When Shawn Johnson East suffered a miscarriage in 2017 she blamed herself, the Olympic gymnast revealed on the podcast Me Becoming Mom.
“…[M]y first reaction when we miscarried and [the doctor] saying, ‘It’s nothing that you did,’ was ‘But it probably is,’” she recalls thinking. “Oh my gosh, if I could go back to that doctor’s office, I was trying so hard to keep it together but I was breaking inside because in my mind, just as a mom, you have all of these guilts and these fears.”
The gold medalist also worried that her loss was a sign from above. “I was like, is my body not made to have children?” she said. “Did I abuse it so much that it can’t carry a child? Is this God’s way of telling me I’m not meant to be a mom?”
Feelings of guilt and shame are common after pregnancy loss, along with self-blame or concern over whether your body somehow betrayed you. In Johnson East’s case, she had struggled with disordered eating, which added weight to her experience.
“I had struggled so long with eating disorders, I had taken excessive amounts of Adderall and I had taken weight loss pills,” she said. “I had abused my body for so long that my worst fear going through all of that back then was am I going to do permanent damage to my body? And I didn’t have a period for years and I had truly done harm.”
Johnson East went on to have two happy healthy children since her loss four years ago — three-month-old son Jett James and almost-two-year-old daughter Drew Hazel — whom she shares with her NFL husband Andrew East.
These other famous parents have been open about suffering miscarriages.
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