LIFE

Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson East Opens Up About Miscarriage In Heartbreaking Message To Fans

by Caralynn Lippo
Caralynn is a writer, native New Yorker, TV enthusiast, and dog mom to Hobbes.

A miscarriage is one of the most devastating things anyone can experience.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, anywhere from 10% to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, meaning they are extremely common. But the pain of losing a baby can still be isolating, as many find that it’s difficult to share their feelings with others.

One celebrity is bravely opening up about her first-trimester miscarriage in the hopes of letting other women who have lost a pregnancy know that they are not alone. Olympic athlete Shawn Johnson East and her husband shared their heart-wrenching miscarriage story online.

“The past 48 hours have been some of the happiest, scariest, and saddest times of my life. 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,” Shawn captioned her post.

Scroll through below to read more about Shawn and Andrew’s heartbreaking story, and please SHARE on Facebook.

Thumbnail Photo: Instagram / Shawn Johnson East // Instagram / Andrew East

Shawn Johnson East is a former artistic gymnast.

She rose to prominence and international attention during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Shawn became a member of the United States senior gymnastics team in 2007.

At the 2008 Olympics, Shawn won the silver medal in the individual all-around competition, a silver medal in floor exercise, and a gold medal on the balance beam.

She also helped the US take home the silver medal in the team competition.

In 2009, Shawn competed on season eight of Dancing with the Stars.

Unfortunately, she injured her knee in 2010 and was unable to make a comeback in time for the 2012 Olympics. She announced her retirement from the sport in June 2012, at the age of 20.

Shawn married NFL player Andrew East in April 2016.

In the years since her retirement from gymnastics, Shawn and her husband have become social media personalities, with a popular vlog on YouTube where they talk about their everyday lives. They have nearly 400,000 subscribers.

Typically, the couple’s videos are rather lighthearted and fun. The two give fans a peek into their daily lives.

But on October 21, 2017, the pair shared a much more solemn and serious update.

In an heart-wrenching and raw video, Shawn and Andrew shared the news that she had suffered a miscarriage just days after finding out that she was pregnant with their first child.

The completely candid and intimate video quickly climbed to over 1.5 million views.

“We feel like a lot of people go through this, so we wanted to share it,” Shawn explained, asking her followers to ask her any questions they might have.

After announcing the sad news, the couple took us back a few days, to when Shawn first found out that she was pregnant. Because the two are vloggers, they recorded all of the footage as it was happening to share with their fans.

“Definitely wasn’t planning this, but it’s really, really exciting,” Shawn says in the earliest clip, unable to hold back her tears.

The 25-year-old shared that she was feeling a mix of emotions: confused, terrified, overwhelmed, and tired.

Shawn confirmed that she and Andrew hadn’t been trying for a baby.

She found out her big news when the two were separated, as she was in New York for work.

Andrew separately filmed his own anxiousness after Shawn contacted him to tell him to come back to Los Angeles for “a surprise.” He had a feeling she was pregnant, but wasn’t sure how he felt about it either.

Shawn filmed the big moment when she revealed to Andrew that he was going to be a dad. She did it by gifting him a tiny, baby-sized pair of Converse sneakers.

Despite their trepidation, it’s clear from the video that the couple was really excited about their new addition.

Sadly, Shawn began cramping and bleeding the morning after telling Andrew their baby news. They headed to the doctor, who confirmed that Shawn had miscarried in her sixth week of pregnancy.

The pair also shared the entire emotional doctor’s visit with viewers on camera, as Andrew tried to reassure Shawn that everything would be fine before they got the terrible news.

After the initial video, Shawn and Andrew posted another thanking their fans for support during this “rollercoaster of a few days.”

They also invited their followers to comment below the video to share their own stories.

“We know everything happens for a reason,” Shawn said in their follow-up video.

“We believe God’s got a bigger plan for us. All we can do is be positive otherwise we just sink into a hole.”

It’s so brave of Shawn and Andrew to open up this way, to let other couples who have experienced this know they’re not alone.

Our thoughts are with them during this tough time.

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