Chrissy Teigen has explained why she took those heart-shattering photos of herself in hospital while delivering her son, Jack, who was born stillborn at 20 weeks.

In a powerful essay published on Medium, Chrissy explained that she asked husband John Legend and mum Pepper Thai to take them in order to remember the moment forever.

“I explained to a very hesitant John that I needed them, and that I did NOT want to have to ever ask,” she wrote.

“That he just had to do it. He hated it. I could tell. It didn’t make sense to him at the time. But I knew I needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story.”

The photos – which Chrissy published on Instagram to announce the news her third child would not be coming home with her – prompted a small amount of backlash, with people asking why she was sharing something so personal.

“I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos,” Chrissy continued.

“How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done. I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like. These photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me.”

Chrissy has mostly been silent on social media since October 1, when she told the world about her family tragedy. This was a return, something she said she wrote “before I could move on from this and return back to life”.

“I feel bad our grief was so public because I made the joy so public,” she said.

“I was excited to share our news with the world. Stories leading up to this had been chronicled for all. It’s hard to look at them now. I was so positive it would be okay. I feel bad that I made you all feel bad. I always will.”

The piece chronicles her difficult pregnancy, and coming to terms with what would happen: she was diagnosed with a partial placenta abruption. Despite bed rests, blood transfusions and hoping it would heal itself, at 20 weeks her pregnancy reached a point of no return: “He just wouldn’t survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either.”

Chrissy writes that she and John are waiting to bury Jack’s ashes, in the soil of a tree in their new home.

You can read her essay here – but warning, it might make you snot cry.