Priscilla Chan Talks Infertility Struggle: "We Wanted Others to Know They Weren’t Alone"

The wife to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg loves being a mom, but her story wasn't always happy—here's why she continues to tell it.

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2016 Anita Bugge/Getty Images
She may be a pediatrician and the wife of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—but even Priscilla Chan struggled with feelings of isolation when she was trying to have a baby. It just goes to show: No matter who you are or how much theoretical knowledge you have, the support of community will always matter. Infertility isn't always something people feel comfortable discussing, and that's understandable. But at the same time, it's so important for people everywhere who are struggling to get pregnant understand that they aren't alone—and that's why Dr. Chan believes in sharing her own story.

“Sharing our experience with pregnancy was incredibly important because we realized how challenging and difficult that was and there are really dark moments where you think you’re alone,” Dr. Chan said during an appearance on Today. “We realized that we weren’t and that there were other people traveling along the same road with you. I think having that, knowing that you’re not alone, was incredibly important for us. And we wanted others to know that they weren’t alone either.”  

Dr. Chan, who welcomed her first child with Zuckerberg in December 2015, has been open about her tumultuous journey to motherhood—and her husband has been equally candid about the couple's struggles. When he announced their pregnancy on his Facebook page, he also shared that the couple had dealt miscarriage. "We want to share one experience to start. We've been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way," he wrote. "You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child. You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience. Most people don't discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you—as if you're defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own."

We agree wholeheartedly with the couple: It can be so hard to talk about issues like infertility and miscarriage, but ultimately, learning you're not alone—and sharing your story with others who have been in the same position—can make a huge difference. While we completely understand how intensely personal and intimate these experiences are, we also believe there's no shame in vocalizing them. It couldn't have been easy, but Dr. Chan's willingness to illuminate topics like these is incredibly important.