kerri walsh jennings

Funny thing about being pregnant: An ordinarily intimidating prospect like posing nude for a magazine -- the cover of a magazine, no less! -- is sometimes somehow less scary than usual when sporting a big round preggers belly. That's what Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings discovered, anyway. The 34-year-old volleyball whiz and mother of three appears on the fold-out cover of ESPN magazine's annual "Body Issue" this month in a split image, the first taken when she was pregnant and the second taken nine weeks after her daughter Scout Margery was born. 

It's the latter shot that had Walsh "sweating bullets," she says: "For the first shoot, I was very pregnant, and that wasn't as scary. I thought it would be, because I was big and rotund when I'm usually the opposite, but it was really comfortable because I felt almost like I was in costume."

"But for the second, I was two and a half months out from having a baby. I'm supposed to be tight and toned and strong, but I have a lot more work to do."

Um, really, Kerri?! You know, I've had a couple of babies and, well, Walsh Jennings looks pretty damn good for the mother of a newborn!! Still, I understand how she feels. As difficult and uncomfortable as pregnancy can be, it's also this magical time when we have completely different expectations about how our bodies should look -- not to mention a completely different appreciation for what our bodies can do. Which is why I also understand what Walsh Jennings meant when she said: 

"Having babies -- literally delivering a baby -- makes me feel like Wonder Woman. Everything else seems minor compared to the soul-shaking thing that is labor ... I respect my body more than I have in my life. It's not perfect, but I can't tell you how proud I am of my body."

Right on, sister! She should be proud of her body, and the same goes for every other Wonder Woman out there -- and by "Wonder Woman," I mean "mom."

Do -- or did -- you feel less self-conscious about your body while pregnant?


Image via ESPN Magazine