Hilaria Baldwin on the important reason she chose to tell the world about her miscarriages
2019 was no doubt a heartbreaking year for Hilaria and Alec Baldwin.
The couple, who are already parents to 6-year-old Carmen, 4-year-old Rafael, 3-year-old Leonardo and 1-year-old Romeo (as well as Alec's grown-up daughter, Ireland, from his previous marriage to Kim Basinger), suffered not one, but two miscarriages, all in the space of a few months.
Famously opting to share her loss with her 700.000 Instagram followers, Hilaria came under criticism for her openness but recently penned an essay for Glamour magazine going into more detail about her experience of loss, why she thinks we need to share things like this more – and calling for more compassion around miscarriage.
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While both of her miscarriages were no doubt very difficult to endure, the mum-of-four says that the most recent one, which happened when Hilaria was 16 weeks pregnant, 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.”
The 36-year-old explains she was in shock.
“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 cancelling 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.”
As a step in her healing process, Hilaria explains she felt like she needed to share her experience publicly via her Instagram account, where she documents her busy family life daily.
“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.
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This year really did a number on me...but nothing that could ever make me lose sight of how fortunate I am. I grew a lot in 2019 and I have never been more excited for a New Year to come. 2020, I welcome you with so much hope and such a desire to collaborate with you to make life happy and beautiful. Happy New Year’s Eve to you all ?
After having been inundated with responses on her posts from women all over the world who said they had felt isolated and alone during their own experience of miscarriage, Hilaria became an even stronger advocate for sharing experiences that are still often treated as a taboo.
“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.”
(Feature image via Hilaria Baldwin/Instagram)