WWE’s Leah Van Dale ‘Absolutely’ Plans To Wrestle After Delivering First Baby (Exclusive)
The former WWE champion is expecting her first child and says it's "crazy" to be away from wrestling.
Though Leah Van Dale is still several months away from becoming a first-time mom, she's already anticipating her return to the world of wrestling.
Van Dale, or Carmella, as she's known to WWE fans, and husband Corey Graves announced their "double rainbow baby" pregnancy news earlier this month, after Van Dale endured what she described as an "emotional roller coaster" in her first trimester.
Last October, Van Dale gave fans an inside look at her challenging fertility journey, revealing she suffered a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy back-to-back.
This time around, Van Dale felt cautious when she got a positive pregnancy test result. "I probably took fifty [tests] — I was taking one every day, just to make sure it still said positive," Van Dale told The Messenger exclusively. "I was excited, but I was so skeptical because that's the third time that's happened. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, is this gonna happen again?'"
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"I definitely was in my own head about it," she described. "I didn't want to disappoint [Corey]."
Van Dale explained hearing the baby's heartbeat consistently finally assured her that everything would be okay. "It didn't truly feel real until I had my first ultrasound at six weeks," she revealed. "I wanted to make sure it was in the right place because I've also had the ectopic pregnancy. Once I had the ultrasound and they saw the baby in the uterus, there was a heartbeat."
Ultimately, Van Dale is relying on "manifestation" and "positive thinking" as her baby grows in utero. "We try to keep a positive mindset this time around, and so far so good. I really forced myself to have a positive mindset rather than thinking the worst could possibly happen again," she said.
Van Dale and her Monday Night Raw commentator husband told Graves' three children about their new sibling in a sweet moment Van Dale posted to Instagram, writing, "These three kiddos have completely changed my life and made me realize just how much I want to be a mom. If this new baby turns out to be half as smart, talented, funny and kind as my stepkids, I’ll be one lucky mama."
The former WWE SmackDown Women's Champion is enjoying the journey but "absolutely" wants to get back in the ring after she recovers from her pregnancy. "I love working for WWE, I love performing and it's just such a passion of mine. I've done it for 10 years so it's so crazy to be away from it," she said.
"To have a baby and then go back to work in an area that's just so physical and so demanding — I'm really looking forward to that challenge," she said.
Van Dale is fifteen weeks along and taking her body changes in stride. "I've always had to be in such tip-top performance shape for the whole ten years of my life and put so much pressure on myself," she said. "It is hard to see your body change. But I will say I never felt sexier, growing this child inside of me."
Making this period of change easier has been the support of her husband, Graves. "He's so, so helpful and massaging my feet all the time," Van Dale said. "He's the best."
The couple is expecting their new arrival in November, and while Van Dale confirmed that they do know the baby's sex, they aren't revealing it just yet. The WWE star is taking the experience one step at a time and being energized by the small moments.
"It's actually happening now," she said. "I can get excited."
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