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A year before the joyful birth of baby Blue Ivy, Beyonce experienced a personal tragedy: the loss of her first pregnancy. Her miscarriage was a secret until husband Jay-Z mentioned it in "Glory," the rap he wrote about baby Blue's 2011 birth.
Now, in a surprisingly revealing moment of her HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream, Beyonce shares the story in her own words.
"About two years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. And I heard the heartbeat, which was the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life," Beyonce says in the film. "I picked out names. I envisioned what my child would look like...I was feeling very maternal."
Sadly, when she flew home to New York for a checkup, Beyonce learned that the baby no longer had a heartbeat. To cope with the loss, she turned to music.
"I went into the studio and wrote the saddest song I've ever written in my life," she reveals. "And it was actually the first song I wrote for my album. And it was the best form of therapy for me, because it was the saddest thing I've ever been through."
As awful as Beyonce's experience was, it's not uncommon: Around one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage. It's a painful and difficult subject to talk about, which is why we're surprised that Beyonce -- who normally keeps her personal life extremely private -- has opened up about it.
But we're very glad that she did. Seeing a strong, successful woman like Beyonce talk about her miscarriage may help other women overcome the guilt and shame that often comes along with the experience (even though a miscarriage is rarely anyone's fault). We're encouraged to see so many public figures talking candidly about their experience with miscarriage, including Mariah Carey, Pink and Bethenny Frankel. (See 17 of them here.) It's something that nobody wants to go through alone -- and the more women talk to each other about it, the less alone we all have to feel.
Incidentally, Beyonce explains in the documentary that her miscarriage is why she took those fake-pregnancy rumors so personally.
"There's a stupid rumor. The most ridiculous rumor I think I've ever had about me," she says. "I respect mothers and women so much and to be able to experience bringing a child into this world, if you're lucky and fortunate enough to experience that, I would never, ever take that for granted. It's the most powerful thing you can do. Especially after losing a child, the pain and trauma from that just makes it mean so much more to get an opportunity to bring life into the world."
Amen to that.