Nancy Kerrigan turned pain into beauty Monday night when she channeled her emotional past into a lovely fox trot with partner Artem Chigvintsev on “Dancing With the Stars.” The dance earned the fourth-highest score of the night with 33 of 44 points, but became an instant hit with fans, many of whom connected with the struggle that inspired the number.
Kerrigan’s dance wasn’t about her infamous Olympic feud with Tonya Harding, but of her trouble to carry a baby. On Monday night, the former figure skater revealed she had suffered six miscarriages over the course of eight years, and on Wednesday, she opened up more.
“It’s devastating, and it’s so hard on your marriage,” Kerrigan told ABC News’ Abbie Boudreau on “Good Morning America” (via USA Today).
“You think, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ ” she continued. “People have babies every day. This is such a natural thing. Why would I keep losing a baby? What did I do?”
Kerrigan said she had to learn not to blame herself, despite feeling like a “failure,” especially having already given birth to her eldest son Matthew with little problem in 1997.
Kerrigan recalled one of her lowest points as the time when she had to tell Matthew he wasn’t going to be a big brother after all when she miscarried more than three months into one pregnancy.
“It was crazy hard to tell him,” Kerrigan told Boudreau. “He was so excited he was gonna have a brother or sister — and say that’s not going to happen and try to explain to a little kid why.”
With visions of having more children still in her head, Kerrigan and husband Jerry Solomon, who stuck by her through the emotional trauma, turned to in vitro fertilization through which they were able to have two more children — another son, Bryan, in 2005 and a daughter, Nicole, in 2008.
After the couple’s long journey to expand their family, naming Bryan turned out to be struggle, Kerrigan said.
“It took a long time to name him,” the 47-year-old said. “It was like being afraid to get attached.”
Today, Kerrigan’s three children are all thriving and healthy. Matthew is 19, Brian is 12 and Nicole is 9.
The former Olympian said Monday the struggle was worth it.
“We fought hard for this family,” Kerrigan said before taking the “DWTS” stage. “I want to say to my kids through this dance, ‘Never give up … Keep trying.’ ”