Actress Ashley Williams was two months along in her pregnancy when she went to the grocery store to satisfy a pizza craving. It was then, at that very supermarket, that tragedy struck.
As she carried her toddler son down the aisle, she began to feel overwhelming pain.
She said, “A heavy, dark, and slow stream of blood made its way down my left inner thigh. Without thinking, I swiped it. My fingertips came up wet.”
She was having a miscarriage.
After she publicly lost her baby, Williams felt “broken” inside. But then, she learned from her midwife that miscarriages are not nearly so rare as she might have thought–in fact, one in four women her age miscarry.
“If 25 percent of my peers are currently experiencing miscarriages right alongside me, why wasn’t I prepared?” she said in her piece for Human Development Project. “Why don’t we talk about it? Why was I feeling embarrassed, broken, like a walking wound?”
So that’s why she decided to use her public persona to speak up about what happened to her–not only to normalize the experience but also to let every woman who’s miscarried know that they have not failed.
She said, “You are not broken. You did nothing wrong. You are strong, you are brave, and there is hope.”
NEXT: See the celebrities who are battling serious health conditions below.
Jillian Michaels Health
Jillian Michaels: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
The fitness guru and former The Biggest Loser coach has become somewhat of an ambassador for PCOS, a hormonal condition that affects the skin and menstrual cycle, after speaking out about it candidly. Because PCOS sufferers have a low chance of pregnancy, Jillian adopted a baby girl.
Lena Dunham Health
Lena Dunham: Endometriosis
The Girls star was diagnosed with endometriosis, a disease where uterus tissue grows outside the uterus, after years of chronic stomach pains. She had surgery in 2015 to treat the disorder.
"Two days after the surgery, I was better than I had been in ten years," she said. "The illness, nausea, heaviness, and fatigue were replaced by an alien absence of sensation."
Tom Hanks Health
Tom Hanks: Diabetes
In 2013, the actor revealed on _The Late Show _ that he had Type 2 diabetes.
Selena Gomez Health
Selena Gomez: Lupus
After being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, which attacks cells, the pop star canceled her 2013 tour and took a hiatus to focus on treatment.
“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy," she said. "That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke."
Bret Michaels Health
Bret Michaels: Heart Disease
After suffering a mini stroke in 2010, the Poison frontman has had to undergo heart surgery. He's been in and out of hospitals since.
Charlie Sheen Health
Charlie Sheen: HIV
In 2015, the actor announced on the Today show that he's HIV positive. Since then, several former sexual partners have sued Charlie, claiming the actor had put them at risk for an infection.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck Health
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Celiac Disease
The talk show host revealed she struggled with the disease, which affects the digestive system, in her book, The G Free Diet. "No matter what I ate, I would soon be doubled over with cramps, awful indigestion, diarrhea — or all of the above simultaneously," she wrote in the book.
She now follows a gluten-free diet.
Lady Gaga Health
Lady Gaga: Lupus
In 2010, Gaga told Larry King she was diagnosed with "borderline lupus."
Venus Williams Health
Venus Williams: Sjögren’s Syndrome
The tennis star had to withdraw from the US Open in 2011 after being diagnosed with the disorder, which is a disease that attacks the cells that produce saliva.
“The fatigue is hard to explain unless you have it,” Williams said. “Some mornings I feel really sick, like when you don’t get a lot of sleep or you have a flu or cold. I always have some level of tiredness. And the more I tried to push through it, the tougher it got.”
She still battles with the disease.
Halle Berry Health
Halle Berry: Diabetes
The actress was diagnosed back in 1989 after she passed out and slipped into a coma during a taping of a TV show. "They told me I might lose my eyesight, or I could lose my legs," she said. "I was scared to death. I thought I was going to die."
Kim Kardashian Health
Kim Kardashian: Psoriasis
After finding flakey, red patches on her legs in 2011, she went to a dermatologist who diagnosed her with the skin condition on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Missy Elliott Health
Missy Elliott: Graves’ Disease
After disappearing from the music world, the rapper reemerged in 2015 and blamed her absence on a rare thyroid disease. "It causes hair loss, your eyes bulge,” Elliott said. “My blood pressure was always up from just overworking.”
Thanks to medication, Missy has the condition under control.