There are lots of things you can prepare for when expecting a baby. Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East spent months meeting with their doctors, buying all the newborn necessities, and reading the latest parenting books before Drew Hazel was born in October 2019.
But what Shawn says no one told her about? The many ways her relationship would change once the Easts became a party of three.
"It’s not something people prepare you for," the Olympic gymnast tells Prevention.com. "You're used to you and your significant other being each other’s top priority the whole time. You never have to share your person with another person." But when a baby comes around, Shawn says, "you love that kid more than everything in the world, and trying to figure out that new dynamic of three, it takes an adjustment period."
Andrew is not shy about how their routine has changed either. "After the early mornings and late nights, the first couple of months are so hard, because by the time it's just me and Shawn when we put Drew down at night, it's like, 'Don’t talk to me, I'm tired. I wanna lay in bed,'" he says. During our interview, he ponders for a minute before asking Shawn, "Babe, what do we have to do make things more hot and spicy?"
While Shawn didn't share how she'd answer that question, she did reveal how the couple makes time for just the two of them, now that Drew is almost four months old. "We try to have date night every Thursday from 5-10 p.m. Beside that, we have coffee in the morning and look for moments when we can have quality time together," Shawn says.
But don't get it twisted: Andrew adores his wife. "I’ve been so impressed with Shawn," he says. "It’s really amazing to see all of the sacrifices that moms make. There’s so many decisions that need to be made, and so many emotions that go into parenting."
The couple shares so much of their lives on social media, but they said there are some things they choose to keep private. "We haven’t shared a lot of the tears we shed," Andrew says. "Our first priority is to protect our family, so whatever is best for that. Some of the marriage problems and arguments that we work through, we don’t share as much."
"There’s a lot of stuff we go through and aren’t ready to share yet, and then we share it later, or we don't," Shawn adds, like an obstacle they experienced shortly after Drew's birth.
"We had Drew two weeks before the holidays, which was within that precious six-week period of time [that] some people think a baby shouldn’t be exposed to others because of germs," Andrew says. "We decided to take her to see immediate family but not extended family. That was really hard for us."
"Every day we have to make decisions for Drew, and every decision is hard," Shawn says. And that's why when she's mom-shamed on social media for the way she chooses to parent, she goes right into protective mode.
"The big thing that sparked mom-shaming for us was breastfeeding versus bottle feeding versus formula," Shawn says. "I felt guilty as a mom, who was brainwashed to think if you don’t breastfeed your child, they’re going to have lower IQ or they will have problems with physical development."
"It wasn’t a choice for us," Andrew says. Shawn wasn't producing enough milk for Drew to feel nourished, so she has supplemented breastfeeding with Enfamil's Enspire Infant Formula. "Having all of these people attack and criticize us, when you don't have another option, you have to find the best one," Shawn says. "I think it’s sad that moms are guilted that way."
"[Formula] has been great for Drew and it’s been great for our marriage," Andrew adds. "It took the pressure off of Shawn and you realize it’s such a good option, which then takes pressure off of me."
Still, Shawn encourages moms to do what's best for them and for their baby. "I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to go about certain decisions," she says. "You know your baby the best. You have to go with your gut feeling and not let other opinions affect you."
Despite the internet trolls, the Easts assure us that Baby Drew is happier and healthier than ever. She even rolled over for the first time on Wednesday!
A few months back when Shawn was pregnant, the couple shared that their baby was experiencing pregnancy complications, such as dilated kidneys and a two-vessel cord, when the umbilical cord only has one vein and one artery, instead of three.
"She's doing amazing. Our little miracle baby!" Shawn says. The couple completed a Cord Blood Registry and stored Drew's umbilical cord blood following her delivery. After her doctors ran tests, Shawn recalled receiving a phone call from her doctor weeks later with the results.
"They said a normal healthy cord usually has a million viable cells to store, but we had to recheck Drew’s because they thought it was wrong. She had 1.5 billion in hers," Shawn says. "We were like, we have a super baby!"
Andrew says Shawn is the inspiring person in his life. And let's just say, he was a little excited when he found out they were having a girl.
"Shawn is such a boss lady and I’m excited to raise a boss daughter," he says. "Everything about what we’re doing is to make her the most self-confident woman she can be." Even when the couple was looking for names, they decided on Drew because they felt she would "walk into a board room and make a really strong impression."
"I feel like it’s such a great time in history to raise a daughter as well because the opportunities are growing and we’re in a time when there’s so much conversation about uplifting women," he says. "I wanted a girl and I’m so excited that we had one."
You Might Also Like