The Most Memorable Year week on “Dancing with the Stars” is pretty much a guaranteed sobfest, with each celebrity contestant honoring a particularly formative moment in his or her life.
Monday night, the stars opened up about former struggles ― including health issues and parenting trials ― to channel their pain and heartbreak through dance.
In a pre-show clip, former Olympian Nancy Kerrigan tearfully shared her long journey to becoming a mother of three, revealing that she suffered six miscarriages over the course of a few short years.
“Since I was 10 years old, I always wanted to have three kids by the time I was 30, sort of like what my mom had done,” Kerrigan told her dance partner, Artem Chigvintsev. “Not long after having Matthew, we thought we wanted to have more kids. So I got pregnant, but I had a miscarriage ... it makes you feel like a failure.”
“The first time that you go in and they tell you, ‘Oh there’s no heartbeat,’ it’s devastating,” she added. “It almost felt shameful, because I couldn’t do it on my own.”
Kerrigan and husband Jerry Solomon welcomed their first son, Matthew, in December 1997 shortly after their marriage. She said that raising her son’s expectations about having a sibling and then watching them crumble was one of the most difficult parts of the ordeal.
“Once, the pregnancy was far enough along that we actually told our son and he was so excited,” Kerrigan said, per People. “How do you explain [a miscarriage] to a little kid? Having to tell them that it was now gone and they had to take it out? He asked why and we had to explain, ‘Because it’s dead. It’s not alive anymore.’ That was awful.”
That’s when Kerrigan decided to pursue in vitro fertilization treatment. She eventually welcomed two more children, son Brian and daughter Nicole, in 2005 and 2008, respectively.
Watch Kerrigan and partner Chigvintsev dance the foxtrot to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, which she dedicated to her kids, below.