NASCAR Driver Kyle Busch and Wife Samantha Tearfully Recount IVF Journey and Recent Miscarriage
It was looking like it would be a joyous holiday season this year for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha. After a series of fertility treatments that she shared with fans on social media, the couple announced on Thanksgiving that they were not only expecting their second child, but it was going to be a little girl.
Samantha had even picked out and printed Christmas cards that included a picture of her and Busch’s son Brexton Locke, 3½, proudly wearing his big brother shirt. She was eager to mail them out to family and friends to share the good news.
Everything was going to be perfect. And then, suddenly, it wasn’t.
On Nov. 30 — just eight days later — Samantha shared a video on Instagram telling her and Busch’s fans the devastating news that they had lost their baby as a result of a miscarriage. As tears rolled down her cheeks, she emotionally told the story that so many women are forced to tell when they go through the loss of a pregnancy.
“I still haven’t watched the video I posted that day,” she tells PEOPLE now in an exclusive interview about the harrowing experience. “I don’t think I will ever want to watch it.”
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What many didn’t know was that the miscarriage had occurred days before, as Busch and Samantha were preparing to travel from their North Carolina home to Las Vegas for the annual Cup Series Awards Banquet.
On Nov. 27, Samantha had spent her morning working out, eating breakfast and prepping for a dress fitting for the banquet when she stopped to play with Brexton in his playroom. All of a sudden, she felt a gush of blood and knew something was terribly wrong.
“I didn’t want to scare Brexton so I told him that Mommy had cut her finger and to go get Daddy,” Samantha tearfully recalls to PEOPLE.
The next few hours were a blur, as they proceeded to get in the car and take the 40-plus minute ride to the doctor’s office. Once there, an ultrasound was taken and there was, in fact, hope. “She was still there,” Samantha says. “My cervix was closed, which was a huge positive, and our numbers were okay.”
But Samantha instinctively knew that she was ultimately going to lose the baby. And she knew what she needed to do. She needed to press “record.”
“I went to our bedroom where it was quiet and I just turned the camera on myself and recorded a message telling everyone we had lost the baby,” she says. “It was awful.”
The next day, Samantha and Busch, 33, boarded their plane to Las Vegas, and on Nov. 29, they received the final word that they had indeed lost their baby. Yet, the couple chose to keep their devastating news to themselves.
“Kyle and I talked about it and we really didn’t want to take anything away from [series Champion] Joey [Logano] and his wife Brittany,” Samantha recalls. “That evening wasn’t about us.”
“It was really tough because we walked the red carpet that night and kept on having people congratulate us about the baby,” Busch adds quietly. “We just faked a smile and said thanks.”
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Of course, when the news finally went public on Nov. 30, the pair were flooded with sympathies and messages. And now, nearly a month after the miscarriage, the two are still finding comfort in those well wishes — but they don’t make the reality any easier.
“We had wanted to be transparent in our IVF journey, but it truly never crossed our mind that it wouldn’t work the second time around,” says Samantha who, after years of trying to get pregnant naturally, also went through in vitro fertilization treatments to conceive their first child, Brexton. “Usually the second time is so much easier. Having a miscarriage never even crossed our minds.”
“All of this certainly tests your faith,” Busch adds. “There is just this endless list of questions as to [the] whys and hows. Inside, you know things happen for a reason, but it’s so hard.”
And while the two continue to work out their feelings over suffering a miscarriage after IVF, they remain committed to sharing their story of infertility, along with continuing their work with their Bundle of Joy Fund, which helps couples cover the costs of fertility treatments.
But for Samantha, the questions continue.
“When Brexton asks, I tell him that his baby sister is in heaven,” she admits tearfully. “And sometimes, the pain is just too much. I was carrying her and I lost her, and yes, in a way it feels like a personal failure.”
And it’s in those moments that she turns to Busch.
“Kyle has always been my rock,” she says of her husband. “So many people only know the aggressive and strong-willed side of him that he shows when he is on the track. But the Kyle that I know is so different from that. Every time I feel like I’m falling apart, he picks me back up again.”
While her numbers have returned to normal and the couple still have two embryos, Samantha and Busch say they need some time before they begin to try again to give Brexton a sibling.
“I’m not emotionally ready,” Samantha admits. “There are days when I still cry. But trust me when I say this is not the end of our story.”