Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd are opening up about their experience with fertility struggles while trying to grow their family.
In a new interview with People, Murgatroyd revealed she has suffered three miscarriages in the last few years.
The pro dancer and her husband are parents to 5-year-old son Shai and said they have wanted to give their son a sibling for years.
Murgatroyd said she suffered her first miscarriage in 2020 in a Whole Foods bathroom. She said she felt "completely embarrassed" and "ultimately ashamed" at the time.
"I definitely wanted to keep my miscarriages a deep dark secret for the rest of my life," Murgatroyd said.
"I'm somebody who prides herself on health wellness," she said. "I exercise every single day. But as I came to realize, that doesn't really go hand-in-hand with the reproductive system."
Reflecting on the traumatic day, she recalled, "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."
She said the moment is "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."
"I think the darkest part," Chmerkovskiy added, "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 had a second miscarriage nine months later.
The pro dancer's third miscarriage happened in October 2021. She had recently tested positive for COVID and was in pain, revealing that her "breath was starting to be affected." She eventually had to call an ambulance after ending up lying on her son's bedroom floor, unable to move. At the hospital later, she was told she'd experienced a miscarriage.
She didn't know she'd been pregnant.
Chmerkovskiy was in Ukraine working as a judge on the country's version of "Dancing With The Stars" at the time and was able to listen in on Murgatroyd's conversation with the doctor that day on speakerphone. Still, he said his inability to be with his wife in that moment left him him feeling "helpless."
Despite the stigma surrounding pregnancy loss and the shame many say they feel after experiencing one, miscarriages are not uncommon. A 2021 study in the peer reviewed medical journal The Lancet found that an estimated 23 million miscarriages occur every year worldwide. "Psychological consequences" of pregnancy loss can include "increases in the risk of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide," according to the study.
Murgatroyd told People that she has since been diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common hormone abnormality that affects 6% to 12% of women of reproductive age in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The exact cause of the disorder is not known, but many factors, including family history, health and more, are believe to be factors, the CDC says.
The couple is now starting IVF and Murgatroyd says she is in "a much happier place" because she finally "got answers."
"For the first time in nearly two years, I feel excited," she said.