Dame Laura Kenny has revealed that she suffered a miscarriage in November and had one of her fallopian tubes removed due to an ectopic pregnancy two months later, during what the five-time Olympic gold medallist described as the “hardest few months I’ve ever had to go through”.
Kenny, Britain’s most successful female Olympian, was part of the British team that won silver in the team pursuit at the UCI Track Nations Cup in Glasgow on Thursday.
She returned to racing for the first time since last summer’s Tokyo Olympics at the National Madison and Omnium Championships in Derby earlier this month, taking the madison title alongside partner Neah Evans.
In an Instagram post published on Friday, Kenny wrote: “Back at a bike race! I didn’t expect to be back at a race any time soon, but life doesn’t always go to plan does it.”
In the post Kenny, who is married to retired track sprinter and Britain’s most successful male Olympian Jason Kenny, revealed that she suffered a miscarriage while commentating for Eurosport at the inaugural UCI Track Champions League in November.
“Since the Olympics we haven’t had much luck and it’s been the hardest few months I’ve ever had to go through,” she wrote.
“Jason and I fell pregnant immediately after the games and we were absolutely chuffed to bits. But unfortunately in November when commentating at the Track Champions League I miscarried our baby at nine weeks. I’ve never felt so lost and sad. It felt like a part of me had been torn away.”
She continued: “I grabbed for my safety blanket, bike riding! I found myself back in my happy place training again.
“I then caught Covid in mid-January and found myself feeling really very unwell. I didn’t have typical covid symptoms and I just felt I needed to go to hospital.
“A day later I found myself in A&E being rushed to theatre because I was having an ectopic pregnancy. Scared doesn’t even come close. I lost a fallopian tube that day.
“I’ve always known I was tough, but sometimes life pushes you to an unbearable limit. If it wasn’t for Jason and [their son] Albie getting me through the day to day I’d have been broken.
“But here I am, with the support of my family, friends and teammates, on the podium of a nation’s cup.”
The seven-time world champion later posted on her Instagram story: “It feels 'brave' talking about miscarriage and baby loss. But it shouldn’t be.
“Jason and I felt lonely going through it and like we had taken the happiness away from our families by not telling them.
“They didn't get the joy of thinking another baby was on the way, only the sad.
“Miscarriage is a lot more common than people realise which is why we have decided to share our heartbreak, to help support others.”
This morning, Kenny posted another update to thank those who have shared their own stories and experiences.
“I have been completely overwhelmed by the messages and stories I have received,” she wrote. “I knew I was sharing a very personal story to help and support others, but I didn’t realise quite how many people would get in touch.
“Anyone who has experienced baby loss, you are not alone, and you shouldn’t feel you are. I really hope the stories on my post can help you, like they are helping me.”
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.