Shawn Johnson East Says Miscarriage Was the 'Hardest Thing I've Ever Had to Go Through'
Shawn Johnson East is sharing her story.
Eight months after revealing she and husband Andrew East had suffered a miscarriage hours after learning they were expecting their first child, the couple are opening up in a new Second Edition film from I Am Second about their respective career hurdles, their marriage and their journey to parenthood.
“When I found out I was [pregnant], it was the greatest moment in the world because it was basically God’s miracle of, ‘Yes, you’ve hurt your body for so many years, but this can still happen,’ ” said the retired Olympic gymnast, 26, explaining that she waited a week to tell East she was pregnant because she wanted to share the news in person.
Sadly, she miscarried the following day, which Johnson East recalls as a time full of “guilty feelings” about her ability to be a parent at all.
“I had these guilty feelings of if, ‘I can’t even take care of child for a week in my stomach, I can’t raise a child on my own,’ ” she says. “I felt guilty to Andrew that I had lost his child, and I felt guilty to God that I lost his child.”
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Johnson East continues, “It was just this super emotional time. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. I’ve never felt such loss like that, and I didn’t know how that was possible.”
East explains that the couple shared their story with the world via YouTube, and that while their experience was extremely difficult, “It was so cool to hear other people’s stories” from those who could relate.
“To hear their encouragement of how to get through it, I think that made it all worth it,” says the Jacksonville Jaguars player, 26. “There’s nothing that can really help you through a hard time [more] than knowing the scripture.”
Shawn Johnson East and husband Andrew East
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The couple cite both the support they’ve received from those around them as well as their personal faith as paramount in helping them through their feelings of loss.
“No matter what you go through, you will always come out of it,” says Johnson East. “And I think if you believe in Him and have faith in Him, you’ll come out stronger than you were before.”