Shawn Johnson knows the conflicted emotions that come with miscarrying a baby.
“It’s such a confusing thing,” the Olympian, 27, says in the new issue of Us Weekly. “It’s like, ‘Should I be sad? Is that normal? Did I do something?’”
The gymnast and her husband, Andrew East, announced on Thursday, April 4, that they are expecting a baby after losing a child in 2017. While she’s looking forward to her little one’s arrival, Johnson looked back on her miscarriage and tells Us exclusively what to say — and what not to say — to a woman who has gone through the same thing.
“I think one of the best things I was ever told through the whole process was when my doctor sat me down and said … ‘You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do this,'” Johnson tells Us. “I feel like with a lot of miscarriages, women feel very, very guilty, like they didn’t eat the right things or they were around the wrong environment, and if you actually read into the science of it, that’s not true. … [Have] people reiterate that to you and that it happened on its own and it’s ok.”
She adds: “The best thing that [people] can do is just be there and don’t push. ‘How are you feeling? Do you need to talk?’ Just let them know that you’re there.”
The Winning Balance author and the professional football player, also 27, are feeling both “guarded” and “excited” about her second pregnancy.
“When we went to the first ultrasound and got to see the baby move, it just kind of hit home,” Johnson tells Us. “I went into, like, protective mom, like, take care of my body. He went into protective dad, protective husband, just making sure everything’s OK.”
For more details on Johnson’s journey, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now!
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