UPDATE (11/18/2019, 10:49 p.m.): After James Van Der Beek revealed his wife Kimberly Brook suffered another miscarriage on the Nov. 18 episode of Dancing with the Stars, he later explained how this miscarriage was unlike the rest. “We’ve been through this before, but never this late in the pregnancy, and never accompanied by such a scary, horrific threat to [Kimberly] and her well-being. Grateful that she’s now recovering, but we’ve only just begun unpacking the layers of this one,” James wrote on Instagram, alongside photos of his daughter Olivia, 9, in her mom’s hospital bed — you can read James’ full message below.
ORIGINAL: The Nov. 18 episode of Dancing with the Stars took an emotional turn when James Van Der Beek, 42, shared heartbreaking news during the show. “My wife Kimberly [Brook] went through every expectant parent’s worst nightmare. We lost the baby,” James announced to a stunned crowd, ahead of his second performance of the night with partner Emma Slater. He continued, “The little soul that we had expected to welcome into our family took a shortcut to whatever lies beyond. You never know why these things happen. That’s what I’ve been telling my kids.”
At this point, tears started to fill James’ eyes. “It breaks you open. It opens up your heart, deepens your appreciation. It makes you more human,” James, who was crying, told ABC’s viewers. Despite the loss, Kimberly didn’t want James to pull out of Monday night’s competition. “I really didn’t think I’d be dancing tonight but Kimberly from our hospital bed said, ‘I’m not done watching you dance,'” he revealed, and went on to declare, “Kimberly, I’m dancing for you. I’m dancing for us.”
James’ words moved his eldest child, daughter Olivia, 9, who was also seated in the audience. After James went on to perform Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” — a song that had taken on a “whole new meaning” in the wake of the miscarriage — James picked up Olivia, who started to cry. It was a heavy-hearted night, since she was still crying when James spoke with host Erin Andrews backstage. Adding to this sad news was the shocking elimination that left DWTS fans in an uproar, which you can find out here.
This would have been James and Kimberly’s sixth child, after the parents revealed the pregnancy news on Oct. 7. It was an exciting time, since Kimberly had already revealed her three past miscarriages in a Sept. 2018 Instagram post. “I’ve had three miscarriages, all around 10 weeks gestation. I let them all happen naturally. I had a loving husband, a compassionate birthing team and I felt spiritually grounded about them. And even in the best of circumstances, they all broke my heart. I was devastated every single time. After one of them, I sat in the shower crying for almost five hours. Thankfully I am fully at peace with them all now and have five children,” she wrote, according to the World Health Organization. The parents’ five children are all under the age of nine: in addition to Olivia, they share daughters Annabel, 5, Emilia, 3, and Gwendolyn, 16 months, and son Joshua, 7.
While each miscarriage has left James and Kimberly heartbroken, they have never shied away from talking about the taboo subject. The parents allowed a clip of Kimberly’s ultrasound to be played on the Oct. 8 episode of DWTS, despite the disappointing news they’ve received from past doctor appointments. “We’ve had a few appointments where we found out we were not adding to our family and so Kimberly decided to do it on camera [the ultrasound], to open it up and allow people to go through the experience – good result or not good result. Just to encourage people to talk about. It’s apart of life,” James told HollywoodLife and other reporters after the Oct. 8 episode of DWTS.