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James Van Der Beek Opens Up About Miscarriage: 'Let's Wipe All Blame Off the Table'

“‘Mis-carriage’, in an insidious way, suggests fault for the mother... So let’s wipe all blame off the table before we even start.”
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profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
September 10, 2018

Miscarriages may not be openly discussed, but they are a lot more common than you think. And although many women who experience a miscarriage put the blame on themselves, it’s important to acknowledge while some lifestyle factors can raise the risk, in most cases, they are largely out of your control.

After he and his wife have gone through three miscarriages, James Van Der Beek definitely understands this. The actor shared a powerful message on social media, calling others to change the way they perceive miscarriages.

“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,” he says.

He posted his note on Instagram, sharing a picture of himself and his wife holding their “little beauty.”

The former Dawson’s Creek star goes on to discusses the “heartbreaking” feelings caused by this loss, and why it is so important to deal with these emotions head-on.

“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 its rightful space,” he advises others.

Van Der Beek has a good point. You can’t move on from a miscarriage unless you deal with the grief. Pushing those feelings to the side will only end up hurting you more.

“Once you’re able, try to recognize the beauty in how you put yourself back together differently than you were before,” he says. “Some changes we make proactively, some we make because the universe has smashed us, but either way, those changes can be gifts.”

Miscarriages have quite an impact on couples, but sometimes, as the actor explains, the pair comes out even stronger.

“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,” he explains.

The dad leaves his followers with a call to action to share their own stories of grief and then peace. With more than 68,000 likes and hundreds of comments, people were clearly touched by his words.

“We suffered two losses back to back after our first child, but were blessed with three more babies after. What has helped me move on from the grief is the realization that my earthly babies wouldn’t have been mine if my heavenly babies made it. It’s bittersweet, but I cannot imagine my life without them,” one parent shares.

“I’m crying reading this because it is so necessary to be said. My husband and I have suffered two miscarriages and then in May lost conjoined twin girls at 16 weeks. It’s devastating losing a child, because as a woman you do feel as if it is your fault, even though you have nothing to do with the outcome. Thank you for putting into words what many cannot say,” reads another note.

Parents tend to silently suffer after a miscarriage. It’s important to learn how to cope with this grief in a healthy way so you can begin to move forward.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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