James has highlighted his problems with the term 'miscarriage'.
Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek has shared an incredibly candid message on Instagram following the family heartbreak of his wife Kimberly suffering three miscarriages.
The actor, who is the father to five children, Olivia, seven, Joshua, six, Annabel, four, Emilia, two, and three-month-old Gwendolyn with Kimberly, took to social media to call for a shift in the discussion surrounding miscarriages.
Sharing a snap of himself and Kimberly cradling their youngest daughter, James emotionally penned an open letter calling for a change in the term ‘miscarriage’.
Opening the letter, the actor addressed his own experience with the term: ‘Wanted to say a thing or two about miscarriages… of which we’ve had three over the years (including right before this little beauty).’
Highlighting his problem, the 41-year-old writes: ‘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.’
James then assured those going through their own experience with loosing an unborn baby that their feelings are very valid: ‘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.’
After explaining that the horrible experience can bring families closer together, the actor signs off his emotional plea with a message reading: ‘Please share whatever may have given you peace or hope along the way… Along with a new word for this experience.’
Users have been quick to comment on James’ incredibly transparent post. One user shares: ‘This is beautiful, and needed to be said. Thank you. I had three miscarriages before having my beautiful son.’
Agreeing, another writes: ‘I don’t have words to describe how important your words are to me in this exactly moment… thank you, thank so much’.
Support and information surrounding similar experiences as highlighted by James can be accessed on the NHS website. Alternatively, you can access our own support guidelines for ways to cope with the loss of an unborn baby here.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on James’ emotional message. Do you have an opinion on the term ‘miscarriage’?
Words by Alice-Rose Perry