Why Hilaria Baldwin, Carrie Underwood and Other Stars Are Getting Real About Pregnancy Loss

Long believed to be a situation best kept quiet, miscarriages are now being openly discussed in Hollywood as stars strive to show others that they're not alone.

By Sarah Grossbart 27 Nov, 2019 11:00 AMTags

Making connections in Hollywood is hardly uncommon. 

But the thread that now binds Hilaria Baldwin and Kimberly Van Der Beek likely would have remained invisible just a few years back. Miscarriages—a word Kimberly's husband James Van Der Beek takes particular umbrage with, noting, "Nobody failed to 'carry', these things sometimes just happen"—are incredibly common and yet infrequently discussed, the idea being that women should keep pregnancies hush-hush until after the first trimester, when the risk of pregnancy loss drops considerably. 

So praise be the women, and more than a few men, working to challenge that stigma, bringing together people when they're in need of that human interaction the most. Both Hilaria and Kimberly were quite far along in their pregnancies, when they recently discovered they had miscarried.

Each experienced in carrying to term (Hilaria has Carmen, 6, Rafael, 4, Leo, 3, and Romeo, 18 months, with husband Alec Baldwin; Kimberly and James share Olivia, 9, Joshua, 7, Annabel, 5, Emilia, 3, and Gwendolyn, 17 months) and dealing with the heartbreak of pregnancy loss, it was a struggle they had worked through before. 

And yet with each time being just as painful as the one before, or, perhaps, even harder to handle being intimately familiar with all the promise an unborn baby held, they found themselves needing a sounding board. "We connected, and I guess we truly know what's going on for each other," Hilaria, host of the Mom Brain podcast, told Extra. "It's been tough. She's very strong and my heart is with what's going on with them." 

Starting to feel okay-ish, she continued, she was glad to have been open about her experience: "Sharing can be hard, but once you share, it feels a little more real and then once it's more real, you can heal...It also made me feel not alone." 

While discussions of mortality are never pleasant, eschewing such conversations leaves couples to deal with the heartbreak all on their own, adding a dose of isolation to an already painful, and often guilt-ridden, time. Because despite having no control over the situation, it's hard to quiet the internal voices asking, "Could I have done something to prevent this?" 

But, as James points out, this is a circumstance that should have "zero shame", only compassion and support. "The little soul that we expected to welcome into our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond," he shared last week during his final episode of Dancing With the Stars. "You never know why these things happen. It's what I've been telling my kids. All you know is that it brings you closer together. It breaks you open. It opens up your heart. It deepens your appreciation. It makes you more human." 

His is just one voice in the chorus of celebrities who have become increasingly vocal about their experience with miscarriages in hopes of lessening the burdens others bear. Read their words and remember that you're not alone. 

Meghan Markle

In a raw op-ed published Nov. 25, 2020, by the New York Times, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in July, realizing that something was wrong when she experienced a sudden, devastating cramp one morning.

"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," Meghan wrote.

Identified in her byline as a "mother, feminist and advocate," the 39-year-old, who along with husband Prince Harry withdrew from senior royal life earlier this year and moved with son Archie Harrison to Southern California, reflected on how the simple question of "Are you OK?"—which a journalist memorably inquired of her on camera during a September 2019 interview—was more important than ever these days.

Meghan reflected, "Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband's heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, 'Are you OK?'"

Christina Perri

Barely 11 months after opening up about a previous miscarriage, the "Jar of Hearts" singer, pregnant again, candidly shared in November 2020 that she had been hospitalized because the baby was "having an issue." Sadly, two weeks later she revealed that she had lost the child.

"she was born silent after fighting so hard to make it to our world. she is at peace now and will live forever in our hearts," Perri, who's also mom to daughter Carmella Costabile with husband Paul Costabile, wrote Nov. 24 on Instagram.

Hilaria Baldwin

Sharing her April 2019 miscarriage as it happened wasn't easy for the mom of four, but, as she explained on Today, "I wanted to come out and speak about it because it's something that so many people deal with and, as women, we're trained to deal with it silently." That simply wasn't an option for her, the yogi noted in a Glamour essay: "Critics say something so personal should stay quiet. But I want woman to know if that's not serving you, if that's not the way that you'll feel better, you don't have to do that." 

