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Casey and Ali’s new team-mate

The popular rugby lock and the fitness queen are ready to be proud parents.
Casey and Ali's new team-mate

For someone as used to being fit, full of energy and healthy as Casey Green, pregnancy has come as something of a shock. “The first trimester for me was really difficult,” says the 12-weeks pregnant fitness entrepreneur.

“If I wasn’t sleeping, I was sick. I was pretty much bedridden. But my friends keep telling me they were good signs. And at 10 weeks the vomiting eased up so I’m a happy girl now. I’ve got energy and I’m not being sick every ve minutes.”

Husband and All Black lock Ali Williams says he felt uncharacteristically helpless as his wife went through those difficult first weeks. “You can’t do anything,” laments Ali. “You feel useless. But you get a newfound respect for women. The whole pregnancy thing chucks your body around.”

“It was a bit of a shock,” says Casey, whose figure, normally size eight, has changed dramatically already – much to her surprise.

“I guess because I eat really well and exercise and I know what it feels like to feel good. I wanted to wait until the 12-week point to tell anyone outside immediate family and friends – who we couldn’t wait to tell. But I can’t wait to finally tell all my students the good news, because my body shape changed really quickly. I’ve got a tummy so fast though, I think most of them might have guessed already!”

While the bump is most definitely all baby, her eating habits also underwent a transformation in the first few weeks. “Never in my life have I eaten so much,” she says. “I’m always starving – from day one. First I craved kiwifruit and mango yoghurt. And now it’s hot chips. And toast.”

“She wakes up in the morning and she’s hungry,” adds Ali. “She wakes up in the night and she’s hungry.”

As well as support from Ali, Casey has also been able to rely on the team at her business, Body Beautiful, who rallied around when she was unwell. “I’ve had a bit of time off work. I’ve got a wonderful team that stepped in for me.”

The pregnancy itself was no big surprise. Casey and Ali, who married in a beautiful mountaintop ceremony in Queenstown last December, had always planned to start a family about now. When she conceived, Casey knew it instinctively.

“You know that something’s different. I was doing a fitness photoshoot, and they were putting me in snug clothes and I kept looking down at my tummy, thinking, ‘This isn’t my body.’ The next day I took the test.”

Ali was there for the test, taken “12 days after ovulation”, says Casey, who is convinced she’s having a boy. She tried and failed to keep a straight face when she was telling her husband the result.

“I was stoked,” says Ali, who adds the timing couldn’t have been better. “I don’t know if you’re ever perfectly ready, but we can handle it now. It’s another challenge in your life.”

Casey thinks the timing is also good because “we’re married and we’re both 31. We’re both really ready.” How will two such busy people combine both work and family? “Apparently it’s possible to juggle it all,” says Casey. “We’ll just manage it.”

Casey says the first trimester was hard as she felt tired and sick. But now, she’s enjoying being pregnant.

“Professionally I don’t think it’s ever perfect,” says Ali, “but the reality is the older you get, the more comfortable you get with life and you can add other focuses into your life. For me, family’s important. It’s exciting.”

The couple say they will be learning as they go along, as neither has much direct personal experience of babies. “We’re going in blind with the help of Google,” jokes Ali. “It’s so confusing. You’ve just got to do it on your own. The best advice I’ve been given so far is to trust our instincts and you’ll do the right thing. Even if it’s the wrong thing, you’ll make it right.”

Casey says she has found Jaquie Brown’s bestselling pregnancy and baby guide I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant! helpful. “She’s humorous and it’s thorough, but it’s also her diary as well. It’s been quite nice to read about another woman suffering,” she jokes.

The arrival of the baby is going to mean changes not just to the couple’s lifestyle but also to their house. “Our house at the moment is de nitely Ali’s perfect party pad,” says Casey. “We are childproo ng it. Unfortunately Ali might lose his bar. That might turn into a bedroom.”

“But where there’s a will, there’s a way,” adds Ali quickly. “And there may be other venues that can be allocated for recreational activities. Regardless, we were going to look at turning it into a bit more of a family home.”

The baby is due in early April and Ali’s commitments to rugby in 2013 are unclear at this stage. “I don’t have a job next year,” smiles the All Black. With that uncertainty in mind, Casey has decided to put herself in the hands of a specialist obstetrician. “I’m nervous because Ali’s away a lot,” she says. “And he’s 6 foot seven and 120kg, so I’d like my obstetrician to keep an eye on the size of the baby.

Ali says the timing is great. Both he and Casey have had fullling careers, and now in their thirties, they are ready to start their family.

“Ali could be in South Africa for two weeks, and I want someone to hold my hand.” Given her morning sickness, no one would be surprised if Casey wanted to stop at one baby. But that’s not the case.

“A few weeks ago I would have said one only, when I was feeling terrible. But now that I’m having a good day – we’re thinking two. But I don’t want to be financially stretched in years to come. I want to make sure everyone’s comfy. I take that quite seriously.”

The pair also realise that having a baby can put a strain on a relationship, and for a couple as much in love as these two, that’s something you don’t want to risk. “You still have to maintain your friendship and make sure you have time for just the two of you,” says Ali.

“I’m sure we can add a baby into the mix,” says Casey. “Ali will be a phenomenal dad. This baby will be a very lucky child.” Asked what she sees when she looks ahead, Casey says, “Seeing my husband with my baby will be amazing.”

Paul Little


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