Maks Chmerkovskiy walks around his Malibu home making sure everything is taken care of. The 42-year-old Dancing with the Stars pro bounces on and off the phone for work, all while throwing son Shai on his shoulders and starting the dishwasher for wife Peta Murgatroyd. He prides himself on being the rock and provider for his family.
"I'm just here to make sure that everything goes well, regardless of what it is," Chmerkovskiy tells PEOPLE exclusively. "I feel like that's my job. And then when everybody's fine, I get to be tended to."
But lately, Chmerkovskiy has had to be the anchor for his family a bit differently, as he heals from the pain of Murgatroyd's three pregnancy losses. Chmerkovskiy, who recently sat down and told PEOPLE about the journey with his wife, is still at a loss for words that he's missed all of the miscarriages due to work.
"It was crazy," Chmerkovskiy says. "It makes you feel helpless. And for a dude like me, like all my priorities have completely shifted."
The experience has made him realize just how in love he is with his wife of five years.
"I think the darkest part is when the person you are in love with calls you and she says that she had a miscarriage in the bathroom, that's as dark as it can get," he says.
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Amanda Friedman Peta Murgatroyd poses on the balcony of her Malibu home being held by supportive husband Maks Chmerkovskiy.
In the fall of 2020, Murgatroyd, 35, was out running errands in Los Angeles when she suffered her first miscarriage in Whole Foods. Her husband was in town, but he was busy working and she couldn't get a hold of him. Nine months later, Murgatroyd miscarried again while Chmerkovskiy was on tour.
The third and most shocking miscarriage for the couple came in the fall of 2021 while Chmerkovskiy was overseas in Ukraine judging DWTS. Murgatroyd knew she was ovulating, so she hopped on a plane to visit her husband.
Days after returning to the states, Murgatroyd tested positive for COVID. As she grew worse, she called 911 and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance while their son Shai, 5, watched. She kept her panicked husband updated throughout her overnight stay, but they weren't expecting the news they received on the phone together when the doctor walked in.
"First, they said that, 'You're pregnant,' " Chmerkovskiy recalls. "I was like, 'Well, this whole COVID craziness, the way she got taken to a hospital. I'm in Ukraine on the phone while we have nobody to look after Shai. It was a very difficult situation. But then I heard that we're pregnant and then the next day I hear we're not. And it was like, 'This is crazy.' "
Amanda Friedman Peta Murgatroyd poses at home with husband Maks Chmerkovskiy and son Shai.
As if the family hadn't dealt with enough, in February, Chmerkovskiy found himself stuck in Ukraine yet again for work as the war broke out. Murgatroyd, who had started thinking about fertility treatments as an option to conceive, anxiously awaited her husband's return home. Chmerkovskiy ultimately arrived back in the United States safely in March.
Through it all, Chmerkovskiy's main goal has been to support his wife, though he admits he's shed tears throughout their difficult journey.
"I just want to sometimes cry on her shoulder or be on the receiving end, so it's tough," says Chmerkovskiy. "I just need to be supportive of someone else's process. I try to do my best in just supporting Peta and her journey in figuring herself out because that's what this is. I always try to fix things and I realized that it's not me or mine to fix. I'm a changed man because of this experience."
Watch the full episode of People Features: Peta Murgatroyd & Maksim Chmerkovskiy below or on the PeopleTV app.
Now that the family is back to somewhat of a normal routine, they're doing their best to give Shai a sibling. Murgatroyd is currently set to complete her first round of in vitro fertilization treatments, leaving the couple feeling hopeful for a happy ending.
"If you're really, truly in love and you want the best for each other, and you've seen this to be the family, you'll stick together," Chmerkovskiy says. "You'll stick it out. You'll figure it out. This is going to be traumatic, but it'll happen."
While it's been a tough road, Chmerkovskiy knows it's his strength and positive outlook that helped his family through these tough times.
"Look how blessed we are," Chmerkovskiy says. "You got to be so strong as a couple and so strong as people. We are. I think I can surmise in my head this entire experience is very telling and revealing of who we are as a couple."