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Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson shares miscarriage experience in emotional video

By: Des Bieler, The Washington Post
October 23, 2017 Updated: October 24, 2017 at 6:13 am
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photo - Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson shares miscarriage experience in emotional video (Screenshot from YouTube video)
Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson shares miscarriage experience in emotional video (Screenshot from YouTube video) 

Former Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, who took her husband’s last name after marrying NFL free agent long snapper Andrew East last year, shared an emotional video Saturday relating her recent miscarriage. In the 20-minute video, Johnson took viewers and social-media followers through a wrenching experience that unfolded all too quickly.

“The past 48 hours have been some of the happiest, scariest, and saddest times of my life,” Johnson, 25, wrote on the video’s YouTube page. “My husband Andrew and I found out that we were unexpectedly pregnant, only to find out hours later some tragic news. I have been crying more than I ever have, but am still optimistic for what is next.”

The video begins with Johnson, accompanied by East, telling viewers, “It’s not the happiest video, but we feel like a lot of people go through this, so we wanted to share it.” East adds, “Know you’re not the only one going through whatever you’re going through.”

Johnson shows her initial reaction to positive results on home pregnancy tests, telling the camera with tears of joy, “I’m pregnant. Whoa.” She adds that the pregnancy is unplanned but “really exciting.”

After sharing the happy news with her husband, Johnson begins feeling unwell, and she tells viewers, “I started having really bad stomach pains, and a lot of bleeding, which is not good for a pregnancy.” The 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist, who also won three silvers at those Games, soon gets the awful news from a doctor.

The doctor emphasizes to Johnson, “Number one is that you didn’t do anything.” He notes that her “level of activity” or “proximity to people that are smoking, or doing things that shouldn’t be done … didn’t cause this.”

“This was caused probably because chromosomally, it wasn’t normal, okay?” the doctor says. “So there’s no blaming each other.”

At the end of the video, Johnson and East show some baby clothes they had already purchased, including tiny Converse sneakers that served as her way of letting him know she was pregnant. “We’ll use them again, of course,” she says. “It won’t stop us. We’ll start a family here soon.”

“This is by far the hardest video we’ve ever posted but we felt as though it was a story that needed to be shared as so many struggle with the same thing,” Johnson said on Instagram. She tagged East in saying, “I love you more than anything in this world and I know you are going to make the greatest Daddy in the world someday. Thank you for being my rock through all of this.”

Johnson also gained national notice on the hit TV show “Dancing With the Stars,” winning the contest in 2009 and finishing second in 2012. In 2010, she tore a knee ligament in a skiing accident, an injury that led to her retirement from gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

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Read this story at The Washington Post.

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