It’s the little things, like the thought of pushing his child on a swing, which symbolize enormous losses for Giacomo Gianniotti as he opens up about his wife Nichole’s back-to-back miscarriages.
In a new episode of the “We Are Man Enough” podcast, the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star shared how the couple have experienced two devastating losses during the pandemic.
“Even though my suffering can’t be compared to my wife’s suffering, I still suffered,” he told hosts Justin Baldoni, Liz Plank and Jamey Heath during his second appearance on the podcast. “I still lost two children. Never gonna get to meet them. Never gonna get to know their names. Never gonna get to push them on a swing. I lost that. That’s heavy.”
“For my wife and I, the trauma was threefold because the first trauma is finding out you’ve lost your child, which is hugely traumatic,” Gianniotti, 32, also said. “The second trauma is having to go to a medical facility where that child is having to be removed from her body and the finality of that is incredibly traumatizing. The third trauma is having to share this news with your community, loved ones [and] family and friends, and having to relive that trauma through sharing it.”
The couple wed in Italy in April 2019 and while Rome-born, Toronto-raised Gianniotti has remained fairly private about his personal life, he felt a “responsibility” to speak out about the miscarriages given the lack of male-driven conversation around such topics. He also explained why access to abortions – which many Americans could lose amid possible law reforms – was crucial for the pair.
“My wife and I suffered two back-to-back missed miscarriages. We lost two children,” said Gianniotti, who previously portrayed Dr. Andrew DeLuca on “Grey’s Anatomy”. “When a woman miscarries, there is an automatic bodily function that allows that woman to pass that child. [During] a missed miscarriage, the body does not recognise that has happened and therefore does not kick in that response to pass that child. At that point, what is needed is medical intervention – a medical abortion. My wife and I did that two times. [She] needed this basic human right of healthcare to save her life because her body was not doing what it was supposed to do.”
“It was incredibly difficult, but because of my wife and I’s socio-economic privilege, we went to a top healthcare facility, had no problems and got through it as best as we could,” continued the My Friend’s Place LA ambassador. “We’re able to move on and heal because that right was given to us. If we did not have that privilege, I don’t know what we would have done and it’s a problem facing so many people across the country right now. The fact that women not only have obstacles in the way of that decision, but also have shame thrown at them is despicable – and even more traumatizing.”
Gianniotti noted that he and Nichole, a makeup artist, have undergone therapy to help work through their “devastating, bring-you-to-your-knees losses”. He added that going through such trauma during the pandemic made it more difficult, but that they ultimately bonded over the experiences.
“Having it happen during a pandemic, where we’re [not] being as social as we normally would, was incredibly isolating,” he said. “We felt incredibly alone. Experiences like this can either make or break a relationship and I’m very lucky to say we got closer over it.”
Gianniotti shared his story as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 ruling which allowed safe and legal access to abortions. He said that Nichole had encouraged his decision to speak publicly about what they’ve been going through.
“She said, ‘Giacomo, I’m really glad and proud you’re going to share this because oftentimes in society the women are burdened with having to share this news,’ – which further emphasizes how society thinks it’s a woman’s problem and women’s issue,” he said. “Men need to speak up and share their stories.”
Gianniotti hopes that by speaking up himself, fellow men will feel encouraged to discuss their struggles as well as help fight for equal healthcare rights.
“Women have been fighting this alone too long and that’s why we find ourselves in a position where not only progress has slowed, but we’re going backwards,” said the actor and philanthropist. “Until men realize this is our issue too and that we need to fight not only as hard, but harder, we will never have freedom. I hope other men can feel safe to share their stories, so that we can rally behind women and let them know they don’t have to fight this battle on their own. I hope through that, we will finally have success.”