By Blythe Lawrence | April 04, 2019, 11:15 a.m. (ET)
Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East announce they are expecting their first child. 

 

There’s a baby on the way for Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson East.

The 2008 Olympic balance beam champion and her husband, Washington Redskins long snapper Andrew East, are expecting their first child, the couple announced Thursday with an Instagram post and YouTube video entitled “pregnancy + hope.” 

“We cannot WAIT to welcome you to the world and shower you with love,” Johnson East, 27, wrote to their unborn baby on Instagram. Addressing her husband, she added, “We did it!”

“This baby…has been a long time coming,” an emotional East said in the video on the couple’s channel. “We couldn’t be more excited.”

 

 

Though she had some symptoms of pregnancy, Johnson East said she was initially unsure of the fact, and the first pregnancy tests she took were inconclusive. When one finally gave her a definitively positive result, she revealed it to East as they dined with friends.

Want to learn to curl like the pros? Looking for breaking news, videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios all at your fingertips? Download the Team USA app today.

The four-time Olympic medalist suffered a miscarriage in October 2017, and has been open on social media about the grief that comes with losing a baby. “It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” Johnson East said at the time. “You go from shock to ‘holy crap’ to ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘let’s do this.’ And now it’s like ‘pray to God I can do this.’”

"We tried and we had some heartbreak,” East recalled in their announcement video. “We don’t know how this one’s going to end, but we get to experience this another time. We get to experience this excitement.”

“I had someone ask me the other day, is it hard trying after we had a miscarriage? I’ve never really voiced any hesitation with trying again, but yeah. I’m absolutely terrified,” Johnson East added. “It’s natural for anybody who’s experienced pain or loss to guard their hearts when things happen again. I can naturally feel that my heart is just guarding itself, because I don’t want to go through that again...I hope I’m able to let that guard down a little bit.”

 

 

The couple doesn’t know the sex of their baby, but the excitement is palpable – and growing along with their baby.

“Shawn’s already listening to Mozart, trying to make it a genius,” East said.

Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.