She followed her own advice after suffering a second pregnancy loss in November 2019. "We are very sad to share that today we learned that our baby passed away at 4 months," she wrote on social media. "We also want you to know that even though we are not OK right now, we will be." In September, the mom to Carmen, 7, Rafael, 5, Leo, 4, and Romeo, 2, gave birth to her and husband Alec Baldwin's fifth child, son Eduardo. "He is perfect," she shared in the announcement, "and we couldn't be happier." 

Jana Kramer

Now a mom to daughter Jolie, 4, and son Jace, 22 months, the singer-actress revealed she debated sharing the story of her 2017 miscarriage "for the exact reason why it's a silent struggle. I don't want I'm sorry or sympathy. I just don't want to feel alone." More importantly, though, she didn't want others to feel adrift: "For the women out there who have miscarried in the past and need support and a place to grieve their little one lost or to those in the thick of it like me who are currently grieving and in pain, let us all be there for each other."

Lauren Burnham

Having so easily fallen pregnant with now-15-month-old daughter Alessi, Burnham and husband Arie Luyendyk Jr. assumed their journey to baby number two would be equally as amazing. "A little over a month ago, we got the most exciting news and we found out that we were pregnant with our second baby," they shared in a caption for a YouTube video this past May. "We made so many plans. We bought a new house with more space, we planned how we wanted to tell you all and we envisioned our future with Alessi's little brother/sister. We were planning to share our journey through pregnancy with you, but unfortunately we didn't get the happy story we had hoped for." Crushed by the turn of events, they decided to open up in the hopes that others can feel a "little less lonely." 

Brittany Lutz

Entirely thrilled to discover she and actor husband Kellan Lutz were expecting again this summer, the surprise hasn't full dulled the pain from losing her first child when she was six months along this past February. "You know, obviously it was a surprise losing our daughter at the beginning of the year," she shared in an Instagram video. "That was tough, and still is. There still are hard moments. We definitely went through a lot and I still would like to share my journey in some way that I can in the future."

Lauren Sorrentino

After husband Mike Sorrentino was released from prison in September 2019, the Jersey Shore couple was thisclose to having all of their dreams come true. "The night he came home we actually conceived," she shared on a Nov. 18 episode of Strahan, Sara & Keke. "When I found out we were pregnant, I felt like this is why we went through all these challenges for years and that it was our time and it was our blessing." 

Then, "at about six-and-a-half, seven weeks, I miscarried," she shared. Having kept fans apprised of their journey from their wedding to Mike's jail sentence for tax evasion, "I wanted to share it for other people going through it and, you know, just be honest so that I can kind of heal through the process."

Claire Holt

When she miscarried in early 2018, the actress found herself spending hours scouring the Internet looking for other women who understood her pain: "Someone to tell me that the depression and hopelessness were normal. That it wasn't my fault. That I wasn't broken forever," she shared in an Instagram post. Finding a community of people who could tell her just that inspired her to go public with her story. "It breaks my heart to think that losing a baby feels like something we have to keep to ourselves," continued the star, now mom to 18-month-old son James and weeks-old daughter Elle. "Why is it any different than the death of a loved one? How is it any less meaningful? Here is what I have learned as I begin to crawl out of the dark hole: support is everything."

Katie Lowes

Though the Scandal alum calls the loss of her first pregnancy "a very painful, triggering topic," she notes, "like so many triggering and painful topics in motherhood, they really, really need to be talked about." When she initially learned there was no heartbeat, her reaction, the mom to 3-year-old Albee recalled on her podcast, Katie's Crib, "Was like, 'Okay, let's Olivia Pope the situation—let's fix it. Let's make the schedule. Let's get to the hospital....When can I start trying again?'" But after her dilation and curettage procedure, she shared, "What happens is you have a major hormonal drop-off. And I think I was massively sad for about three months and I was only pregnant for three months." 

Nicole Kidman

"The loss of a miscarriage is not talked about enough," Kidman offered as reason for opening up about both the miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy she endured during her nearly decade-long marriage to Tom Cruise. "That's massive grief to certain women. There's an enormous amount of pain and an enormous amount of joy on the other side of it." 

