Actor James Van Der Beek became a household name in the late 90’s when he played Dawson Leery in the popular teen drama Dawson’s Creek. Now, he and his wife, Kimberly Van Der Beek, are expecting their sixth child together.
Currently, James is competing on the hit celebrity competition show, Dancing With the Stars. He and Kimberly made the decision to use the show to help them share their big news. During the episode, the couple allowed ABC’s cameras to join them as Kimberly received her first ultrasound.
Fans saw James and Kimberly breathe a sigh of relief after hearing their unborn child’s heartbeat during their ultrasound appointment. As the proud father told the cameras, “Hearing the heartbeat was, it’s something you never take for granted.”
He later told his DWTS partner, Emma Slater, that although they are currently the parents of five, in between those viable pregnancies, Kimberly also endured three miscarriages. And although miscarriage can sometimes be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, James and Kimberly hope to remove that stigma by being open about their own journey.
“Miscarriage is something people really don’t talk about. And we wanted to recognize that it happens to people, we wanted to destigmatize that as much as we possibly could.”
According to Healthline, between 10- to -15 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage.
James and Kimberly, a business consultant, have been married since 2010. They wed on August 1 in Tel Aviv, Isreal nine years ago. According to People, the couple decided to exchange vows in Tel Aviv after meeting in Isreal in 2009.
Then just two months after becoming husband and wife, the couple welcomed the first of their five children, Olivia, on September 25. Two years later, James and Kimberly welcomed a son Joshua in 2012, another daughter, Annabel, in 2014, then another daughter, Emilia, in 2016, and then their fourth daughter Gwendolyn in June of 2018.
Shortly after announcing their big news on national television, James took to Instagram to share the news on social media as well. He wrote that being this open about their pregnancy is something they never thought they’d do.
“Thrilled beyond belief to announce that another little bundle of joy has picked us to be their family. 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 [Kimberly] 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.”
James went on to write that he believes the term “miscarriage” needs to be replaced. He explained that “nobody failed to ‘carry,’ these things sometimes just happen,” and that the topic needs to be talked about more openly and without judgment.
The actor, and early favorite to win DWTS, says nobody should feel shame after enduring the loss of a pregnancy.
“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 [and] support from friends and family when they need it most. Happily, for us – this time- we walked out with tears of joy.”
Van Der Beek, who currently voices Boris Hauntley on Disney’s animated series Vampirina, told Access after the show that other than knowing they are pregnant, he and Kimberly don’t know much else, not even the sex of their sixth child…yet.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.