Shawn Johnson gets candid about motherhood in quarantine: 'It makes every day feel like Christmas' (EXCLUSIVE)


With new social distancing guidelines and state-mandated restrictions put into place due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are struggling with missing out on in-person milestone events and celebrations.

From graduations to weddings, to even bridal and baby showers, many people are turning to digital options like Zoom meetings and social media live streams to help include loved ones in on these big life moments.

For those who are expecting, this can hit especially hard, as pregnancy can be an extremely vulnerable, exciting and overall emotional experience for moms-to-be.

New mom and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson knows this all too well after giving birth to her daughter, Drew Hazel East, last October.

“My baby shower was such a special time to celebrate me as a mom,” Johnson exclusively tells AOL. “Now being able to celebrate that with other mommas is such a great feeling.”

The athlete has teamed up with Carter’s to help dazzle, honor and support new and expecting moms around the country through a virtual baby shower called ShowHER Love which will be hosted alongside Kelly Clarkson.

The event will feature gifts, giveaways, celeb cameos and inspirational stories to make sure that expecting moms are able to feel appreciated, included and most of all, not alone.

“I can say from personal experience that moms can feel very isolated at a time like this, and I feel like as moms, we already have so much pressure on ourselves,” Johnson explains. “Teaming up with Carter’s to support other moms allows me to be a part in helping to provide that sense of community that they have lost in this time. I just want to celebrate mommas the way they deserve to be celebrated!”

Johnson’s ability to share her infectious positivity throughout the pandemic and new motherhood is admirable to say the least.

As someone who’s always been open with her fans and followers about her journey in marriage, motherhood and beyond, Johnson heartbreakingly shared the news in October 2017 that she had suffered a miscarriage.

Nearly two years later, when she learned that she was pregnant with Drew, it was a no brainer that Johnson and her husband, Andrew East, would decide to share this new journey with the people that formed a virtual network of support throughout one of their most difficult times.

“My followers were the one who got me through my miscarriage and after going through that with them, I wanted to celebrate all of the moments of pregnancy with Drew, my rainbow baby,” Johnson tells AOL.

When it was time for the new baby Johnson to come into the world last October, Johnson had her mind set on an all-natural birth.

“I tried everything to deliver Drew naturally,” she says.

The universe, however, had other plans.

“After 22 long hours of labor, and a 6’2” husband, we figured out that she wouldn't fit,” Johnson laughs.

At 4’11”, the Olympian is used to being strong and mighty. But like so many new moms, the changes that the body undergoes during pregnancy can be challenging both physically and mentally.

“Seeing the miracle my body undertook [during pregnancy] was a really special time, but being able to hold Drew in my arms is the absolute best feeling in the world,” Johnson says. “I was really afraid that I would be self-conscious about my changing pregnancy body, but I was surprised that as soon as I got pregnant, I felt a new sense of purpose. And suddenly, my insecurities didn't matter. To other mommas, I would say all the changes are for your baby, and that makes it all worth it. Rock the bump momma!”

Drew is making sure to keep her mother active, however, as Johnson jokes that “chasing my daughter around in her scooter is a workout in itself”.

“Taking family walks and sticking to routines has been a huge help for me during quarantine,” she adds.

And though Drew may only be seven months old, she’s already making quite the impact in Johnson’s life.

“The most rewarding thing about having a kid is being able to see her grow, change and learn every single day. It makes every day feel like Christmas,” Johnson admits. “I hope she knows that no matter what people say or society says, she can be whoever she wants. She can achieve anything.”

Now through May 23, 2020, new moms and moms-to-be can enter here for a chance to join Shawn, Kelly Clarkson and friends for ShowHER Love, which will take place on June 11, 2020.

Originally published