the singer was admitted to the hospital on Thursday with stomach pains. Attempts to save the baby unfortunately failed. Allen suffered an earlier loss when a 2008 pregnancy ended in miscarriage. The singer and her boyfriend, Sam Cooper, have asked the press to refrain from asking them questions and to respect their privacy as they mourn.
The subject of celebrity miscarriage has been making news quite a bit lately. It really raises some difficult questions about our culture’s fixation with famous people and the minutae of their lives. Mariah Carey and Celine Dion both revealed recent experienced pregnancy losses—Mariah’s from an earlier pregnancy and Celine’s the loss of a triplet she had conceived along with her twins. Both were able to keep it under wraps and present the loss as a small bittersweet footnote. Celine Dion has personal experience with public miscarriage, having announced her earlier pregnancy loss in late 2009.
A pregnancy loss at this late stage is much less common than early miscarriage and the shock can be truly devastating. I’d imagine that the public eye could add an uncomfortable layer to the mourning process, especially when the revelation has to occur when the parents are still in the initial stages of processing the loss. Pregnancy loss is an incredibly painful experience in any case. Support is really crucial, and I hope Lily Allen and her boyfriend will find some when they’re ready. Ceridwen recently posted some insightful ideas about how to process a loss.
Note: A number of commenters below have pointed out that Lily Allen’s loss should be classified as a stillbirth rather than a miscarriage. We do not know the details, but I have changed some language in this piece to show respect for the often greater trauma of losing a baby past the potential point of viability. (For technical reasons, the title can’t be changed.)
photo: 20minutos.es/wikimedia commons