'16 and Pregnant' star Nikkole Paulun already had a 3-year-old son, Lyle, and when she found out she was pregnant for a second time, she was both terrified and elated. She grew to love her second baby, whom she'd named Ashton, when he was in the womb ... but she received horrifying and heartbreaking news a month before he was due.

Paulun miscarried.

"Everything was going OK and last month, my doctor told me that if everything was OK, I could deliver on Aug. 25, which was a week before my due date," Paulun revealed to Radar Online. "But then on July 27, I felt really weird all day and I kept telling my mom something didn't feel right."

Paulun went to the hospital the next morning, explaining, "I thought it would make me feel better."

However, Paulun wound up not feeling better, because she wasn't prepared for the absolute worst news an expectant mother could hear. "We saw a doctor to try and find the heartbeat and they couldn't find it ... but I thought I still felt him moving, so they took me for an ultrasound and they weren't letting me look at it when they did it."

Nikkole continued, knowing it wasn't a good sign, "She got up to get something else, so I knew something was wrong. They just told me, 'We're sorry. He doesn't have a heartbeat. We're going to have to deliver to prevent infections and everything.'"

After the delivery, which took about nine hours, Paulun confesses, "I cried. I was like in shock. I just couldn't understand why and I was confused. I didn't think that was actually going to happen."

Paulun was so crushed that she even skipped the autopsy and opted instead to not find out what caused Ashton's death. Still, she notes, "When he was born, they took him and they drug tested him to make sure I didn’t do drugs and kill him," Paulun said; the drug tests were negative.

Paulun admitted that she deliberately kept the miscarriage a secret. "I didn't want to tell anybody. I fought so hard to keep him that I was just ashamed and embarrassed." As part of the clandestine nature of her miscarriage, Paulun didn't have a funeral for her unborn son, instead cremating him. "When I found out he was a boy, I bought a teddy bear and we had him sewed inside his teddy bear. And when I pray, I'll hold the teddy bear."

As for how she explained to Lyle that his little brother didn't survive, Paulun said, "We just told him that he went to heaven, but he didn't really understand."

Our thoughts are with Paulun, Lyle and their loved ones during this unimaginably difficult time.

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