Peta Murgatroyd, Maks Chmerkovskiy open up about miscarriages: ‘I had no strength’
Peta Murgatroyd revealed on Tuesday that she suffered a miscarriage in October days after testing positive for COVID-19. At the time, her husband and fellow “Dancing with the Stars” pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy was working in his home country of Ukraine.
In an exclusive interview with People magazine, the professional dancer recalled calling an ambulance for herself when she couldn’t rise from her 5-year-old son’s bedroom floor.
“I had no strength,” she told People. “I couldn’t open a dishwasher. I couldn’t open the fridge to feed [my son] Shai. ... It got so bad that my breath was starting to be affected. It was really dramatic.”
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When she got to the hospital, the doctor asked if she knew she was pregnant. Murgatroyd, who had assumed the bleeding meant she was on her period, did not. And Chmerkovskiy, who had only heard the words “You’re pregnant,” started celebrating via speaker phone, not understanding that his wife had just miscarried.
“In hindsight,” Murgatroyd said, being unaware of the pregnancy “was better for my recovery because I didn’t have that super joyous moment of, ‘I’m pregnant again!’ ... I just had the moment of, ‘You lost it.’”
This wasn’t Murgatroyd’s first miscarriage. The former Broadway performer also recounted miscarrying in a Whole Foods bathroom stall in the fall of 2020, five weeks into the pregnancy. Murgatroyd said she was shocked and “petrified.”
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“I was trying to tell myself, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ Of course, deep down, I knew,” she told People.
“I was sitting in the bathroom sobbing,” she added. “I’m surprised nobody walked in because I was crying so heavily and wailing. ... That was something that will probably live with me for the rest of my life, being on that toilet by myself, knowing what was happening and not being able to stop it.”
Chmerkovskiy called the experience of finding out his wife lost their baby in a public bathroom “as dark as it can get.” As someone “who prides herself on health wellness,” Murgatroyd admitted she was “embarrassed” and “ashamed.” But she “came to realize” that the reproductive system can act independently of one’s overall health.
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“I took a very long time to get over it,” she said. “It was months and months of crying most nights in bed by myself, crying in the shower, it was a lot of denial. What had I done wrong?”
Several months later, the celebrity choreographers tried again. Upon realizing that she was “ovulating soon,” Murgatroyd flew to Europe, where her husband was on the judges panel for the Ukrainian edition of “Dancing with the Stars.”
It was during her trip to Ukraine that Murgatroyd became infected with the coronavirus. She said the baby was unable to survive the early stages of the pregnancy when she came down with the respiratory illness.
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“I felt like I was dying, but then I obviously knew what had happened,” she told People. “It was just all too much for my body and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me.”
“To not be there [with her] ... it’s crazy. It makes you feel helpless,” said Chmerkovskiy, who fled Ukraine this year after Russia began invading the nation. (He has continued to spread awareness about the attack on his home country on social media.)
After her latest miscarriage, Murgatroyd was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal imbalance that can affect ovulation and fertility.
Chmerkovskiy said the miscarriages have made him “a changed man.” Before, he “never thought that two healthy, athletic people could be in a predicament like this.”
“I try to do my best in supporting Peta,” he said. “If you look around, you will find that most of your friends have had issues [trying to conceive]. I realized that this is more common and this is not being talked about.”
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