James Van Der Beek has a special place in the hearts of many who spent their teenage years glued to Dawson’s Creek. Now, those square-eyed kids of the ’90s and ’00s are watching with interest as James assumes a very different role – that of being a dad.
“Placenta in a mixing bowl”
James and wife Kimberly welcomed their fifth child on Friday – a daughter named Gwendolyn. The wee gal was born at home, and James has been uploading candid images showing how the birth played out on Instagram.
It’s a refreshingly real-talk take on the reality of having babies with James even sharing a photo of the placenta that nourished his new daughter for 40-odd weeks.
While some fans found the image a little too graphic for their liking – throwing predicable green-faced emojis and “WTF?”s into his Instagram comments – many, many others applauded his candour as they congratulated the couple on their latest arrival.
Read more about home birth:
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- Alanis Morissette says her home birth looked like the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’
- “I’m actually delivering a baby!” Teen delivers first baby in couple’s bedroom
“Home birth realness,” James posted on Instagram. “(Word of caution, if you’re squeamish, just double-tap and move on) Messy bed. Plastic sheeting underneath old sheets. Old towel crumpled on the floor. Vomit bag (unused). Inflatable birthing tub (also unused). Shirtless Dad. Boy in Spider-Man pyjamas. Happy, healthy baby. Happy, healthy Mum in her own shower right after giving birth. Water bottle. And … placenta in a mixing bowl. (I warned you.)”
The category is: Home-Birth Realness. (Word of caution, if you’re squeamish, just double-tap and move on 👍) Messy bed ✔️ Plastic sheeting underneath old sheets ✔️Old towel crumpled on the floor ✔️ Vomit bag (unused) ✔️ Inflatable birthing tub (also unused 😬)✔️ Shirtless Dad ✔️Boy in Spider-Man pajamas ✔️Happy, healthy baby ✔️ Happy, healthy Mom in her own shower right after giving birth ✔️ Water bottle ✔️And… placenta in a mixing bowl ✔️ (I warned you 😬)
“So right and so normal”
James’ followers were keen to share their own home birth stories, and encourage even more of this “realness” and awareness.
“So awesome! Just had my third home birth two weeks ago so all this realness is very familiar to me,” one commenter posted.
“My home birth is one of the most precious moments of my life thank you for bringing awareness to something so right and so normal as birthing at home especially from a father’s perspective,” another wrote.
“I could tell by your first picture of the baby that you guys must have had a homebirth. So amazing! I had my three little ones at home too – one even weighing over 10 lbs. All healthy kiddos, and amazing birth stories. Thank you for being open and willing to teach in a non-judgmental way!” a fan commented.
The fine art of removing your hand from behind their head without waking them… They only require novice-level skills the first week. But practice up. You’re going to need to be a ninja soon. 🥋#ProTip: A tight #swaddle gives them comfort and keeps their new arms & legs from startling them back awake 👍
Bliss – and pain
James and Kimberly married in 2010 in Israel. The couple are parents to seven-year-old Olivia, six-year-old Joshua, four-year-old Annabel, two-year-old Emilia and … newborn Gwendolyn.
“Every child awakens a different energy in you … and this one has been bringing up the truth ever since we found out she was on her way,” James said in a statement earlier this week, People reports. He couldn’t help but speak out about the plight of other children – those being separated from their parents by US border patrol – as he welcomed another to the fold.
“I’ve been in bliss these last few days, but I’ve also been feeling the pain of parents who have been separated from their kids, and the terror those poor kids must be in right now. I live an incredibly privileged life … and the last thing I want would be to politicise a birth … but this is human rights abuse. It just didn’t seem right to bask in my privilege and blessings and not bring attention to it.”
James shared more about his family’s response to Trump’s policy on Instagram. You can read that below.
Thrilled to announce we welcomed a brand new baby girl into the world Friday morning, just in time for #FathersDay 😍 These last few days, as I’ve enjoyed the privilege of making smoothies I know my older kids will like, making my wife red raspberry leaf tea to ease her uterine contractions, spending “boy time” with my son and getting my two year-old down for a nap in the way only I know how… I’ve been heart sick about something. As I write this, kids are being ripped from the arms of their parents. By our government. For the kid’s benefit? No – the opposite – as a purposeful display of cruelty to deter would-be illegal border crossers AND legal asylum seekers (it’s happening to both). And it wouldn’t be honest to wax poetic about my new-baby bliss without speaking up against this atrocity. If we allow our government to de-humanize fathers, and mothers, and children in the name of defending our borders… we’ve lost a huge part what makes those borders worth defending. And even if you don’t believe in karma, or in extending basic human decency to people who didn’t win the geographic birth lottery… even if you’re hard-liner enough to say, “Break the law, suffer the consequences,” shouldn’t the punishment at least fit the crime? And if you’re still cold enough to say, “Well, it’s effective,” consider this: This heinous practice was put into place by our own attorney general (who justified it with a cherry-picked Bible verse), and our president blamed rivals before tweeting his list of legislative demands to be met before he stops it. Regardless of how you feel about immigration, or a wall, or this president… if we say we’re okay with our government using human rights violations as a deterrent or as a bargaining chip… what happens when we find ourselves on the wrong side of the agenda? Either in this administration or the next? This should not be a political issue – it’s a human one. A crime against humanity is a crime against us all. More info in link in my bio. Oh, and @vanderkimberly – you’re a f*cking earth goddess rock star and I’m as in awe of you as I am in love with you. And our new baby’s name is Gwendolyn ❤️ #HappyFathersDay everybody.