Carrie Underwood

Three miscarriages separated the arrivals of Underwood's sons Isaiah, 5, and Jacob, 20 months. "In the beginning it was like, 'Okay, God, we know this is, just wasn't Your timing. And that is all right. We will bounce back and figure our way through it," she shared in a revealing 2018 interview with CBS Sunday Morning, but she soon found herself struggling to cope as the losses continued. "I have this amazing life. Like, really, what can I complain about? I can't," she reasoned of her successful career and happy 10-year marriage to hockey player Mike Fisher. "Can I be mad? No. And I got mad." 

Michelle Obama

When the former First Lady suffered a miscarriage before welcoming her first daughter Malia Obama in 1998, "I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed because I didn't know how common miscarriages were because we don't talk about them," she shared in an ABC News interview last year. "We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we're broken." In an effort to do away with that misnomer, she wrote about her struggle and her experience using IVF to have Malia and 19-year-old Sasha Obama. "I think it's the worst thing that we do to each other as women—not share the truth about our bodies and how they work and how they don't work."

Beverley Mitchell

"I talk about it often," the actress wrote on Instagram of her experience losing twins in 2018, "because I don't want to hide the fact that it happened, I had a miscarriage. I am not looking for sympathy just the acknowledgment that it happened, because what hurts the most is the dismissal of it." Mom to daughter Kenzie, 7, and son Hutton, 5, she is "incredibly grateful" for her family with husband Michael Cameron, she continued in her March 2019 post, but she's learned to let herself grieve for what could have been: "In my heart I know we are not complete, I so strongly feel there is another little soul waiting to join our family." She wasn't wrong. The actress gave birth to her third child, daughter Mayzel, this summer. 

Kate Mara

No doubt the actress was thrilled when she learned once again she was carrying husband Jamie Bell's baby—a daughter they welcomed in May 2019—but having miscarried once before, she found the experience nerve-wracking and bittersweet. "I was so excited," she shared in June 2019 on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy podcast, "but also sad that we weren't as excited as we were the first time, because that was clear that it was a very different dynamic."

Joy-Anna Duggar

Experiencing the loss of her second pregnancy when she was midway through meant the reality star had to deliver the stillborn baby girl she and husband Austin Forsyth named Annabell Elise. "We only had her for 20 weeks, Life is fragile and precious," she wrote in an Instagram post. "So thankful the Lord gave her to us for that short time! She will be in our hearts forever!" This past August, the parents to 2-year-old Gideon welcomed daughter Evelyn

Shay Mitchell

The Pretty Little Liars alum used her 2018 loss as a teaching moment for her nearly 29 million Instagram followers. After revealing in a New Year's Day 2019 post that she had "lost the child of my hopes and dreams," she called on others to show empathy. "In the spirt of the new year, I think that we need to remember that we are all on this journey together—in good times and in bad—and to remind ourselves that we seldom really know or understand the struggles and hardships that other people are going through. So, for 2019, let's all try to be a little more compassionate, empathetic, patient and thoughtful with each other." The year turned out all right for the Béis Travel founder, she and boyfriend Matte Babel welcoming daughter Atlas last October. 

Meghan McCain

In the earliest stages of her grief, The View cohost blamed her 2019 miscarriage on herself. "Perhaps it was wrong of me to choose to be a professional woman, working in a high-pressure, high-visibility, high-stress field," she wrote in a New York Times Magazine story. "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." She realized eventually, however, there was nothing she could have done: "Life and death are beyond our power." She and husband Ben Domenech, are now parents to newborn daughter Liberty

Whitney Port

Having decided to ditch her birth control and see what happened in early 2019, The Hills: New Beginnings star was still nervous when she learned she was expecting again, having undergone a a tough first pregnancy and struggling through her first year as a mom to 3-year-old Sonny. That anxiety soon gave way to sadness when she learned there was no heartbeat. "The amount of various emotions I felt in the past couple weeks have been extreme," she wrote on Instagram in July 2019, "from shock to sadness to relief, which then led to guilt for feeing that relief." Now, she continued, "I'm currently in the process of learning to accept that my feelings are valid no matter what they are." 

Shawn Johnson

As a gold medal-winning athlete, the gymnast was used to putting on a brave face, but she felt compelled to share the pain of her 2017 miscarriage, after hearing from others. "I would just sit in front of the computer for hours, reading comments and stories," the Olympian, who welcomed daughter Drew in October 2019, told E! News, "and piece by piece, I kind of built this community that helped me get back on my feet." After witnessing her recovery, husband Andrew East agreed they should open up: "Since our community helped us so much, it's like a way for us to help them."