Dancing With the Stars season eight champion and season 15 runner-up Shawn Johnson recently revealed that she and husband Andrew East are expecting their second baby — and their first child is barely over a year old. Following the announcement, East spoke with The Today Show about their impending new addition and how much they “struggled” as first-time parents when their first child, Drew, was born in November 2019.
Johnson has also been candid about their heartbreaking miscarriage and how that made them scared to try to get pregnant again. Here’s what she had to say.
Things Shifted When Drew Was Born
East told Today Parents that their marriage “definitely changed” after they had a child because they had to put someone else’s needs ahead of everything else.
“There’s this identity shift that happens when you transition from being carefree to, ‘Holy smokes, we have a dependent to take care of,’” East said. “We definitely struggled through the first few months.”
He also said that with baby No. 2 on the way, they are much more laidback because they’ve been through it once already.
“Our expectations are just different,” said East. “We love each other deeper. We’re having more fun than we ever could have dreamed of. I’m sure there will be chaos and I’m sure there will be arguments when the new baby comes. But we just have a different perspective now.”
It’s a marked change in them since they previously suffered a terrible tragedy in 2017. Johnson miscarried with their first baby. She had initially wanted to try for another baby right away after the miscarriage, but East wanted to wait.
“Right after the miscarriage I wanted to try again, but my husband thought we should wait until after we heal and process everything,” Johnson told Prevention in 2019. “So we kind of flip-flopped sides multiple times before we both decided that it’s time to start trying.”
She also said that you hold your breath throughout the pregnancy, terrified of hearing the word “complications.”
“We had already lost one baby and hearing any complication of any kind makes you guard your heart and think that this might not work out as well.” said Johnson. “And for us, we felt such heartbreak with our first baby, but with this one, we were so much farther ahead than last time, that we couldn’t even comprehend losing our baby. To hear things like still birth and miscarriage associated with the complications you’re having is just terrifying.”
Johnson and East Had to Make Their Marriage a Priority
East revealed that when he and Johnson had some ups and downs when they first became parents, they had to make a conscious choice to prioritize their marriage. What they did was make one night a week just about them. They are completely unreachable — it’s “Shawn and Andrew time.”
“That was some really good advice we got early on,” said the NFL long snapper. “It’s been such a crucial part of our schedule. There are so many things that happen after you have kids, and it’s easy to lose touch. It’s nice that we can always count on once a week, being able to have that togetherness. Just the two of us.”
He went on to say that they don’t use the time to really “do” anything. They prefer to use it to just connect with each other.
“We try to make a time where we can find out something new about each other and preserve that date night mentality,” said East. “Also, every night, after we put Drew down, we have a 10 to 15 minute period to kind of just debrief the day before we sit on the couch and watch TV.”
But the pair are definitely looking forward to 2021. In a New Year’s Instagram post, Johnson wrote, “2020 has been a wild ride. 2021 we are so ready for you. @andrewdeast thank you for being our light this year :) I’ll never get tired of your crazy side haha love you baby! Let’s do this #2021 we are ALL ready.”
The two should be welcoming baby No. 2 in summer 2021.
Dancing With the Stars will hopefully return with season 30 in 2021. ABC has not yet officially announced a renewal and premiere date.