As you know from her reality shows and now her talk show, Bethenny Frankel is an open book, but when she recently suffered a miscarriage, it was such a personal and devastating experience for her that she didn't want to discuss it — until now.
Because she's 41 and had a difficult pregnancy with her daughter Bryn, 2, Frankel's jaw dropped when her doctor broke the news that she was expecting — something she and her husband, Jason Hoppy, weren't planning. "I felt unprepared, like we had so much to do to get ready for this baby," she says in the July issue of Glamour. "Still, I was excited, if cautiously so, with the words high risk ringing in my ears." After hitting her seven week mark, any worries she had vanished. "I told Jason, 'You know what? This is meant to be.' While we'd been putting off pulling the trigger, not actively 'trying,' the universe had stepped in."Frankel, Hoppy and Bryn (Splash News)
However, just a day later the universe intervened again. Experiencing heavy bleeding, Hoppy brought her to see her doctor. "In the exam room the doctor ran an ultrasound, looking for the heartbeat," she recounts. "Something was wrong. 'I'm not finding it,' he said. Jason said, 'I don't see it.' And I'm like, 'Is this a miscarriage?' I didn't know." Frankel, whose new talk show premiered on Fox earlier this week, immediately blamed herself for what indeed turned out to be a miscarriage. "Is it because I'm busy? My lifestyle? Is this my fault? And I hadn't done anything. Since I'd found out [I was pregnant], I'd been lying down for an hour or two a day and letting others take up the slack. But I blamed myself — of course I did."
In the weeks after her loss, "I went through a range of emotions," she tells the magazine. "There was something so sad about it — that there had been a life there, and then suddenly it was not there. There was also, I have to admit, a bit of relief that I wouldn't be starting my new TV job seven months pregnant. And then there was immense guilt at the relief." And the grief didn't disappear overnight. Over a week later when she received test results back from her doctor that included a mention that the baby was female, she broke down. "I called Jason sobbing. It was the first time I'd erupted, and he got it. He said that he finally realized what I must have gone through as a woman losing a child, and he felt ashamed that he hadn't been more attentive, more concerned… And then it was simple: We were very, very sad. There was a baby there who'd had a heartbeat. She was life. She was hope. She was the future. And then she was gone. I had gotten over the guilt, but now I just felt bad for whoever she was going to be. I felt bad for that heartbeat. And I felt bad for Bryn."
The July issue of Glamour
As for the possibility of trying to have another child in the future, Frankel says she's letting nature take its course. "I know that Jason wants another child, but we got married when I was in my late thirties. There are a lot of things he gets by being with me — adventure, excitement, passion. But he doesn't get the two kids. Or maybe he will. People ask me, 'Are you going to have another baby?' and I get a little angry. I know my shtick is being an open book, but when you ask a woman in her forties that question, it's not always her choice. I'm healthy and could try again. But I don't want to be a 'trying' person. If it's meant to be, it will happen."
Read Frankel's full interview in the July issue of Glamour, on newsstands now.