In early October, Kimberly Van Der Beek announced her pregnancy on Instagram, revealing she and hubby James Van Der Beek were expecting baby number six.
Content warning: This story discusses miscarriage.
Excitement and disappointment
“I’m pregnant with a sixth child! We are ELATED!” she wrote alongside a cute family portrait featuring the couple and their children nine-year-old Olivia, seven-year-old Joshua, five-year-old Annabel, three-year-old Emilia and one-year-old Gwendolyn.
James — who has just finished a run on the US Dancing With The Stars — also posted an announcement, but his went into little more detail and revealed they’d endured several miscarriages prior to this very public pregnancy.
He has some big feelings about baby number six, but also about how we talk about and support miscarriage, which he shared with followers.
“Thrilled beyond belief to announce that another little bundle of joy has picked us to be their family,” James wrote.
“We chose to have our first ultrasound on camera with our #DWTS crew capturing the result – something I NEVER thought we’d ever do … but @vanderkimberly and I have been through three of those first appointments to discover either no heartbeat, or no baby, and she wanted to share this moment.”
“Miscarriage (a word that needs a replacement – nobody failed to ‘carry’, these things sometimes just happen) is something that people rarely talk about, and often go through in secret. But there needs to be zero shame around it, or around giving yourself the time and space to grieve.”
“We decided to put ourselves out there – not knowing what we’d find – in an effort to chip away at any senseless stigma around this experience and to encourage people who might be going through it to open themselves up to love & support from friends and family when they need it most.”
Sadly their worst fears were realised recently when Kimberly lost the baby she was carrying.
A traumatic miscarriage
The couple say they are not only dealing with the grief that follows such a loss, but are also recovering from the traumatic circumstances that surrounded it.
“Wrecked. Devastated. In shock,” James said on Instagram, discussing his family’s — and particularly Kimberly’s experience.
“That’s how we’re feeling right now after the soul we thought were going to welcome into our family in April… has taken a short cut to whatever lies beyond this life. We’ve been through this before, but never this late in the pregnancy, and never accompanied by such a scary, horrific threat to @vanderkimberly and her well-being. Grateful that she’s now recovering, but we’ve only just begun unpacking the layers of this one.”
“In 48 hours, we lost our baby — boy, by the way — and I almost lost my life, which is not a story that has been told, but at some point, I can dig into the details with you guys about what happened in the emergency room,” Kimberly revealed in an Instagram story yesterday.
“I’m not really ready to talk further about everything yet, but at some point I will.”
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Wrecked. Devastated. In shock. That’s how we’re feeling right now after the soul we thought were going to welcome into our family in April… has taken a short cut to whatever lies beyond this life. We’ve been through this before, but never this late in the pregnancy, and never accompanied by such a scary, horrific threat to @vanderkimberly and her well-being. Grateful that she’s now recovering, but we’ve only just begun unpacking the layers of this one. Thank you to all of our friends and co-workers (and dance partners) who have shown up for us so beautifully during this time. As many of you have said, “There are no words…” and it’s true. Which is why in a time like this it’s enough to know that you’re there. Grieving AND counting our blessings today.
“Every expectant parent’s worst nightmare”
In an interview on Dancing With The Stars before he finished up, the former Dawson’s Creek star spoke more about what happened.
“My wife, Kimberly, went through every expectant parent’s worst nightmare,” the former season 28 contestant said during a confessional. “We lost the baby. The little soul that we had expected to welcome into our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond. You never know why these things happen. That’s what I’ve been telling my kids.”
Explaining why he was still appearing on the program when things were so rough, James said it’s what his wife wanted.
“Kimberly, from her hospital bed, said to me, ‘I am not done watching you dance,'” he said.
“Kimberly, I love you. When words fail, you sing. When there are no words, you dance. Kimberly, I’m dancing for you, I’m dancing for us.”
If you – or someone you know – has experienced the loss of a baby, please visit sands.org.au to access resources and support.
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I’m pregnant with a sixth child! We are ELATED! @vanderjames post talks about our journey with pregnancies and miscarriages and is worthy of a read. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you. Thank you for all the warmth and love you’ve been sending. 🥰 Photog @jilliangoulding (magic worker)