On Father's Day, James Van Der Beek took to Instagram to announce that he and his wife of eight years, Kimberly, welcomed their fifth child, a daughter named Gwendolyn.
"Thrilled to announce we welcomed a brand new baby girl into the world Friday morning, just in time for #FathersDay 😍," the Dawson's Creek alum captioned the Instagram post. He added, "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."
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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.
Little did fans know that they suffered a loss before just months before their little girl's arrival. Sadly, it wasn't the first time that the actor and his wife have experienced a miscarriage.
James, who often shares nuggets of parenting wisdom on social media, recently penned one of his most emotional posts yet. He opened up about the pain of losing three unborn children in hopes that his story will reach those who have experienced something similar.
"Wanted to say a thing or two about miscarriages... of which we’ve had three over the years (including right before this little beauty [Gwendolyn])," he wrote before pointing out that "we need a new word for it [miscarriage]."
Unfortunately, one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and although many women assume it's their fault, the Pose star wants to make it clear that it isn't.
"'Mis-carriage,' in an insidious way, suggests fault for the mother - as if she dropped something, or failed to 'carry,'" James continued. "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."
He describes the pain as something that 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."
James gives parents whose babies didn't survive pregnancy hope by explaining that after the experience "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)."
He concluded by urging people to share words they think could replace the term "miscarriage."
"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," he wrote.
Some people already came up with some great suggestions, including "Pre-term Labor" and "Love Baby."
More and more celebrities have been very candid about losing their unborn children.
One Tree Hill star and former Dancing With The Stars contestant Jana Kramer opened up about losing her baby last Christmas, shortly after revealing her pregnancy.
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Today I am 1-3. I debated posting this for the exact reason why it’s a silent struggle. I don’t want I’m sorry or sympathy. I just don’t want to feel alone. And I know I’m not. This unfortunately isn’t my first loss. When I first found out I was pregnant I wanted to shout it from the rooftop but I know for reasons like this we have to wait. So because we don’t tell many, we have to suffer silently...and suffering silently was my thing in the past, but it’s not now. For the women out there who have miscarried in the past and need support and a place to grieve their little one lost or to those in the thick of it like me who are currently grieving and in pain, let us all be there for each other. You don’t need to feel alone and maybe that’s me talking to myself but if you need a place to share, I’m here for you...and all of us are (and guys too. We sometimes silence your voice because you feel bad to express how it’s made u feel so let this be a safe place for you too). And because I don’t have all the words to say because I’m knee deep in crying and trying to listen to God, my girlfriend @alittlebitfancy says them for me. But in her Words and her story on her loss. It’s powerful and strong and those who have suffered a loss I truly feel u can heal reading her blog. I know for me it helped. Head over to her page. Her link is in the bio and also in my bio. I love you guys. #yourenotalone
"Today I am 1-3," Kramer wrote in the emotional post, which included a picture of Kramer holding the ultrasound photo of the baby she lost. "I debated posting this for the exact reason why it’s a silent struggle. I don’t want I’m sorry or sympathy. I just don’t want to feel alone. And I know I’m not."
Like the Van Der Beeks, this wasn't Jana's first loss, but her faith and strength helped her overcome the pain. In June, she announced that she and her husband, former NFL player Mike Caussin, have a rainbow baby on the way.
"I’m so excited,” the “Dammit” singer said during an exclusive interview with People. "We lost in October and then we did an IVF cycle and we lost in February, so I want to be able to be like, ‘Hey, I know it’s hard but just try to have some hope.'"
Kudos to James, Jana, and all the other parents who bravely open up about their losses, so other people can know that they aren't alone.