Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan can currently be seen competing, sans skates, on “Dancing With the Stars”, and in this week’s episode of the reality hit the mother of three opens up about a string of six miscarriages that she characterizes as “devastating,”
In a special sneak peek from Monday’s episode — an exclusive preview, courtesy of People, is below — Kerrigan discusses this difficult time in her life.
As she explains in an upcoming issue of People, she and husband Jerry Solomon were married in 1995, and she quickly became pregnant; the couple welcomed son Matthew in 1996.
“He went on tour with us for months and it was great,” says Kerrigan.
However, it would be eight years before Kerrigan would become a mother for the second time — and not for lack of trying, revealing she suffered “at least” six miscarriages between the births of her first and second children.
“The first time that you go in and they tell you, ‘Oh there’s no heartbeat,’ it’s devastating,” Kerrigan says. “I felt like a failure.”
While doctors weren’t able to explain why she kept miscarrying, she herself had to explain to her son why he the siblings he kept expecting never appeared.
“Once, the pregnancy was far enough along that we actually told our son and he was so excited,” says Kerrigan. “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.”
Yet Kerrigan faced her pregnancy problems with the same determination that won her bronze and silver medals at the Olympics.
“Jerry asked me if I was sure I wanted to keep going. It was hard for him to see me hurting,” she says. “But I wasn’t ready to stop trying.”
With the help of in vitro fertilization treatment (IVF), Kerrigan the couple welcomed son Brian in 2005.
“I think about it now and remember we couldn’t come up with a name for Brian,” says Kerrigan. “I wonder if we probably were afraid to come up with a name because that makes you close and we could lose him.”
Kerrigan again underwent IVF treatment, which resulted in her third child, Nicole, born in 2008.
“There were two eggs left and they said, ‘Do you want both?’ And we were, like, ‘Oh.’ Sometimes people get twins and that would have been okay before Brian, but we already had two now so we said no,” she says. “They said, ‘This one looks strong!’ But then it wasn’t strong and they said it didn’t work. Then they said ‘There’s only this weak one left,’ which is funny because our daughter Nicole is the complete opposite of weak.”
Adds Kerrigan with a laugh: “Now we’re outnumbered!”