A self-professed tomboy (she played volleyball and basketball and also ran track in high school), Bridgette scaled back her fitness routine during pregnancy. "The hardest thing was giving myself permission to rest," she says. Simple workouts -- such as a 10-minute walk on the treadmill followed by 20 minutes of strength training with 5- to 8-pound hand weights -- are often best, doctors say. Bridgette also enjoyed throwing a ball around the yard with her English bulldog, Ruby, a gift from Pete.
The sweetest moment of the 2002 U.S. Open didn't come when 17th-seeded Pete Sampras took the final point to beat Andre Agassi and win the major tennis tournament for the fifth time. It was the moment right after, when the 31-year-old champion's first post-game move was to jump into the stands to receive a victory kiss from his wife of two years, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras,(Extreme Ops, The Wedding Planner), whom he credited for giving him the boost he needed to win: an inspirational note she had slipped into his gym bag that morning.
Plagued by nausea during the first five months of her pregnancy, Bridgette experimented with different foods to find those she could tolerate. Club sandwiches became her room-service mainstay while traveling with Pete to tournaments throughout Europe. Back at home in California, she'd head to the kitchen and whip up a nutrient-rich banana-strawberry smoothie made with soy milk. She would also carry protein bars, pretzels, and packets of almonds and trail mix in her purse for quick, healthy snacks throughout the day. "I learned that I needed to eat a little bit all the time," she says.
As many moms-to-be often do, Bridgette went into nesting mode around her six month. "One day it just hit me," she says. "Within an hour I'd taken all the pots and pans out of the kitchen cabinets and scrubbed everything!" Through all the stages of her pregnancy, Pete was Bridgette's most steadfast supporter. "He would do anything I'd ask him to, bless his heart!" she says -- providing foot rubs, sitting through episodes of The Learning Channel's Maternity Ward, and just being there with a hug for his hormonally charged wife. "I'd start crying and laughing at the same time, and I wouldn't know why," she says. "He would just go with it!"
Bridgette reveled in the extensive selection of fashionable maternity wear. "I couldn't believe how cute and sassy you can look when you're pregnant!" She favored feminine styles like this wrap dress from Cadeau; Liz Lange and Mimi Maternity were other preferred shopping destinations. When it came to everyday wear, Bridgette opted for comfort. "I ended up living in Bella Dahl jeans from A Pea in the Pod," she says. "They were the one pair that sat below my tummy -- some of the others had these big straps that I just wanted to pull away so I could breathe." And she fell so in love with a Juicy Couture sweatsuit that she bought several more, each in a different color.
You get this thick, fabulous hair when you're pregnant," Bridgette discovered. A big problem was finding unscented shampoos and other beauty products. "I had to stop using anything with perfume the day I got pregnant," she says. A New York shop called Carol's Daughter became her top source for soothing items like belly balm, massage oils, and cooling leg gel, and she slathered Palmer's cocoa butter on her expanding stomach to prevent stretch marks. Other beauty musts for Bridgette included pregnancy massages and regular pedicures -- "After seven months, I couldn't reach my toes anymore!"
Copyright © 2003. Reprinted with permission from the March 2003 issue of Child magazine.