James Van Der Beek Calls For a New Word For Miscarriage

james van der beek
Instagram @vanderjames

If you came of age in the late 90’s, you no doubt know actor James Van Der Beek as Dawson of Dawson’s Creek, but twenty years on, he’s no longer a brooding, oft-heartbroken teen but a husband and dad of five young kids with wife Kimberly Van Der Beek. The couple is currently oohing and aahing over their brand new baby daughter, Gwendolyn, born in June.

However in a recent Instagram post, James Van Der Beek admitted that they have had heartbreak and loss in parenting as well as joy. On September 8th, Van Der Beek posted a photo of himself with Kimberly and their newest little one and admitted that they’d lost a child to miscarriage just prior to this baby, as well as two others in the past. In a heartfelt narrative, he ponders the gravity of pregnancy loss and asks for a better term to describe it than “miscarriage.”

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He says:

“Wanted to say a thing or two about miscarriages… of which we’ve had three over the years (including right before this little beauty). First off – 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 blame off the table before we even start.
Second… it will tear you open like nothing else. 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 allow it it’s rightful space. And then… once you’re able… try to recognize the beauty in how you put yourself back together differently than you were before. Some changes we make proactively, some we make because the universe has smashed us, but either way, those changes can be gifts. Many couples become closer than ever before. Many parents realize a deeper desire for a child than ever before. And many, many, many couples go on to have happy, healthy, beautiful babies afterwards (and often very quickly afterwards – you’ve been warned 😍). I’ve heard some amazing metaphysical explanations for them, mostly centering around the idea that these little souls volunteer for this short journey for the benefit of the parents… but please share whatever may have given you peace or hope along the way… Along with a new word for this experience. #miscarriage#WeNeedANewName#MoreCommonThanYouHearAbout@vanderkimberly”

 

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Wanted to say a thing or two about miscarriages… of which we’ve had three over the years (including right before this little beauty). First off – 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 blame off the table before we even start. Second… it will tear you open like nothing else. 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 allow it it’s rightful space. And then… once you’re able… try to recognize the beauty in how you put yourself back together differently than you were before. Some changes we make proactively, some we make because the universe has smashed us, but either way, those changes can be gifts. Many couples become closer than ever before. Many parents realize a deeper desire for a child than ever before. And many, many, many couples go on to have happy, healthy, beautiful babies afterwards (and often very quickly afterwards – you’ve been warned 😍). I’ve heard some amazing metaphysical explanations for them, mostly centering around the idea that these little souls volunteer for this short journey for the benefit of the parents… but please share whatever may have given you peace or hope along the way… Along with a new word for this experience. #miscarriage #WeNeedANewName #MoreCommonThanYouHearAbout @vanderkimberly

A post shared by James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) on

His point about the term “miscarriage” seeming to point blame at the mother does ring true, but I also think it’s very powerful how James Van Der Beek opens up and talks about the grief that comes with miscarriage and pregnancy loss. The truth is, it is extremely common, and yet we still seem to not know how to properly discuss or acknowledge that loss. I also love the way he acknowledges the unborn infants who don’t survive pregnancy as valuable lives with the words, “”I’ve heard some amazing metaphysical explanations for them, mostly centering around the idea that these little souls volunteer for this short journey for the benefit of the parents.”

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Sweet, sweet and powerful. All life is so valuable and precious, and all our babies lives matter, even if they never draw breath outside of the womb. Thanks James Van Der Beek, for reminding us. God bless you and your beautiful family!


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.