It was a grief McCain, 34, said she had wanted to keep private, but decided she could use her voice to speak up about miscarriages and perhaps help remove some of the stigma and blame women face.
"I blamed my age, I blamed my personality. I blamed everything and anything a person could think of, and what followed was a deep opening of shame," McCain said. "This, I told myself, is the reason my body is a rock-strewn wasteland in which no child may live. This is my fault. Yet it is not my fault."
During a photo shoot for the cover of New York Times Magazine a few weeks ago, McCain said she received a devastating phone call from her doctor confirming the miscarriage.
"I look back at those pictures now, and I see a woman hiding her shock and sorrow," she said. "I am posed for the camera, looking stern and strong, representing my fellow conservative women across the country. But inside, I am dying. Inside, my baby is dying."
"I have love for all the women who, like me, were briefly in the sisterhood of motherhood, hoping, praying and nursing joy within us, until the day the joy was over."
McCain took a few days off work, which she said was enough to spark gossip about why she was absent. While she initially wanted to keep her grief private, she said she wants other women who may find themselves in her shoes to not blame themselves, and instead know how "distressingly common" it is to miscarry.
The miscarriage rate varies from one in ten to one in four pregnancies, statistics McCain shared in her op-ed.
"I have love for my child. I have love for all the women who, like me, were briefly in the sisterhood of motherhood, hoping, praying and nursing joy within us, until the day the joy was over," she said. "You are not alone."