Actress Laura Benanti has revealed she recently suffered a miscarriage.
The Nashville star came forward with her secret struggle on Tuesday (29Sep15) in an article for The Huffington Post, in which she confessed she and her fiance Patrick Brown were preparing to become first-time parents when the worst thing that could happen for a mom-to-be left her devastated.
"The day I found out I was pregnant was the happiest day of my life," she wrote. "I had wanted to be a mom for a long time, and at 36 it was finally happening. I felt like I was experiencing a miracle. I went home after our doctor's appointment with the sweet rhythm of that heartbeat on a magical loop in my mind."
Less than an hour after the appointment, Benanti started suffering intense cramping and bleeding, which lasted for 18 hours. Returning to the doctor the following morning, she discovered she had miscarried.
"Our miracle was over," she wrote.
But Benanti insisted her mission in writing the article was not to seek sympathy, but rather to question why the subject of miscarriage isn't spoken about in public.
She added, "If this is so common, then why do we only speak about it in whispers, if we speak about it at all?"
The actress, who also has a recurring role in new TV series Supergirl, also questioned the decision many women make to keep their pregnancies secret until after the first trimester, revealing she had to come clean about her baby plans with her bosses much sooner.
"I didn't have the option to wait until the 12th or 14th week to let them know, but now that I have miscarried, I am grateful that I told them early. I'm relieved that they know why I'm not completely myself right now. I cannot imagine the added stress that many women must endure, of pretending to be fine while also dealing with the pressures of their actual job.
"Everyone handles grief differently, and I am certainly not suggesting that all women run around telling people they had a miscarriage if that isn't healing for them. What I am suggesting is that, if this is something that truly affects so many women and their partners... then perhaps we need to encourage a cultural environment more conducive to empathetic understanding."
The actress continued by letting women who have suffered miscarriages know they are not alone, writing, "My purpose in writing this is simply to say, if you are part of this sisterhood, you are not alone. This is not your fault. You did nothing to deserve this, or make it happen. You can grieve for as long (or as short) a time as you need. You are allowed to talk about this (or not talk about this) with whomever you want. You, and only you, will know when the clouds have passed."
The Tony Award winner and Brown became engaged this summer (15). She was previously married to Spin Doctors frontman Chris Barron and actor Steven Pasquale.