Olympic silver medalist in figure skating Nancy Kerrigan, currently competing on “Dancing With the Stars,” says that she suffered multiple miscarriages on her way to having three children.
“The first time that you go in and they tell you, ‘Oh there’s no heartbeat,’ it’s devastating,” Kerrigan, 47, says in the new issue of People, after having spoken about her miscarriages in a clip during Monday’s “Dancing” episode. After marrying her agent, Jerry Solomon, in 1995, the year after her triumph at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, Kerrigan and her husband had son Matthew in 1996. But afterward, Kerrigan told the magazine, she suffered “at least” six miscarriages.
“Once,” she said, “the pregnancy was far enough along that we actually told our son and he was so excited.” But after tragedy again struck, Kerrigan added: “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? . . . That was awful.”
After in vitro fertilization treatment, Kerrigan had son Brian in 2005. A second round yielded daughter Nicole in 2008, but it had come close to ending in disappointment. “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 OK before Brian, but we already had two now, so we said no,” Kerrigan told People. “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.”
In the clip, Kerrigan told her pro dance partner Artem Chigvintsev that the miscarriages had made her “feel like a failure . . . So, it was really hard, actually. I mean it was like [I] almost felt shameful, I think, like, because I couldn’t do it on my own,” she said, her voice breaking as Chigvintsev gave her a hug.