When Brie and Nikki Bella told SheKnows about their Total Bellas birth episodes, they said it would be a lot like “science class.” What they neglected to warn us is how moving it would be to see the twins and their partners welcome Buddy and Matteo into the world within a day of each other.
“This is what Nicole and I do together,” Brie said on the show, after she gave birth to Buddy and realized they’d have almost-twin boy cousins. “We make twin magic happen.”
The whole episode is worth watching to see the many differences between the Bella sisters’ experiences — vaginal vs. C-section; first baby vs. second baby; and knowing the sex of the baby vs. getting surprised. For those who haven’t witnessed childbirth first-hand, the Bellas weren’t lying that they show a lot of detail (with the exception of actual footage of the babies coming out). The real lesson is seeing birthing parents surrender to fact that they can’t control much of what happens during childbirth, while also being determined to drink in every moment and appreciate the miracle taking place.
Here are some of our favorite highlights, “science class”-y and otherwise:
Brie telling husband Bryan Danielson that they should have sex to induce labor. “You can’t put your semen in me; no semen because that’s infection,” she said. “Orgasms can help. You don’t have to have sex, you can do other things.”
Artem Chigvintsev admitting his worry about bonding with his son. “What I’m nervous about the most is you have a certain attachment to it,” he said (and calling the baby “it” isn’t really helping). “I don’t have the same attachment because it’s not within me for nine months.”
But Nikki has no such worry, assuring him, “Artem, it’s going to come very natural to you. You’re going to be an amazing dad.”
Artem’s super caring attitude during Nikki’s all-night labor. “I feel really bad for Nicole,” he told the camera. “She’s nauseous. She has contractions and you don’t know how long it’s going to go for, and you have this woman in front of you, who you love to death, struggling. So I just want to do everything possible to make it less painful.”
Nikki realizing just how hard childbirth is, even for a professional athlete. “Every time I push that is the hardest workout, anything I’ve ever put my body through in my entire life,” she said, and that pushing lasted for more than two hours, so that’s saying something. “I literally am almost ripping off those handle bars. I have never gripped anything that hard in my life. It was crazy mentally like, where I went. ‘Cause, I was just like, ‘No, I’m not ending this in a C-section.'”
Artem sounding poetic about cutting the umbilical cord. “One of the most exciting things was actually cutting the umbilical cord,” he said. “Cutting this thing that gave life to my son for nine months. You’re kind of ending something and beginning something.”
Brie feeling disappointed when facing the fact that she’d be having another C-section. “There has to be a reason why my body’s not going into labor. This is going to be hard for me, but I just need my babies to come out safe.”
Brie’s description of C-section birth. “It’s really crazy when you’re going to get a C-section because you’re going into a surgery room, so a room that is bright white, freezing cold, and it’s all these different medical tools and things around you, which is scary.” And when they actually pull the baby out, she recalled, “The pressure you feel… and they tell you ’cause they’re trying to pop the baby out. That’s when I looked at Bryan, and I just had tears come down, ’cause it’s a lot.”
Bryan’s feeling about having a boy named after his late father. “Buddy looks so much like my dad, and I’m very thankful for that.”
The sibling rivalry continuing, as the sisters talk about Nikki’s birth experience. “You didn’t lose the mucous plug, you didn’t have the bloody show,” Brie pointed out.
“I barely tore,” Nikki said, almost bragging.
“That’s what happens when you have a big vagina,” teased her sister.
“Oh, my god. I do not have a big vagina, FYI,” Nikki clarified.
And we challenge you not to cry when seeing the sisters bring their baby boys to “meet” each other in the hospital. Now excuse me while I go call my sister.
Childbirth is nothing like in the movies, as these beautiful photos show.