Chrissy Teigen has broken her silence about the death of her baby Jack, who she was forced to deliver when she was 20 weeks pregnant.
The supermodel detailed the tragic ordeal in an essay shared on Medium, where she thanked well-wishers for their support and hit back at critics who condemned her sharing of intimate photos taken by her husband as the couple said goodbye to their son.
In the essay, Teigen explained her recent days had been consumed by reading messages from strangers on social media.
"I had no idea when I would be ready to write this," Teigen wrote.
"Most starting with, 'you probably won’t read this, but...'. I can assure you, I did.
"Many shared incredible personal experiences, some shared books and poems. I wanted to thank everyone, share our story with each individual person. But I knew I was in no state to," Teigen said, adding she was grateful for the notes that included a "no need to respond" caveat.
The 34-year-old mother talked about a "standout moment" from the day in the hospital, which was hearing other happy families cheering and laughing while celebrating their new arrivals.
"Here we were, just wheeled down to a new floor, me covered in a thin blanket to hide, knowing I was about to fully deliver what was supposed to be the fifth member of our beautiful family, a son, only to say goodbye moments later," she wrote.
"You kind of wonder how anyone is thinking about anyone but you."
Teigen explained that she had already come to terms with what was about to happen, having been told her baby "would have never survived in her belly" after she was diagnosed with a partial placenta abruption.
"My doctor told me exactly what I knew was coming - it was time to say goodbye. He 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," she wrote.
"Late one night, I was told it would be time to let go in the morning. I cried a little at first, then went into full blown convulsions of snot and tears, my breath not able to catch up with my own incredibly deep sadness.
"Even as I write this now, I can feel the pain all over again."
Teigen explained that an oxygen mask was then placed over her nose and mouth and that moment was captured in the first hospital photo she shared to social media.
"Utter and complete sadness," she wrote of the black and white picture.
The cookbook author explained that she had asked a "very hesitant" husband John Legend to take photos throughout the process, writing: "I knew I needed to know of this moment forever."
"He hated it. I could tell. It didn't make sense to him at the time," she wrote.
Turning her attention to the outcry of some social media users who didn't agree with Teigen's decision to take or share photos of the heart wrenching moment, Teigen wrote: "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. These photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me."
Of the moment her son was delivered, Teigen wrote that she still didn't know what to say.
"My mom, John and I each held him and said our own private goodbyes, mom sobbing through Thai prayer," she wrote.
"I asked the nurses to show me his hands and feet and I kissed them over and over and over again. I have no idea when I stopped. It could have been 10 minutes or an hour."
Teigen, who is also a mother to Luna, 4, and Miles, 2, said that her son's ashes were in a small box, waiting to be put into the soil of a tree in their new home.
The model also said she "felt bad" that the family's grief was so public, because she made the joy of the pregnancy so public, she explained
"I was excited to share our news with the world. Stories leading up to this had been chronicled for all. It's hard to look at them now. I was so positive it would be okay. I feel bad that I made you all feel bad. I always will," she wrote.
"But the moments of kindness have been nothing short of beautiful. I went to a store where the checkout lady quietly added flowers to my cart."
"Jack will always be loved, explained to our kids as existing in the wind and trees and the butterflies they see," Teigen concluded.
"Thank you so much to every single person who has had us in their thoughts or gone as far as to send us your love and stories. We are so incredibly lucky."