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Dancing With The Stars Alum Peta Murgatroyd Opens Up About Miscarriage She Suffered While Her Husband Was In Ukraine

Peta Murgatroyd on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The journey to expand their family has been a difficult one for former Dancing With the Stars professionals Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Though Murgatroyd gave birth to their son Shai Aleksander in 2017, they've endured a lot of heartbreak in the years since, and the couple opened up about a particularly tough situation they faced when Murgatroyd suffered a miscarriage while Chmerkovskiy was in his native Ukraine.

In October of 2021, Peta Murgatroyd said she had just tested positive for COVID and was really struggling, as Maksim Chmerkovskiy was out of the country and serving as a judge on the Ukrainian version of Dancing With the Stars. She called an ambulance when it got to the point where she was lying on the floor and unable to move, with her breath starting to be affected. Murgatroyd told People she put her husband on speakerphone as the doctor came in to tell her what was going on, saying:

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?'

Indeed, Peta Murgatroyd had not known she was pregnant. Neither, obviously, had Maks Chmerkovskiy; however, the couple recalled that he began to celebrate in the moment, having only heard the doctor say, “You’re pregnant.” The misunderstanding  and eventual realization only compounded the pain the dancer felt about not being able to be there to support his wife. He said:

To not be there [with her]... it's crazy. It makes you feel helpless.

Peta Murgatroyd said she’d previously flown to Ukraine to see the former Masked Dancer contestant for the sole purpose of trying to conceive, but after testing positive for COVID, she had not even considered that their attempts had worked. In fact, she thought the bleeding she’d seen a few days earlier was from her period. As it turns out, not being aware of the pregnancy beforehand actually helped her recover from the loss. In her words:

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!' I just had the moment of, 'You lost it.'

Sadly, that wasn’t the first time the couple had been through such loss. Peta Murgatroyd said the lowest point of their relationship came in the fall of 2020, when she had her first miscarriage in a Whole Foods bathroom stall, just five weeks into her pregnancy. Nine months later, she said she was pregnant again and had planned to fly to New York to surprise Maksim Chmerkovskiy with the news, but she miscarried just days before the trip.

The couple hasn’t lost hope in expanding their family, though. They’ve started the process of in vitro fertilization and are working with a fertility team, who thinks Peta Murgatroyd’s fertility issues might be caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome. The dancer says they’re in a better place now that she and her husband have a new plan:

For the first time in nearly two years, I feel excited. I'm in a much happier place. I got answers. I don't have any other words but hope and positivity. I'm crossing my fingers that this is going to work.

Peta Murgatroyd appeared on 13 seasons of Dancing With the Stars, winning the Mirrorball Trophy twice — in Season 14 with Donald Driver and in Season 22 with Nyle DiMarco. She last appeared on Season 29 in 2020. Maksim Chmerkovskiy, meanwhile, danced on 17 seasons of the show, winning Season 18 with Meryl Davis. He announced his exit from the show following Season 25 in 2017, amid rumors of a feud between him and dance partner Vanessa Lachey. Murgatroyd and Chmerkovskiy started dating in 2012, tying the knot in 2017 after the birth of their son.

Dancing With the Stars is moving to streaming for Season 31, so you’ll have to have a Disney+ subscription to see who takes home the next Mirrorball. Maks Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd, however, will not appear as they continue to try to expand their family. Our best wishes go out to the couple, and we hope the tough times are behind them.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.