PHOTO: YOUTUBE /
Every season on Dancing with the Stars features a "most memorable year" episode in which each celebrity contestant performs to songs commemorating a year in their lives.
Hands down, this season's most emotional dance featured Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.
“Since I was 10 years old, I always wanted to have three kids by the time I was 30, sort of like what my mom had done,” Kerrigan told her dance partner, Artem Chigvintsev, .
Kerrigan married husband Jerry Solomon in September of 1995—and although she was at the height of her skating career (with two Olympic medals and the Tanya Harding attack behind her), she wanted kids right then and there.
Very quickly she was pregnant with her son, Matthew. “Not long after having Matthew, we thought we wanted to have more kids," Kerrigan said. "So I got pregnant but I had a miscarriage."
The pain of that loss remains with Kerrigan to this day. "It was pretty awful," she said, overcome with emotion. "You feel guilty, and like what did you do wrong. It makes you feel like a failure."
Unfortunately, Kerrigan would become very familiar with that feeling, experiencing a total of six miscarriages in eight years.
“The first time that you go in and they tell you, 'Oh there’s no heartbeat,' and it’s devastating,” she explained, noting an aspect of miscarriage that many people don't talk about publically:
"It almost felt shameful, because I couldn't do it on my own."
Eventually, with the help of IVF, Kerrigan had two more children, Brian, in 2005, and, Nicole, in 2008.
"We fought hard for this family," Kerrigan said. "And I want to say to my kids through this dance, 'Never give up, keep trying. If you have hope in your heart you can persevere. I know it's hard sometimes to have it, but it's important.'"
Though speaking to her children, Kerrigan's words have resonated with women who have known similar struggles. Indeed, according to the March of Dimes, 10 percent to 15 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. By sharing her own story, Kerrigan hopes make the women behind these numbers feel less alone.
“I think talking about any issue makes things less stressful," she told People. "It helps you to realize you’re not the only one and that other people go through the same things. No one should feel alone through that process.”
Check out Kerrigan's full interview as well as the emotional foxtrot she and Chigvintsev performed to "My Wish," by Rascal Flats: