It’s estimated that 10-25% of all recognized pregnancies end in a miscarriage — meaning that on average, one out of every five women will experience the the unbridled joy that comes from pregnancy followed by an indescribable sense of loss. And yet most women still do not talk about it; the subject remains both stigmatized and taboo.
Nicole Kidman, however, is using her voice and her platform to shed light on the very private, painful, and personal matter by opening up about her own two miscarriages. Both of them.
The 50-year-old actress and star of HBO’s Big Little Lies had a difficult parenting journey when she was married to Tom Cruise in the early ’90s. The couple’s first pregnancy was ectopic, meaning a fertilized egg was implanted outside of her womb — rendering the pregnancy inviable — and her second pregnancy, while not ectopic, also ended in a miscarriage.
The couple eventually went on to adopt two children, Isabella and Connor, and years later, she would become a mother twice again with second husband Keith Urban, when they welcomed daughters Faith and Sunday. Still, the pain of those early losses — even after her family was “complete” — has remained. Even now, more than 25 years later, Kidman still remembers that painful time, and she opened up candidly about her experience in the July issue of the UK magazine Tatler.
“I know the yearning,” the actress shared, according to an interview excerpt obtained by ET Canada. “That yearning. It’s a huge, aching yearning. And the loss! The loss of a miscarriage is not talked about enough. That’s massive grief to certain women.”
And Kidman is right. The loss of a child, no matter the age, is painful. My own miscarriage occurred when I was just a few weeks along — before I even knew I was pregnant — and while he (or she) wasn’t planned for, I grieved nonetheless.
It took me months to process the sadness, anguish, emptiness, and pain.
But eventually, life goes on, just as it did for Kidman; and she’s sharing the experience now to show that there can in fact be joy after loss.
“There’s an enormous amount of pain and an enormous amount of joy on the other side of it,” Kidman told Tatler. However, “the flipside of going through so much yearning and pain to get there is the feeling of ‘Ahhhh!’ when you have the child.”
Of course, that journey to “the other side” of grief after a loss — that moment of finally becoming “Mom” — may look different depending on your experience. For some, your parenting journey may lead you to surrogacy; or IVF; or, as it did for Kidman, it might lead you to adoption.
In fact, as Kidman shared with Vogue in 2017, she’d always wanted to adopt, even before she had difficulty getting pregnant.
“I always knew I’d adopt; I just always wanted a child,” she shared at the time. “I think from a very early age, I wanted a child. I knew that I was going to have a child and that it didn’t matter [how], I actually didn’t know if I was ever going to give birth to a child. So that was the least of it for me. And what I did first was adopt.”
According to Kidman, the bond she felt from the start was instantaneous.
“Once the bond is there between a mother and a child, the biological part of it is sort of the least important part,” she shared. “I think when that bond forms, it’s astounding how powerful it is.”
It’s a bond she’s talked about many times when opening up about the strength of a mother’s love.
“That love brings you to your knees,” she told CBS News in 2016. “That love has you crawling over hot coals. That love has you laying down on a train track and giving up your life like that if you have to.”
It’s not often you hear motherhood so powerfully summed up in just a few short sentences, but that — that pretty much says it all.