Hilaria Baldwin is sharing more details about the heartbreaking miscarriage she suffered late last year at four months along in her pregnancy.
In a candid essay for Glamour, the 36-year-old fitness instructor and Mom Brain podcast host opens up about experiencing the harrowing loss in November, just seven months after she experienced a miscarriage in April.
“At four months (16 weeks), I went in for my regularly scheduled scan. As soon as the sonogram image appeared on the screen, I saw that my baby had died. There was no movement, no heartbeat. She was crumpled up, lifeless in my womb,” Hilaria writes. “I began to cry. The doctor told me to hold still as she tried to figure out what had happened. I couldn’t stop sobbing. I can’t remember much except that I got dressed, thanked everyone for their care, and asked for permission to go. I just began walking.”
“I got in a cab at some point, making calls, scheduling a follow-up [dilation and evacuation surgery] and canceling work accordingly,” she continues. “I felt like I was in shock. I went into this appointment excited to see her and share pictures with my family and friends; I left needing to tell them all that she had died. It was a surreal turn of events.”
Hilaria “was so excited to be a mom again” and to have a daughter on the way, as her and husband Alec Baldwin‘s oldest child and only daughter, 6-year-old Carmen Gabriela, wanted a little sister badly. (The couple also share sons Romeo Alejandro David, 20 months, Leonardo Ángel Charles, 3, and Rafael Thomas, 4½, while Alec, 61, is dad to 24-year-old daughter Ireland.)
“In contrast to my spring pregnancy, this baby had a strong heartbeat,” she recalls in her essay. “We were excitedly making plans — Carmen was setting aside her old clothes, and Alec and I dreamed about what it would be like to have a girl again after so many boys.”
“Even though I’d had a miscarriage before, I don’t think I could have fathomed how bad it could feel to have a miscarriage at 16 weeks,” Hilaria continues. “I had to go home and sleep with my dead baby inside me. I felt sick, sour in my belly, and so devastated. I kept waking up and thinking it must have all been a very vivid bad dream.”
“I cried so much that my eyes were nearly swollen shut,” she remembers. “I didn’t know the body could make so many tears. This was a pain that I had never experienced before, and it felt suffocating.”
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Through the pain, Hilaria vowed to “heal” for herself and her family, and advises others who have experienced the level of sadness she has “to be your own advocate,” even if it’s difficult. “I had to tell myself that I deserved to heal and to be happy again. This lesson became my mantra,” she says. “Processing and going through grieving was important, but I didn’t have to be condemned to a life of emotional punishment and suffering.”
“As a woman, in charge of housing and growing a baby, it’s easy to feel guilty — as if you did something wrong to cause the miscarriage, no matter how many doctors tell you that’s not the case,” the mother of four writes. “Sometimes it’s easier to make ourselves the enemy, to blame ourselves, than it is to accept support and care.”
After sharing her story, Hilaria says she “heard from thousands of women,” including those “who felt society would blame them for choosing to prioritize a career over a family — for missing their peak fertility years or for putting too much stress on their body. Women who didn’t know how to tell their families, afraid of being a disappointment. The list goes on, but the common thread is that women bear a lot in silence when it comes to motherhood.”
“We are a group that has been taught to be closed, and I have decided that I don’t want to be,” she writes. “In opening up, not only do I want to heal myself through sharing my story, but I also want to show others that there is another path — one of openness. When you let reality in, it can be difficult to swallow, but once you do, you have something tangible to work with. Even when it is so painful and you feel like you have hit the bottom of the ocean, you can touch it, feel it and then press off it to propel you back up into more shallow waters.”