Pregnant Shawn Johnson East Will Be 'Good' If Her Child Isn't an Athlete Like Mom and Dad
"So many people expect our baby to be an athlete that they'll probably be an artist or a musician or something," mom-to-be Shawn Johnson East tells PEOPLE
Although, as the 27-year-old former Olympic gymnast tells PEOPLE, “I don’t know how our baby won’t be competitive because of our competitive nature.”
Johnson East’s stardom first rose when she clinched four medals during the 2008 Summer Olympics with the U.S. women’s gymnastics team in Beijing, and it continued to soar as she won her season of Dancing with the Stars in 2009, after famously missing her prom to compete on the show.
Meanwhile, long snapper East, 27, has played for several NFL teams including the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and, most recently, the Washington Redskins.
“We have both comedically joked that so many people expect our baby to be an athlete that they’ll probably be an artist or a musician or something,” says Johnson East, “which we’re totally good with.”
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Having been very open about their fertility struggles in the past, the couple recently posted videos on their YouTube channel about their pregnancy complications. At a 20-week checkup, their doctor informed Johnson East that her baby had underdeveloped and dilated kidneys, as well as a two- rather than three-vessel umbilical cord, which carries an increased risk of stillbirth and pre-term labor.
Both complications also indicated that the baby could have Down syndrome, according to the doctor, but genetic testing revealed that the baby did not.
“We still have the two-vessel cord, which is something that my body decided to do on its own, so we have to monitor that. I go in every three or four weeks for ultrasounds, just to make sure the baby is getting enough nutrients and growing. But so far, so good, and we celebrate every day,” Johnson East tells PEOPLE.
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In a video posted after her 20-week appointment, Johnson East said that the whole experience has given her some serious perspective.
“Everyone’s always like, ‘Oh, are you having a boy or a girl? What do you want? Are you going to put them in gymnastics? Are you going to put them in football?’ And we had those thoughts in the beginning,” she said.
But during this phase of her pregnancy, the first-time mom-to-be isn’t worried about those aspects.
“I don’t care if it’s boy, I don’t care if it’s a girl. I don’t even care what the name is right now. I don’t care if they do sports,” she said. “I just pray that our baby is healthy.”