James Van Der Beek and his wife, Kimberly, expected to welcome a new member of their family to the world next spring. But that joyful anticipation turned into grief last week.
That’s when the actor announced that his wife suffered a miscarriage four months into her pregnancy, and though it’s a loss they’ve endured three times before, he added that it had never happened so “late in the pregnancy, and never accompanied by such a scary, horrific threat to (Kimberly) and her well-being.”
Now James has offered an update for his concerned fans.
“We’re hanging in there,” the 42-year-old told People at Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars” finale.
The former “Dawson’s Creek” star made it to the semifinal round of the ballroom competition last Monday, before being eliminated just hours after he shared his family’s sad news.
“We have so much love and support and we appreciate it,” he said of the response he and Kimberly have since received.
As for his wife, he explained that she’s still recovering from the toll the pregnancy loss took on her.
“Kimberly is getting there,” James said. “It’s been physically really, really tough. Way tougher than any of the births. It was a really scary situation.”
James and Kimberly wed in 2010 and have five children together — Olivia, 9, Joshua, 7, Annabel Leah, 5, Emilia, 3, and Gwendolyn, 1 — who share in their grief.
The actor also spoke about the loss on his final episode of “Dancing With the Stars,” just before he took the stage for a foxtrot that left him weeping on the dance floor.
"The little soul that we had expected to welcome in our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond," he told viewers at the time. "You never know why these things happen. That's what I've been telling my kids. All you know is that it brings you closer together. It breaks you open. It opens up your heart. It deepens your appreciation. It makes you more human."
And it can lead to bonds with others going through that same human experience. It’s estimated that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it’s something that fellow famous couple Alec and Hilaria Baldwin have suffered twice this year.
When they learned of the Van Der Beeks’ pain, Hilaria reached out to Kimberly.
“We connected, and I guess we truly know what’s going on for each other,” Hilaria recently revealed when speaking to Extra. “It’s been tough. She’s very strong and my heart is with what’s going on with them.”