James Van Der Beek is opening up about life after miscarriage in an emotional new Instagram post.
The 41-year-old actor has been married to his wife Kimberly Brook for 10 years.
Earlier this year, the pair welcomed their fifth child, Gwendolyn, and they frequently share photos of their playful brood to social media.
Now, Van Der Beek is opening up about the couple’s multiple miscarriages, and makes a sound argument for why we should do away with the term altogether.
In a new Instagram post Van Der Beek reveals that he and his wife have experienced three miscarriages, including one just before they conceived their now three-month-old daughter.
“First off,” he writes, “We need a new word for it. ‘Mis-carriage,’ in an insidious way, suggests fault for the mother- as if she dropped something, or failed to ‘carry.’ From what I’ve learned, in all but the most obvious, extreme cases, it has nothing to do with anything the mother did or didn’t do. So let’s wipe all the blame off the table before we even start.”
The actor then goes on to share his experience with grief, sharing a moving message of hope to others.
“Second… It will tear you open like nothing else,” he continues. “It’s painful and it’s heartbreaking on levels deeper than you may have ever experienced. So don’t judge your grief, or try to rationalize your way around it. Let it flow in the waves in which it comes. And then…once you’re able… try to recognize the beauty in how you put yourself back together differently than you were before.”
Despite the loss, Van Der Beek writes that it’s possible for couples to become stronger and “realize a deeper desire for a child than ever before.”
“I’ve heard some amazing metaphysical explanations for them (miscarriages), mostly centering around the idea that these little souls volunteer for this short journey for the benefit of the parents,” he writes. “Please share whatever may have given you peace or hope along the way, along with a new word for this experience.”
The post, which has received more than 72,000 likes has been flooded with comments from followers sharing their experiences, frustrations and messages of hope.
“Absolutely speechless right now, we are still grieving a miscarriage from July,” one woman wrote. “Thank you so much for sharing this part of yourself. It is helping me more then you will ever know.”
“Thank you so much for speaking about this,” said another. “Losing multiple babies truly is one of the most hardest things to go through and it has tested everything about me. I hope one day the universe grants me a baby.”