9. The Couple Suffered Through Several Miscarriages
After her own hard-scrabble life growing up, Lucy wanted nothing more in life than to be a mother. She became pregnant two years after the couple got married, but sadly, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The tragedy took its toll on the already-strained marriage, nearly leading to a divorce in 1944. However, the couple ended up having a second wedding – a proper one this time – in a Catholic church. She became pregnant again a few years later, but this one ended in miscarriage, as well. Her pregnancy with Little Lucie may have saved her marriage, for the time being, as Desi hovered over her and attended to her every need.
Six weeks after Little Lucie was born, Lucy was on the set filming for I Love Lucy. With a new baby and the couple working together on the set, Desi’s drinking and womanizing slowed down considerably, at least for a couple of months. The show could have ended a year later, when she became pregnant with Desi Jr., as featuring a pregnant woman on television in the early 1950s was taboo at best. However, the show went on, and the scene in which Ricky learned that he was going to be a father recorded the actual, real-life footage when Desi learned that Lucy was pregnant with their second child.
Throughout Lucy’s on-screen pregnancy, the word “expecting” was substituted for “pregnant,” to make the concept more palatable to the show’s more conservative viewers. Apparently, people were okay with the idea, as the show that featured the birth of Little Ricky garnered more viewers than the inauguration of President Eisenhower. Lucy and Desi Jr. went on to be featured on the cover of the first edition of TV Guide. Sadly, the married bliss that began with Lucy’s first successful pregnancy didn’t last.