Shawn Johnson East is a name that rang clear through the world of artistic gymnastics before the five-time Pan American Games gold medalist retired from the spotlight.
Although she is no longer an American hero strutting on the balance beams, the 29-year-old continues to inspire others with her life.
On an episode of PEOPLE’s new podcast “Me Becoming Mom,” the former athlete got candid about her past experiences, including losing her first child.
Shawn Johnson East Blames Herself For Miscarriage
The loss of an unborn child is a morbid affair that causes indescribable pain for a mother, and the guilt that follows is no better.
Four years ago, after Shawn and her husband Andrew East lost their baby in 2017, the Olympic gold medalist experienced an emotional turmoil that broke her in more ways than one.
Despite her doctor assuring the former gymnast that the baby’s death wasn’t connected to her actions, the heartbroken mother remained inconsolable as she blamed herself for the tragic incident. In her words:
“I was like, is my body not made to have children? 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?”
As sad as it was, the 29-year-old’s guilt wasn’t misplaced as she previously consumed excessive doses of “Adderall and weight loss pills” during the period where she struggled with “eating disorders.”
Fortunately, two years after this terrible storm, a rainbow appeared in the form of a daughter, Drew Hazel, born in October 2019. The former athlete was also blessed with a son, Jett James, in July 2021.
The “Dancing With The Stars” Alum Teased An Olympic Comeback
In April, The Blast shared Shawn’s plans for a comeback at the Tokyo Summer Games, but the renowned gymnast appeared to be too curvy to meet the requirements for the event.
The former athlete teased fans about her return to the gymnastics world with a throwback picture of herself sporting her 2008 Team USA leotard.
While the 29-year-old looked undeniably dashing in her old uniform, it was impossible to miss her round tummy. At the time, the “DWTS” alum was 40-weeks pregnant with her first child.
The mother-of-two jokingly captioned the sweet post with the words, “I would officially like to announce my comeback for #tokyo2021.”
All About The Former Gymnast’s Tropical Babymoon
Although the five-time Pan American Games gold medalist wasn’t competing in the Olympics, the proud mother was still as flexible as her younger self.
Earlier in March, The Blast revealed that the former athlete was enjoying a romantic “babymoon” holiday with her adoring husband at an exotic villa in Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos.
This tropical vacation was nicknamed “Babymoon 2.0” in honor of Shawn’s second child, and the proud mother happily spoiled the unborn child with some fun in the sun.
The 29-year-old was captured doing an impressive handstand despite being heavily pregnant in the video montage of her trip on Instagram.
The flexible queen also spent her time relaxing on the beach, watching whales, and going on a shopping spree in town.