Shawn Johnson Opened Up About Her Pregnancy Complications
She revealed the details of her 20-week ultrasound in two YouTube vlogs.
Shawn Johnson's pregnancy journey has been an emotional one from the start. In October of 2017, the Olympic gold medalist shared that she'd experienced a miscarriage just a few days after finding out she was pregnant. The roller coaster of emotions took a toll on her and her husband Andrew East—something they shared with the world in a heartbreaking video on their YouTube channel.
Then, a year and a half later, Johnson announced she was pregnant again. Naturally, she and East have since been over the moon—until recently.
Last week, Johnson shared that she was experiencing pregnancy-related complications. At a routine gynecologist appointment, she and her husband were told that things looked "just okay," the couple explained in a YouTube vlog. (Related: Here Is Exactly What Happened When I Had a Miscarriage)
"I felt like someone knocked every ounce of air out of me," Johnson shared in the video. "The [baby's] kidneys were really underdeveloped but dilated, so they were retaining a bunch of fluid," she said, adding that she was told it could "get worse or correct itself" down the line.
Turns out, Johnson has a two-vessel umbilical cord, which happens in only 1 percent of pregnancies. "It's super rare and can have its complications," she explained. "There's the risk of stillbirth and the baby not making it to term and the baby not getting enough nutrients or having too [many] toxins in their body."
Plus, the combination of these two complications can potentially lead to Down syndrome or other chromosomal anomalies, Johnson explained.
Despite her doctor's recommendation to undergo genetic testing to learn more about the baby's development, Johnson and East initially decided to skip the testing. "We said we were going to love this baby no matter what," she said. (Did you know that star trainer, Emily Skye's pregnancy journey was totally different than she planned?)
Overwhelmed by the entire situation, the 27-year-old athlete shared that she broke down in her car after the appointment. "It was not out of sadness because we didn't have any concrete information, it was just out of a helpless feeling,” she said. "We love our baby so much and not being able to do anything for them was the worst feeling in the world. Welcome to parenthood."
However, Johnson and East ultimately did decide to do genetic testing. In a new video over the weekend, the couple shared that the first round of testing was "negative for any chromosomal anomaly."
This means their baby is genetically healthy, said Johnson. "Kidneys are a normal size, they said the baby is growing great," she added. "Doc said everything looks pretty good. No tears today." (Related: Here's How Much Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson Knows About Health & Fitness)
But Johnson said this experience led to a complicated mix of emotions. "I remember having a conversation with one of my best friends about the whole thing, and I said, 'I don't know in my heart how to feel, 'cause I almost feel guilty that I'm praying that our baby is healthy.' And she was like, 'What do you mean?' And I said, 'Well, I feel like my heart is rejecting a baby that could potentially not be [healthy].' And that's not it. I just pray for health for our baby," she explained.
"If our tests came back and our baby had Down syndrome, we would love that baby more than anything in the entire world," Johnson continued. "But in our hearts, as parents, as every parent out there prays and hopes, you hope for a healthy baby. So getting those results back was a huge weight lifted off of our hearts."
Now, Johnson said she and East are "humbled, we are praying, [and] we are taking one day at a time."