Sharing Our Little Gift

Click through the slideshow for some of my favorite shots of Shai.


When you’re a celebrity, privacy is a luxury that eventually runs out. As I’ve mentioned before, parenthood has brought out the “mama bear” instinct in Maks and I. From minute one we knew it was our job to protect this little person and we’ve taken that job seriously every moment since. So this past month and a half we’ve tried to keep Shai for ourselves, like our little secret that only we get to enjoy – but babies aren’t secrets and keeping him hidden away forever isn’t realistic or healthy. Now, after taking as much time as we could to enjoy these precious first moments of his life, we’re finally ready to share Shai with the world.

Thank you all for the support, excitement and patience you’ve shown my new little family. I’ve received so much love from so many sources that can’t wait to share this huge piece of my heart with you all.



People have asked how we came up with our baby’s name.

First of all, naming a baby – who will one day be an adult out in the world – is hard. It took months and months to find a name that both Maks and I loved and kind of embodied what he means to us. We knew that we wanted a shorter name that wasn’t super-complicated because “Chmerkovskiy” is kind of a mouthful and he’ll always have to spell it out for people. We finally settled on Shai, pronounced “shy” and means “gift” in Hebrew. Honestly, it’s a perfect fit because from the very beginning, we felt like this little life we made was the most precious gift God could grant us.

Shai’s middle name, Aleksander, was all Maks. Maks didn’t grow up with a middle name, but I definitely wanted Shai to have one. So we gave him his middle name after Maks’ dad Aleksandr (spelled a little differently to honor Shai’s heritage but also make it unique to him). It was a really special moment for Maks to have his dad be a part of something we created.

Side note, in Russian culture, they have this really cute way of adding “–chka” to the end of names as a term of endearment. Like, when I joined the Chmerkovskiy family, they gave me the name “Peta-chka.” So, within the family, we’ve taken to calling him “Shai-chka.”

So, there you have it: our little gift. Shai Aleksander Chmerkovskiy, welcome to the world.

Photo Credit: Stefania Orru

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  1. Peta and Maks- Congratulations to you both! Peta- you have never looked more beautiful or radiant than you do now. It is so beautiful to see how happy Shai makes you. Motherhood suits you! I’m so glad you have this new blog. It is awesome! I have been a huge fan of both of you for years. I saw you dance in “Burn the Floor” in NYC years ago and you were amazing! Dancing with the Stars is my favorite show as well. I love your baby’s name- what a gift he really is. My husband’s name is Kai (lol) -which I know you guys liked as well. My grandparents were from the Ukraine, so I know baby Shai has awesome genes between the two of you. 🙂 Hope to meet you guys someday for a picture an an autograph! All the best to you. Enjoy baby Shai- don’t work too much. I have 3 girls- ages 10, 7, and 22 mos. They grow up so fast and the baby years are so precious. xoxo

    Posted by: Nicole Bickenbach on March 8, 2017 at 9:46 pm
  2. I have really enjoyed following your story with Maks and your precious baby, Shai. I am a big fan of DWTS, and our entire family is so excited you and Maks will be back next season.

    As a mom of three grown children, I know how fast the baby years go by. Enjoy every second for they will be grown and on their own in a blink of an eye. Wishing many blessings health and happiness on you and your new family.

    Posted by: Kim Ganey on February 28, 2017 at 5:54 pm
  3. I absolutely LOVE the both of you and are my favorites, along with Val, on DWTS. I am so overjoyed for you all with this precious blessing from God. He is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL abd he is VERY blessed to have you two as his mommy and daddy. CONGRATULATIONS and thanks for sharing him with us.❤❤❤❤

    Posted by: Laurie Dempsey on February 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm
  4. He is so darling! You two are wonderful parents!

    Posted by: Ruthanne Kerr on February 26, 2017 at 8:29 pm
  5. My dear Peta and Maks:…You have the best gift from God ever, and you have named him perfectly and i love how you have shared with us your journey because it is refreshing to get an opportunity to follow you and have the pleasure to pray for you and your precious little family of three!!!!!!…You and Maks embrace every single second with Shai and know that we mommies out there understand exactly what you are feeling, aside from having your famous and fabulous career!!!…You are blessed beyond words and may God continue to bless you and Maks and Shai with great health and happiness each and every day:)))…Hugs and Love to my favorite starzzz!!!!!!…xoxoxo

    Posted by: Sheri Rae Fischer on February 26, 2017 at 10:53 am
  6. hello its me again just letting u know you all look wonderful enjoy life enjoy being young life is short make it great.

    Posted by: Ambre Richards on February 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm
  7. Beautiful child and loving parents!

    Posted by: Rachel on February 22, 2017 at 4:08 pm
  8. Congratulations for your beautiful creation. Your baby has Peta’s lovely lips! The girls will stand in line to kiss him as he matures. Hugs.

    Posted by: Jean Simpson on February 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm
  9. Bless you, Max and baby Shaichka,
    May all your dreams be filled with love, hope and charity.

    Posted by: Leslie Heffernan on February 20, 2017 at 9:54 am