In an emotional video, Olympic swimmer Shawn Johnson and her husband, NFL star Andrew East, opened up about her scary pregnancy complications in a new video.
They began the video by including footage from Shawn’s 20-week ultrasound exam. At the appointment, the parents-to-be chose to keep the baby’s gender a surprise. However, the special moment quickly took a turn for the worse then their doctor revealed he discovered two complications with the athlete’s pregnancy.
The first issue is with the baby’s kidneys. "The kidneys were really dilated, underdeveloped, but dilated, so retaining a bunch of fluid," Shawn explained to the camera.
The second problem is with the umbilical cord. Though uncommon, the star said she was suffering from a two-vessel umbilical cord, which is also known as a single artery umbilical cord. Most umbilical cords have three vessels, but this condition limits it to two. This happens in approximately every 1 in 100 pregnancies.
"There are a lot more risks involved with a two-vessel cord," Shawn explained, revealing that this condition has been linked to children born with Down Syndrome.
At the end of the video, the couple said they will be proceeding with genetic testing to determine the health of their baby. They added that they’ll be documenting the experience for their YouTube channel in order to keep fans updated.
"I don't care if it's a boy or a girl ... I just pray that our baby is healthy," Shawn added.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the only difficult thing Shawn and Andrew have had to work through this pregnancy. A year before announcing this pregnancy, the couple opened up about a devastating miscarriage Shawn had experienced at six weeks.
"My husband Andrew and I found out that we were unexpectedly pregnant, only to find out hours later some tragic news,” Shawn wrote in a blog post at the time. "I have been crying more than I ever have, but am still optimistic for what is next."
They also mentioned the miscarriage when announcing Shawn’s most recent pregnancy. "We went through something rather traumatic," Andrew said in their birth announcement video. "Shawn did, specifically, and so this baby ... has been a long time coming, and we couldn't be more excited."