'Married With Children's Katey Sagal Said Stillbirth in 8th Month Helped Her to Have Her 3 Kids
American actress Katey Sagal experienced a tragic loss after giving birth to a stillborn years ago. She blamed herself for the ordeal believing she could have done something to prevent it.
In April 2017, Katey Sagal visited Build Studio for a Build Series presentation where she opened up her dreadful experience in losing her daughter Ruby to stillbirth in October 1991. She recalled:
"It was a difficult thing; I lost a child at almost eight months, and… could not wrap my brain around it.”
Katey Sagal as Peggy Bundy in the TV sitcom "Married with Children" | Source: YouTube/@MarriedwithChildren
Sagal went on to explain that she struggled to accept the traumatic incident in its aftermath. She said she had the notion that she had done something wrong:
"This is what they say about stillbirth, that 60 percent of it it's God's will, and there's no medical reason – and that's what I was told. And I just couldn't let go of the control of somehow, I had done something wrong."
The California native shared she thought she might have overworked herself or not tended to an illness when she should have, adding it was difficult.
Actress Katey Sagal speaks at the 2003 Operation Smile West Coast gala on September 24, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images
Sagal revealed a year following the stillbirth; she found herself frequently visiting psychic healers and doctors in the rare times she would leave her home.
The TV star said things became better for her spiritually when a Buddist friend comforted her. She shared she was told that: “Sometimes we have these little souls that come in and out of our lives, and their mission is complete.”
Sagal said that statement helped her find healing. Notably, her real-life story got flipped into a script. Her pregnancy was initially written into the American sitcom “Married with Children” storyline but was later dismissed as a dream sequence.
Actors Katey Sagal and Ed O'Neal pictured on the set of "Married With Children" in 1987 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images
SCRIPTED PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Sagal played beloved Peggy Bundy in the FOX show, and in June this year, she discussed the idea of having her real-life pregnancy played out on the series that ran for eleven seasons.
While noting that it was a dark period in her life, Sagal said when she learned that her pregnancy was to be showcased on the show, she found it exciting.
"That was great. Then the outcome of it was horrible," the alum said. Sagal noted she loved how the team handled the unfortunate event sharing it was clever of them but that the situation was no less heartbreaking.
The singer-songwriter disclosed that it took her another year to conceive and revealed she was hesitant to try again because she was still traumatized. The 67-year-old added that it was a horrible time because she went through the daunting experience in the spotlight, making things even somber.
Nonetheless, she beat the odds and went on to have three more children, two daughters, and a son. She gave credit to her late child, saying: "I wouldn't have the three I have if I hadn't had her."
Katey Sagal with her children Sarah and Jackson attending the premiere of the film "Shrek 2" at the Mann Village Theatre May 8, 2004 in Westwood, California | Photo: Getty Images
The “Smart House” star has three kids across two marriages and shares her eldest daughter Sarah, 27, and Jackson, 25, with her former husband, Jack White.
She told The Cut that she had her two children while she was on the show most of the time and was sent home to rest following what occurred to her last pregnancy.
Sagal shared she did most of her stuff on her phone. She recalled when she was five months pregnant with Sarah, she got sent home to rest and got paid for just lying around.
When she got pregnant with her son Jackson, she was also sent home early. But with Ruby, she worked full time until there was a problem, and so no one knew whether that had contributed to the stillbirth. Sagal mentioned that her colleagues were equally shocked after she lost the baby.
Moreover, while she is best known for her television roles, Jackson and Sarah followed in her footsteps by pursuing acting careers in showbiz.
Sarah's career took off over the last year with appearances in several shows such as "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" and "68 Whiskey." She also starred alongside her mom in the comedy-drama "Rebel."
Katey Sagal, winner of the Best Performance In A Television Series - Drama for "Sons of Anarchy" poses for a portrait backstage with son James White, daughter Sarah Grace White and husband writer/director Kurt Sutter at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images
As for her brother Jackson, he has featured in the television comedy "Mrs. Fletcher," "The Middle," and the action-packed drama series “SEAL Team.”
Per his IMDb, “The Space Between” star also bagged an award for best actor in a comedy male last year at the Catalina Film Festival.
While Sagal welcomed her two eldest children through normal birth, she had her lastborn child Esme, whom she shares with her current husband, Kurt Sutter, via surrogate.
At just age 14, it is unclear whether the family's youngest member would follow the same path as her mother and siblings. The couple welcomed Esme in January 2007, and there were no stats released regarding the birth.
Sagal told People that when she and the “Sons of Anarchy” creator first got together, he was not planning on having any more children. She said her beloved spouse was content with being a stepfather to her older kids.
Notably, 61-year-old Sutter does not have any biological children of his own. His wife revealed that within five years into their relationship, they toyed with the idea of having a baby together.
THE SURROGACY EXPERIENCE
However, with age being a factor, the couple explored adoption instead. Sagal explained that she was way too old to carry a child, noting that at first, they thought of going the adoption route but later realized that it would be more challenging than she had anticipated.
The pair then opted for surrogacy and eventually had their miracle baby. Sagal was 52 years old when she and Sutter welcomed little Esme into the world.
Speaking on the surrogacy experience, the mom of three told OK Magazine that they considered adoption while at the same time they were busy doing their research on surrogacy.
She said they left it up to whatever would work for them first because “we weren’t attached to it either way,” adding their surrogacy option fell into place quite easily.
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