giving birth

Shawn Johnson East Says She Felt “Weak” During Childbirth For Getting Epidural

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Shawn Johnson East‘s most recent Facebook video, which was posted last week on her YouTube channel, shows her and her husband, Andrew East as they prepare to give birth. The couple induced labor after the Olympic gymnast hit 40 weeks of pregnancy and had very little movement from the baby in days, and even after they induced the pregnancy, Shawn endured 22 hours of labor.

Viewers sweetly get to see Shawn and Andrew pray moments before they load the car up knowing when they get home, there will be a new member of the family.

After getting induced around 9 PM, at 6:30 AM, Shawn was still only 1 centimeter dilated. At 8 AM, Shawn described that she’s “contracting a lot, but not dilating at all and the baby’s not dropping down.” Andrew then says they’re “doing everything [they] can do deliver this naturally,” and later we find out that for Shawn, that’s without an epidural.

17 hours in, Shawn decided to get an epidural. During the video, after Andrew asks, “Why are you beating yourself up?”, Shawn responds it’s, “because I’m weak … I’m getting an epidural … I should be able to do it naturally.” While her husband insists that’s “not even close to true,” her subscribers get to see her lighten up soon thereafter after the epidural kicks in.

19 hours in, they broke the water, and the video ends soon after, though we know from the follow-up video that at the 22-hour mark, they decided to get a c-section because there had been “no progress.”

Shawn posted the “22 hours of labor” video on Facebook with a poll asking viewers if they, too, got an epidural, which had her fans posting their stories with natural childbirth and what that means to them. One Facebook user named Crystal wrote, “Epidural with my 1st and 3rd … After my experience with my 2nd with no epidural there was no way I was doing #3 without one. Ain’t no one getting a trophy for enduring that kind of pain!” Another, named Tracey, wrote, “30 hours of labor 2-1/2 hours of pushing. Failed epidural and finally a vacuum extraction. My beautiful daughter is now 24. BTW. My next two labors were 4 hours and 2 hours with no meds.”

Drew Hazel East was born on October 29 at 7:49 PM. She weighed 8.8 pounds.