Hollywood actor James Van Der Beek, known best for his role in the popular teen drama “Dawson’s Creek,” recently posted an encouraging message to couples going through miscarriages.
Van Der Beek said the word itself — “miscarriage” — is a misnomer.
“‘Miscarriage,’ in an insidious way, suggests fault for the mother — as if she dropped something, or failed to ‘carry,’” the actor wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Van Der Beek, whose wife, Kimberly Brook, has had three miscarriages, argued there needs to be a new word for the tragic circumstance. He went on to suggest “all blame” should be eliminated from the loss of an unborn baby.
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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
According to statistics compiled by the Mayo Clinic, between 10 and 20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriages. The medical center noted the percentage is likely higher “because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t realize she’s pregnant.”
In response to Van Der Beek’s post, one Twitter user told the celebrity he could refer to “miscarriage” as “spontaneous abortion,” another term for the devastating development. Van Der Beek said he found that phrase to be no less comforting, adding “fetal demise” is “a tad more accurate.”
Not sure that’s any better… “spontaneous abortion” sounds like you decided to terminate the pregnancy on a whim… What we saw on our medical form was “fetal demise”. Not any gentler, but perhaps a tad more accurate? https://t.co/EfAOLBktCf
— James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) September 8, 2018
While encouraging parents-to-be to eschew feelings of guilt, Van Der Beek said it’s important to embrace the emotions they feel following a miscarriage, even though it “will tear you open like nothing else.”
“It’s painful and it’s heartbreaking on levels deeper than you may have ever experienced,” he wrote. “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 its rightful place.”
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The 41-year-old actor ended his post encouraging readers that many couples who experience miscarriages “become closer than ever before” and even find “a deeper desire for a child than ever before.”
Van Der Beek ended his writing by, once again, asking people to come up with a new word for “miscarriage.”