Hilaria and Alec Baldwin have four kids – 6-year-old Carmen, 4-year-old Rafael, 3-year-old Leonardo and 1-year-old Romeo.
Content warning: This story discusses miscarriage.
A fifth pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage. A sixth pregnancy ended in a late miscarriage. Basically 2019 was a heartbreaking year for this family who have been eager to grow their family.
A heartbreaking year
In the wake of this very tough time, Hilaria’s penned an essay for Glamour magazine going into more detail about her experience of loss and calling for more compassion around miscarriage.
While both of her miscarriages were obviously very difficult to endure, Hilaria says that the most recent one, the loss of a much-wanted baby girl, was particularly awful.
“At four months (16 weeks), I went in for my regularly scheduled scan,” she recalls. “As soon as the sonogram image appeared on the screen, I saw that my baby had died. There was no movement, no heartbeat.”
“I couldn’t stop sobbing”
This was entirely unexpected because Hilaria was in her second trimester and things seemed to have been going brilliantly. To say that this loss at 16 weeks was a huge shock would be an understatement.
“I began to cry,” Hilaria writes of that day. “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.”
What followed was “making calls, scheduling a follow-up D&E, and canceling work accordingly.”
“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.”
“A very vivid bad dream”
While discussion of miscarriage is often in hushed tones, even taboo, Hilaria believes passionately in being more open about what this experience entails. She’s frank about her own feelings during this period.
“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,” she writes.
“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. 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.”
View this post on Instagram
We are very sad to share that today we learned that our baby passed away at 4 months. We also want you to know that even though we are not ok right now, we will be. We are so lucky with our 4 healthy babies—and we will never lose sight of this. I told Carmen and took this so I could send it to Alec. I guess this is a good way to share it with you too. I told her that this baby isn’t going to come after all…but we will try very hard to give her a little sister another time. I’m really devastated right now…I was not expecting this when I went to my scan today. I don’t know what else to say…I’m still in shock and don’t have this all quite clear. Please no paparazzi…that’s all I ask ❤️
For Hilaria, sharing her experience publicly via her Instagram account was one of the first important steps in her healing process.
“I needed to accept that this was real. For me, that meant sharing something that still feels so taboo. Throughout the anxiety and excitement of early pregnancy, and throughout the pain and confusion of miscarriage, we’re taught to be quiet, to stay silent,” she writes.
“Going through something as devastating as losing a baby in silence and having to pretend that we are okay when we just can’t be can be debilitating. It adds trauma on top of trauma. Reaching out to a support system is vital to our mental health and well-being,” Hilaria explains.
When she did reach out, Hilaria was inundated with responses from women who had felt isolated and alone as they experienced miscarriage or early pregnancy.
“We are a group that has been taught to be closed, and I have decided that I don’t want to be,” the mum-of-four 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 … This is your journey, your baby—you are the mother. You are the one suffering, so you get to make the rules. Ask yourself how you need to process.”
If you – or someone you know – has experienced the loss of a baby, please visit sands.org.au to access resources and support.