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Shawn Johnson felt like she 'failed' when she had to have a C-section

"I went in with such a stubborn mindset of thinking the only way I could bring our baby into the world was naturally."
/ Source: TODAY

New mom Shawn Johnson is candidly opening up on social media about her birthing experience, which resulted in a C-section.

"22 hours of labor to end in a c section," she began her post, shared to her 2.3 million followers on Instagram. "I went in with such a stubborn mindset of thinking the only way I could bring our baby into the world was naturally. No meds no intervention. At 14 hours when I chose to get an epidural I felt guilty. At 22 hours when we were told I had to get a c section I felt like I had failed."

The honest reveal comes three days after the former Olympic gymnast, 27, gave birth to her first child, a daughter whose name has yet to be revealed.

"But after holding our sweet girl in my arms and being told everything went well and she had made it to us safely I could have cared less," she continued in the caption, that was paired with a black-and-white pic shot by Teale Photography in Nashville. "My/our world no longer has anything to do with us but everything to do with her. It’s all for her and I will forever do anything for this girl that I love more than I ever could imagine. A love no one can ever prepare you for."

Johnson, who rose to prominence during the 2008 Olympic Games where she won four medals, ended her post with a sweet message to her husband Andrew East, who she has been married to since 2016.

"@andrewdeast I meant it in the hospital when I said you will forever be my number one but she will now forever be OUR number one together," she wrote. "Thank you to the incredible doctors and nurses who brought our baby girl into the world safely and to the best husband/daddy in the world for being there every step of the way."

Fans and followers took to the comments section of the post to applaud Johnson for her honesty.

"There is no reason to feel guilty," wrote one person. "You brought your beautiful daughter into the world safely and also did what was best for your own health and safety, so that is what ultimately matters."

Another added: "The only birth plan is the plan that actually unfolds when it’s time. A healthy baby is such a blessing! Congrats to your family!!"

Using research from 169 countries, a study published in 2018 showed that 21% of babies born are delivered by Caesarean section. That is nearly 30 million babies a year.