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Women's Health

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Volleyball Champ Kerri Walsh Jennings Talks Baby No. 3

WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

At the London Olympics last summer, beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings and her teammate, Misty May-Treanor, set a record that may stand for decades: three straight Olympic gold medals. In the four years since the pair stood atop the podium in Beijing, Walsh Jennings, now 34, had given birth to two sons, one year apart.

As the unbeatable pair watched the U.S. flag rise to claim their third gold, Walsh Jennings had other big news brewing: She was five weeks pregnant with her third child. Here, she muses about pregnancy cravings, juggling two toddlers and an Olympic career, and her plans for the future. (Hint: She's not slowing down.)

1. Did you realize at the Olympics that you were pregnant?

I knew as well as I could know without getting it confirmed. I was late, about a couple of days, and then I got more and more late. And then I started having something happen that had only happened during my previous pregnancies: When I'd sneeze, I'd feel a ... pain in my tummy muscles. I thought, "Hey, this only happens when I'm pregnant!"

2. Boy or girl -- are you going to find out?

We found out on Christmas morning with the boys and we're going to do the same with this one. I have an appointment in two weeks for my 4D ultrasound, and we'll bring in two different ornaments, pink and blue, and have my doctor [secretly] select the right one and put it in a box. We'll wrap it up and put it away for safekeeping, and it will be the last present under the tree that we open.

(Update: Over the holidays she announced she's expecting a baby girl.)

3. How did you juggle training for international competition while riding herd on two toddler boys [Joseph Michael, born in May 2009, and Sundance Thomas, born in May 2010]?

Basically, my husband [beach volleyball player Casey Jennings] and I are a really good team. He made me really comfortable with my schedule. He made our family a priority so Misty and I could go in and win a gold medal, and that took all the pressure off. My little sister KC was our nanny on the road in London. It's always been my dream in life to be a working mom and have this amazing career. We knew the madness of it all, but we do it as a team. In 2011, they went wherever we went: all around the world, from China to Brazil to Europe. In 2012, there was a little less travel for them: They only went to Rome and London. My husband and I want to keep playing and go for the gold in Rio as well, so we'll hopefully see a lot more places as a family. That's my dream.

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