Peta Murgatroyd is opening up to People about a miscarriage she suffered while her husband Maks Chmerkovskiy was in Ukraine.
The “Dancing with the Stars” pro, who didn’t know she was pregnant, recalled testing positive for COVID-19 in October 2021 and getting so sick she couldn’t move.
“I had no strength. I couldn’t open a dishwasher. I couldn’t open the fridge to feed Shai, to get him some toast,” she shared of trying to take care of her 5-year-old son. “It got so bad that my breath was starting to be affected. It was really dramatic.”
The 35-year-old called an ambulance and was taken to a hospital, where she called Maks in Ukraine and placed him on speaker phone so he could hear what the doctor had to say.
Peta said, “I thought he was going to reveal some really bad news. I was like, ‘What’s wrong?’ His face dropped. He said, ‘Did you know you were pregnant?'”
She said Chmerkovskiy misheard the doctor, “He heard the doctor say, ‘You’re pregnant,'” but in fact the doctor was trying to explain that Murgatroyd had suffered a miscarriage.
“I ultimately had no idea [I was pregnant], which in hindsight was better for my recovery because I didn’t have that super joyous moment of, ‘I’m pregnant again!’” Murgatroyd said, adding, “I just had the moment of, ‘You lost it.’ “
Chmerkovskiy was in Ukraine at the time filming “Dancing with the Stars,” and Peta had paid him a visit in hopes of conceiving a baby.
“I was like, ‘Screw it. I’m going to fly to you in Ukraine. I’m ovulating soon. Let’s make it happen.’”
She contracted COVID during the trip, and believes her body was unable to fight the virus and maintain the new pregnancy.
“I felt like I was dying, but then I obviously knew what had happened,” she said. “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.”
Maks added, “To not be there [with her]… it’s crazy. It makes you feel helpless.”
This marked Peta’s third miscarriage since welcoming Shai in 2017.
Murgatroyd said the first time it happened was in a Whole Foods bathroom in 2020, when she was five weeks pregnant.
“It was so shocking and so out of the blue. I had walked [into the store] and it just all started happening,” she recalled. “I was petrified. I was trying to tell myself, ‘It’s going to be okay.’ Of course, deep down, I knew. I was sitting in the bathroom sobbing. I’m surprised nobody walked in because I was crying so heavily and wailing, one of those deep cries.”
Peta added, “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.”
Maks said it was a dark time, explaining, “I think the darkest part is when the person you are in love with calls you and she says that she had a miscarriage in the bathroom, that’s as dark as it can get.”
Murgatroyd shared, “With the trauma, I took a very long time to get over it. 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?”
Less than a year later she was pregnant again, and decided to fly to NYC to tell Maks in person, but before the trip she had a miscarriage. “I had to call him and say, ‘It’s happened again,'” she said, getting emotional. “This was the first time that I heard him get really upset, which was hard to hear because I know how it affects him, too.”
Chmerkovskiy added, “I’m a changed man because of this experience. I think that 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.”
Now, they are seeking the help of specialists and starting the in vitro fertilization process. “For the first time in nearly two years, I feel excited,” Peta shared, adding that doctors believe polycystic ovary syndrome may be contributing to her fertility issues.
Murgatroyd said, “I’m in a much happier place. I got answers,” adding, “I don’t have any other words but hope and positivity. I’m crossing my fingers that this is going to work.”