The former Dawson’s Creek star had sole responsibility for choosing Olivia’s name, but now Kimberly is in charge — with breastfeeding at least!
Before their baby girl was born, James Van Der Beek and his wife, Kimberly Brook, decided that he would be in charge of picking out an appropriate baby name. “I gave him full naming power,” Kimberly tells People. “But she did throw that one in my lap,” James replies. “We wanted her to come out and then see what her name would be.” So when their daughter arrived on Sept. 25, the former Dawson’s Creek star, 33, decided on a name then and there: “She looked like an Olivia.”
But that wasn’t the only reason James chose the name! “There’s an olive tree in Israel that’s special to us,” he explains about choosing the name for his daughter. Adds Kimberly, “We spent time under it when we first met in Israel, then we went back to this tree when I was pregnant.” We’re hoping Kimberly thought about that tranquil place when she was in labor with Olivia, because the new mom says that her delivery was anything but smooth!
“It was four-and-a-half hours of pushing,” Kimberly, 28, recalls. “I was going for no drugs, but after pushing for two-and-a-half hours, I was like, ‘OK.’ I was dilated to nine for a few hours and I wasn’t going any further — she switched her position at the last minute and wasn’t coming up from under my pelvic bone.”
Although they had hoped to have a drug-free delivery, plans can change. “We were one of those couples who was all about natural birth. We had the right doctor, we had the right doula and the right nurse at the hospital,” James explains. “Kimberly did it as naturally as she could, but at the end of the day we were very glad we were in the hospital.” Finally with a little help from a vaccum, Olivia made her debut! “The labor was tough,” Kimberly admits, “but you forget about it the second they put her in your arms.”
Now that it’s been three months since Olivia was born, James and Kimberly have already found a system that works for their red-haired, blue-eyed baby! James may be the cradler, but he admits Kimberly is “a much better breastfeeder than I am!”
Congrats to the happy couple! Olivia is beautiful, as you can see from her first photo shoot, taken by photographer Marc Cartwright.