Ac­tor James Van Der Beek re­cently spoke about the three mis­car­riages his wife en­dured be­fore the birth of their daugh­ter Gwen­dolyn. Emma ex­plains how to help when some­one suf­fers the same

Closer (UK) - - Wellbeing -

I have two gor­geous I boys thanks to fer­til­ity treat­ment, but I al­ways wanted a big fam­ily, and there isn’t a day where I don’t think about the five ba­bies I didn’t carry to full term. I found all my mis­car­riages ut­terly iso­lat­ing, be­cause as soon as you drop the “M” bomb, con­ver­sa­tion be­comes awk­ward – or ends.


Daw­son’s Creek star James Van Der Beek has opened up about the three mis­car­riages he and his wife Kim­berly ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore hav­ing three-month-old Gwen­dolyn. He con­curs that if you re­ally want to sup­port a woman, or cou­ple, deal­ing with loss, you need to of­fer them an out­let for their feel­ings, and words of hope. When I mis­car­ried at twelve weeks, peo­ple said “na­ture knows best”. They told me that my ba­bies were prob­a­bly ge­net­i­cally de­formed. This was in­tended to com­fort me, to make the mis­car­riage ac­cept­able, but what I needed was a strong pair of arms to hold me as I sobbed, and strong cups of tea to help me get through the deeply dis­tress­ing ini­tial days.

If some­one you know miscarries, avoid mut­ter­ing the statis­tics that so many peo­ple think “nor­malise” baby loss. A preg­nant mother is not a math­e­ma­ti­cian, she is an emo­tional be­ing who is los­ing a life that she’s al­ready in­vested and in love with. I had planned my ba­bies’ lives within five min­utes of my pos­i­tive test, and hav­ing that ripped away is heart­break­ing. Don’t avoid dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions be­cause you don’t know what to say, you’re not ex­pected to. Say­ing noth­ing makes mis­car­riage feel taboo and hav­ing your mates avoid dis­cussing the most im­por­tant is­sue you are fac­ing adds to the agony. Pick up the phone, go round for a cof­fee, and keep in reg­u­lar con­tact.


Fi­nally, equip your­self with help­ful in­for­ma­tion. Chan­nel Mum (www.chan­nel­mum.com) has an area ded­i­cated to baby loss aware­ness. This is a per­fect place to gain knowl­edge so you can sup­port a loved one. There is al­ways hope, but be­fore you tell them that they’ll get preg­nant again, al­low them the very real grief and pain that comes with baby loss.

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