In a touching Facebook post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday that his wife, Priscilla Chan, is pregnant with a baby girl.
Zuckerberg shared a family photo with Chan, who was proudly showing off her baby bump, accompanied by their dog Beast. In the baby announcement, Zuckerberg opened up about the couple’s attempts to get pregnant, and that Chan suffered three miscarriages before this healthy pregnancy.
We want to share one experience to start. We’ve been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way.
You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.
Miscarriages are fairly common, affecting 15% to 20% of pregnancies. However, many women can feel guilt and shame surrounding miscarriages, and it’s a topic that’s often considered taboo to discuss. One recent study found that people in the U.S. don’t realize how common miscarriages are, and frequently misattribute miscarriages to lifestyle choices instead of genetic or medical causes.
Zuckerberg noted that Chan’s pregnancy is finally far enough along to have a low risk of loss, thus the pair felt comfortable sharing the news with the world.
“We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well,” he said.
Illustration by Max Fleishman