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Former Olympian discusses the “guilt” of miscarriage in emotional video

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Jasmine Andersson
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Retired athlete Shawn Johnson East has opened up about having recently had a miscarriage, saying that she ended up apologising to her husband when they were told the news.

The athlete, who used to compete as a gymnast for the US Olympics team, shared an emotionally charged video just days after announcing her pregnancy.

“Today’s video is a little bit sensitive,” she said.

Shawn and her boyfriend

Acknowledging the taboo that often surrounds pregnancy loss, she went on to say: “It’s not the happiest video but we feel like a lot of people go through it so we wanted to share it.”

Johnson East detailed the rollercoaster of emotions she had experienced over the past few days in the 21-minute video, saying she felt “guilty”.



“The day that I was told we were miscarrying, I felt guilty,” she explained. “I felt sad. And I remember telling Andrew, ‘I’m sorry I lost your baby.’”

“It’s been a roller coaster of a few days,” said the former athlete in the video. “We just got back from the doctor, and I’m no longer pregnant, somehow lost the pregnancy already.

“It sucks. Definitely no fun. I felt like, going into it, we didn’t even know if we were ready for it, we weren’t sure if we could do it, and we were overwhelmed.”

In publicising her journey, Johnson East has proven to be a voice for many women who have struggled to speak about their miscarriage.



“There's been so many people that have come out and shared their stories about, ‘Hey, I’ve had 11 miscarriages,’ or, ‘I’ve had four miscarriages and it took me X amount of years to finally have a kid but once we did, it was the best thing in the world,’” said the star’s husband, Andrew Johnson East.

Johnson East won a gold medal for her balance beam performance in the 2008 Olympics.

She also secured a silver floor exercise medal in the same year.

If you need support or information, visit the Miscarriage Association’s website here, or click here for ways to support someone going through pregnancy loss.

Images: Rex Features / Shawn Johnson East

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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez  

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