“I have been crying more than I ever have, but am still optimistic for what is next.”
In an emotional video posted to YouTube, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson documented the exciting moment she learned she was expecting a baby to the heartbreaking appointment just days later when the doctor confirmed she miscarried. The 25-year-old retired athlete’s honest account is as important as it is heartbreaking—both to women who’ve experienced the same and anyone who has not.
The 20-minute video, titled “pregnancy + heartbreak,” begins with a message of support from Johnson and her husband Andrew East, before cutting to two positive pregnancy tests. Crying, Johnson lifts one two the camera and tearfully whispers, “I’m pregnant.”
In the next scene Johnson describes how she planned to break the news to Andrew. The couple was not trying to have a baby, but it’s clear they were pretty excited (and a bit terrified) by all the positive pregnancy tests.
Unfortunately the celebration of the unexpected pregnancy ended when Johnson miscarried at six weeks. The couple let the camera roll in the ultrasound room as a doctor confirmed the pregnancy had ended.
"We feel like a lot of people go through this so we wanted to share it," Johnson shared in the video.
She’s right: Miscarriage happens in up to 25% of pregnancies.
“Shawn is very brave to share all this stuff,” East tells the camera as the couple drove to their ultrasound appointment.
He’s also right: Miscarriage is still not something most people share publicly, for a variety of personal reasons.
Johnson is the latest celebrity to talk openly about the heartbreak of pregnancy loss recently. The Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch has spoken openly about her own struggles and was recently joined by several other celebrities in a video to mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
As Johnson and Rauch prove, pregnancy loss is something that affects many women—and if talking about it helps those who are suffering, that’s exactly what we should do.