The Bella Twins kicked off August with a one-two punch of births — with Nikki Bella delivering her first son, Matteo, shortly before her sister Brie welcomed her own second child with fellow wrestler Daniel Bryan, Buddy Dessert. For baby number two, Brie, who previously had an emergency C-section during her first pregnancy, told PEOPLE that she wanted to try to have a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC).
“I was trying to have a VBAC because I had an emergency c-section with Birdie, but I forgot I make stubborn babies, and they don’t like to come out,” Brie said. “When Matteo came on the 31st, I was like, ‘No matter what, my baby is coming at 9 a.m. tomorrow.’ We didn’t know it was a boy yet.”
Bella was very candid during her first pregnancy about how wanting to try a vaginal birth, telling Fit Pregnancy & Baby in 2017 that she was “preparing for a natural birth. I hope I can stick with that, but obviously I’m open to medical help if need be.” However, when it came time for Birdie (now 3) to make her appearance, things went a bit differently.
“It was the complete opposite of what I expected. I was ten days late and had to be induced. I thought I could labor naturally but after nine hours, I couldn’t handle the pain,” she told Mini-Magazine. “I pushed for three hours straight and couldn’t get Birdie out. After 21 hours of labor, it ended in an emergency C-section. Birdie had a 14-inch head.”
At the time, Brie’s sister hypothesized that the wrestler’s ab muscles were “too tight” for her to have a natural birth. However, that didn’t make much sense to OBGYNs at the time.
“There are no studies or evidence that say tight abs can increase the risk for a C-section,” Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies told Women’s Health in 2017, and Dr. Jessica Shepherd agreed, telling the mag: “Abdominal muscles don’t really have anything to do with the process of vaginal delivery. If anything, they might make a C-section harder.” Because in a vaginal birth the real stars of the show are the pelvic muscles and bones and how your cervix dilates, your abs (tight or not) aren’t really expected to have an impact on labor speed.
This time around, though, Brie said once they recognized the stubborn baby situation and decided the way to move forward was with another C-section, the birth was a totally new experience compared to the emergency C-section in her first go.
“This experience was so different from my last — just to walk into a c-section and be completely alert,” Brie said. “When they pulled out Buddy, they put down the curtain, and my husband was like, ‘Oh, I got a boy!’ We were really overwhelmed with joy.”
Before you go, check out these OMG-worthy products we found on Goop that we can’t believe are real: