Shawn Johnson East Gives Update on Pregnancy Complications: 'Huge Weight Lifted Off Our Hearts'
In a YouTube vlog posted on Thursday, the former professional gymnast — who experienced a miscarriage last year before revealing she was pregnant again this April — and her husband opened up about the terrifying news they got following their 20-week ultrasound.
According to the doctors, the baby’s kidneys were more dilated than usual, and also underdeveloped, a relatively common condition, affecting up to 30 percent of unborn babies. However, the couple was more concerned about the news that their baby had a two-vessel umbilical cord as opposed to three, which carries an increased risk of stillbirth and pre-term labor.
Their doctor also encouraged the couple to consider genetic testing, as taken together, the two complications meant that there was a chance the baby could have Down syndrome.
In a follow-up video, posted on Saturday, the couple shared that after “praying for our baby literally every five minutes of the day,” the tests had come back negative.
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Although genetic testing typically takes two weeks, the couple found out their results in just six days.
Describing the heart-pounding moment when she first got a text from her doctor, the mom-to-be, 27 shared that she was “so nervous to open up the results.”
However, upon discovering a brief email from her doctor, Johnson East wasn’t immediately sure what to think.
“Congratulations your genetic testing came back negative. Yay!” she shared of the note, adding that she spent the next “45 minutes reading that one line over and over and over again” making sure she understood it correctly.
When she finally went into the house to tell her husband and father the news, East, 27, was so happy that he picked up her dad in a big bear hug before affectionately embracing his wife as well.
The parents-to-be went on to explain that while the news came as a big relief, no matter what the results had been, their love for their baby would have been the same.
“I think we were celebrating because there was so much fear that we felt like was relieved when we found out that the baby didn’t have the predicted complications,” East shared. “Not that we wouldn’t have been excited had they had complications to have a baby, but it definitely changes things.”
Opening up about her own complicated feelings, Johnson East admitted that while they were waiting for the results to come in, she “almost felt guilty“ because by praying for her child’s health, it felt like her heart was “rejecting a baby“ that could potentially face a different reality.
“Getting those results was a huge weight lifted off of our hearts,” she shared.
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While the genetic testing results showed that their child was not at risk of Down syndrome, the couple still had to go back to the doctor to get an update on their baby’s kidneys and two-vessel umbilical cord.
“I remember we had a conversation about whether we wanted to even go or not,” Johnson East explained. “I was just trying to find an excuse not to go because selfishly, I just wanted to protect my heart from any potential worse news.”
However, at their 24-week checkup, the couple received even more good news.
Not only had Johnson East gained 20 lbs., but their baby’s kidneys “looked great.”
“I feel like I can breathe for the first time in four weeks,” she shared, adding that while they’ll have to continue to monitor their child’s growth, they’re very grateful for how their journey has turned out so far.
“We are humbled, we are praying, we are taking one day at a time,” she shared.