Pregnant Pretty Little Liars Alum Tammin Sursok Talks Suffering Back-to-Back Miscarriages
Tammin Sursok suffered two back-to-back miscarriages between the pregnancies with her daughter Phoenix, 5, and her baby girl on the way, due Friday
And though she admits to experiencing “sadness and depression” afterward, she’s opening up about the pain in an effort to help other women.
“It took me a long time to share it,” the Pretty Little Liars alum, 35, said on Wednesday’s episode of Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy podcast. “[But] if I can make one person feel less alone … Because it happens so much, I think it’s 1 in 4 [women].”
Sursok, who is married to husband Sean McEwen, got pregnant soon after Phoenix’s birth and miscarried a little over three months into the pregnancy when she learned the baby’s heart had stopped. She never found out the baby’s sex.
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
Since she’d had a cesarean section with her first baby, Sursok chose to deliver the fetus at home with pills — an experience she described as “traumatic” and “incredible” at the same time.
“The baby came out in a sac with an umbilical cord and little feet, eyes and everything. The whole experience was so traumatic but the birth of it, even though it wasn’t obviously a full-term birth, it was incredible,” she recalled. “I can’t even explain it. I went into contractions — it was almost like letting the pain out, in a way, because I was in pain. Then the baby came out, the fetus. My husband was there. He held me. It was really quite beautiful.”
“I said to my husband afterwards, ‘Wow, imagine if my birth could be like this,’ ” Sursok said. “It was the first feeling of what contractions felt like. Everything opened up and we were at home and it just felt better than a c-section. Even though it was bad, it felt better than a c-section.”
RELATED: Michelle Obama Reveals She Felt ‘Lost and Alone’ After Suffering a Miscarriage 20 Years Ago
Not long after, Sursok got pregnant again, though this pregnancy had complications from the beginning. “The baby was developing, then it wasn’t, then it was, then it wasn’t. Every time I went back, the baby was fine and then not fine,” Sursok said on the podcast. “We actually moved house and the day we moved, we lost the baby as well.”
“It wasn’t as traumatic as the other one because a) we’d been through it, and b) [the fetus] wasn’t as big,” she added. “So it was more of a shock.”
Though Sursok and McEwen vowed not to try again, they got pregnant quickly again with their soon-to-arrive baby girl. But because of what they’d been through in the past, Sursok admitted it took her and her husband a long time to bond with the unborn child.
“I think two weeks ago was the first time I was like, ‘Holy crap, I’m having a baby,’ ” she said. “I didn’t connect to this baby for so long. I think my husband did too. I was like, ‘Are you connected to this baby?’ And he was like, ‘I’m trying.’ And then it’s almost like, when the baby turned, I felt like we were communicating. Until she could survive on her own [was] when I started to go, ‘This is real.’ ”
How has she maintained a positive attitude throughout it all? “I just feel like if you’re not laughing, you’re crying,” Sursok said. “What’s the other choice? I just feel like everyone has something. Everyone’s struggling with something. Everyone has a battle you don’t know about. I feel like you have a choice to feel negative or positive and I do feel negative a lot of the time, but I have to switch that.”
Now that’s she’s been pregnant on and off for a year and a half now, Sursok said she’s going to “take a little break” after she gives birth.
She also revealed that she isn’t really prepared for baby No. 2, and hasn’t even picked a name yet.
“We’re just going to call her girl or just call her baby. Baby’s a good name!” Sursok joked. “The first kid you have everything planned and the room planned and you have a birth plan … and this one, I’m like, ‘I think we should probably get another car seat? There’s going to be a baby.’ I said to my husband, ‘We should get some onesies because she has no clothes.’ “