Olympic beach volleyball medalist Jen Kessy is excited to be expecting her first child with husband Andy Ces, also a beach volleyball player. Jen is due at the end of August.
Her past accomplishments include capturing silver at the London Olympics in 2012 and being named the 2013 AVP Women’s Team of the Year with her partner April Ross. In October 2013 she announced she was taking a break from the sport to concentrate on motherhood. Jen recently shared with Celebrity Baby Scoop how she’s preparing for the baby, what healthy lifestyle choices she’s been taking and her plans after the birth.
CBS: Congratulations! As a first time mom-to-be, you must be so excited to be starting your family. How has your life changed since getting pregnant? Have you had to deal with morning sickness?
JK: Thank you so much. I am beyond excited to be pregnant and to be starting this new chapter of life. My life has made a complete 180 since becoming pregnant. In December, I played in my last competition of the year in South Africa. I finished with a bronze medal, took two 12 hour flights, got home and took a pregnancy test. The week after I got the positive test my doctor put me on progesterone to help aid me through the first trimester. As soon as I started taking them I felt the “morning” sickness kick in. I say “morning” because it was ALL DAY sickness. I never threw up but it felt like the worst hangover all day every day. So I went from a top performing professional athlete to a nauseous, sleepy, feeling sorry for herself pregnant woman.
CBS: As a full time athlete, you are in excellent shape. Have you have to alter your fitness routine to accommodate your changing body? Tell us about the cravings you’ve experienced. How has that influenced your diet?
JK: My fitness routine before becoming pregnant was very intense. As soon as I reached six weeks, my fitness routine became nonexistent. I always imagined myself as one of those pregnant women you see at the gym or playing volleyball late into their pregnancy, but that was sadly not the case. I was so nauseous and extremely tired that the thought of working out was comical. But as soon as I was 13 weeks, my energy came back and I hit the gym! It felt amazing not to be nauseous and be able to eat veggies again. All my body was craving during this time was carbs, and not the good kind. At 13 weeks, I was back to my old diet of lean meats and fresh veggies.
CBS: Staying fit during pregnancy has so many benefits, what advice would you give first time moms about eating right and working out during pregnancy?
JK: Each person reacts differently to pregnancy, but the most important thing is to listen to your body, within reason. Even though my body was telling me it wanted pizza every day, though I gave in sometimes, I tried to make healthier choices. If can’t make it to the gym try to do a few lunges or squats while waiting for the laundry or even in the shower. My husband laughs when he catches me doing lunges and pushups around the house and yard. It’s important to keep muscle even if it’s not as much as you’re used to having.
CBS: You are a decorated Olympic volleyball champion; do you plan to return to competitive volleyball after the birth of the baby? How will being a mom change the way you train?
JK: My due date is in August which gives me about eight months to get my butt back into shape and ready for the 2015 season. This gives me a lot of time to enjoy being a first time mom and slowly let my body morph back into athletic shape. I look at my body right now and I wonder how I’m going to look in a bikini, but I guess that’s every girl’s fear going into summer.
I’m hoping being a mom will help my training become more focused. Taking advantage of every second I have alone to focus on myself and my volleyball.
CBS: Are you going to determine the gender of the baby so you can plan ahead? Have you started decorating the nursery? Do you have names in mind?
JK: I have always had this vision of my husband walking out and telling our families, “it’s a boy, or it’s a girl!” so we are going to wait and be surprised. We painted our nursery a neutral grey and will fill it with all the colors you can imagine. I love mixing bright colors together in the rest of my house and the nursery will be no different. We put the crib together last night and have my great grandmother’s rocking chair in the corner. This is such a special piece in the room being that it rocked my grandma, my mother, me, and now my baby to sleep, hopefully.
My husband is French so we having a little trouble finding names that work in both English and in French. We have a few in mind but I’m sure we will make the right decision as soon as we meet our little munchkin.
CBS: What kind of advice has your mom shared with you about becoming a parent? What are you looking forward to most about being a mom?
JK: I have always admired my mom for being such a selfless person and always being there for us. She never looked at being a mom as a chore, she loved having us around. She couldn’t wait for summer break so we’d all be together all the time. Her advice is to be with your baby as much as you can. Take them with you. It might be difficult at times, but it’s totally worth it. I have wanted to be a mom forever. It took me 36 years to get here, but now that I’m here, I can’t wait to finally have a family and take my mother’s advice. I hope I can be half of the mother she was and still is.
CBS: All of the focus is on the expectant mom during pregnancy, but dads to be are going through a lot too. How is Andy doing? Is he planning on being in the delivery room? Are you taking classes to prepare? How excited is he to become a Dad?
JK: My husband is amazing. We’ve been planning a kitchen remodel for the last year and a half for this January. We usually do all the work together, but since I was so sick I really wasn’t able to help in my normal capacity. He’s been working from 7am to 8pm on the house, never upset at me for napping the day away and then not able to make dinner because I was too nauseous. He tells me to rest and not to worry about him, just about the baby. He likes to make a joke that he’s “nesting.”
He will be in the delivery room, but I’m pretty sure he will stay by my head and not be the dad taking video of every detail. Being a romantic, I think he’d like to keep some things a mystery and sacred. My brother and his wife are expecting two weeks before us, so we are planning on taking some classes together. Andy’s never changed a diaper so we are in need of some classes for sure.
Before meeting Andy, I was sure I loved children more than anyone in the world. Then I saw him around his cousins and just random children on the street and I was wrong, he loved kids more. Even being five years younger than me he is so ready to be a dad. He can’t wait to give our baby endless kisses. I’m a pretty lucky lady!