James Van Der Beek has opened up about how he and his wife have suffered three miscarriages.
The former 'Dawson's Creek' star - who has five kids, Olivia, seven, Joshua, six, Annabel, four, Emilia, two, and three-month-old Gwendolyn with spouse Kimberly - shared a heartfelt post on the subject on his Instagram account, in which he hit out at the terminology used to describe losing a child during pregnancy and insisted no one should be blamed for the heartbreaking situation.
Alongside a photo of himself, his wife and their baby daughter, he wrote: "Wanted to say a thing or two about miscarriages... of which we've had three over the years (including right before this little beauty).
"First off - we need a new word for it. "Mis-carriage", in an insidious way, suggests fault for the mother - as if she dropped something, or failed to "carry." From what I've learned, in all but the most obvious, extreme cases, it has nothing to do with anything the mother did or didn't do. So let's wipe all blame off the table before we even start.(sic)"
The 41-year-old actor went on to discuss the agonising grief he'd experienced and urged people to recognise and embrace the changes caused by the situation.
He continued: "Second... it will tear you open like nothing else. It's painful and it's heartbreaking on levels deeper than you may have ever experienced. So don't judge your grief, or try to rationalize your way around it. Let it flow in the waves in which it comes, and allow it it's rightful space.
"And then... once you're able... try to recognize the beauty in how you put yourself back together differently than you were before.
"Some changes we make proactively, some we make because the universe has smashed us, but either way, those changes can be gifts.
"Many couples become closer than ever before. Many parents realize a deeper desire for a child than ever before. And many, many, many couples go on to have happy, healthy, beautiful babies afterwards (and often very quickly afterwards - you've been warned."
And James encouraged his fans and followers to join in a discussion on the subject.
He concluded: "I've heard some amazing metaphysical explanations for them, mostly centering around the idea that these little souls volunteer for this short journey for the benefit of the parents... but please share whatever may have given you peace or hope along the way... Along with a new word for this experience. #miscarriage #WeNeedANewName #MoreCommonThanYouHearAbout @vanderkimberly (sic)"