Kerri Walsh and husband Casey Jennings
07/06/2009 at 09:00 AM EDT
New mom Kerri Walsh tells PEOPLE her husband AVP pro-volleyball player Casey Jennings nearly missed the birth of their son.
The Olympian, 30, and Jennings, 33, welcomed Joseph Michael Jennings
last month but dad to be got temporarily sidelined by, what else, a volleyball game.
"I started my contractions the night before and just labored through the night and kissed my husband goodbye," says Walsh. "He had to go play in a tournament."
Although Jennings was a wreck leaving his wife, he made it back just in the nick of time. "Casey got home around 5 p.m. and my water broke around 5:05 and then we went straight to the hospital," she recalls. "My husband was a really great coach and little Joey came out at 7:14 p.m."
And Jennings has eased right into his new role. "He sings to Joey every day and night. Joey's a spitting image of his daddy –same head, same hair-line, same bone structure."
Walsh, who has stuck to an intense work out routine much of her life – especially while in season, did have a little trouble getting used to the weight gain. "36 lbs. is the official number. I just didn't want to hit 40 because that would be 200 lbs. but I feel pretty silly now that I see Joey."
So did it fall right off the typically svelte star? "It's crazy. A lot dropped in the first week," she says. "Now I just need to build my muscle because I'm skinny soft, which is the worst thing to be."
Anxious to be back on the sand, Walsh adds, "I can't wait to sweat and be outside and play the sport I love so much but right now I'm just proud. I have peace in my heart because of our son. I just can't wait to show him the world."
Meanwhile, Walsh announced this weekend she's on track to make her comeback at the August 8 Hermosa Beach AVP tournament.