Always a fierce presence in the ring, wrestler Brie Bella is not shy about her hopes for birth and motherhood. Her can-do attitude will get you pumped!
Brie Bella, 33, and hubby, Bryan Danielson (a wrestler who goes by Daniel Bryan in the ring), live under the same roof as her twin, Nikki, and Nikki’s boyfriend, actor John Cena. All four hail from the wrestling world, and their Phoenix home features in two E! reality shows, Total Bellas and Total Divas. Far from feeling crowded by her roomies, Bella is loving nesting. “The good thing about being pregnant is I get to be home more,” the WWE Divas Champion says sunnily. She’s retired from WrestleMania, focusing on the upcoming birth, child-care plans, and her eco-friendly registry, but she told us she sees herself someday going back to work—and by that, she means body-slamming people! Listen to how fearless this woman is.
“There was no way I could get pregnant and continue to work in the ring and go on the road. I was traveling almost 300 days a year for the last decade! So I knew I’d have to step away. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I was ready to do that.”
Making it happen
“You spend your adult life trying not to get pregnant, so I thought having it happen would be immediate. But for a couple of months I’d be late and think I felt signs and then turn out not to be pregnant. Sure enough, when we took one month off from trying and stopped the ovulation tests, it all worked out. I think my body was telling me, ‘It’s time.’”
Finding out: pregnant!
“I was at the airport traveling to an event called SummerSlam, where my sister was making her return after breaking her neck. In the terminal, I kept thinking, ‘They need to clean the carpets. It stinks!’ Then someone told me, ‘Wow, your boobs look really big.’ I thought that I was PMS-ing, not realizing I was a week late. I waited a couple more days, and then I felt in my heart that I needed to take a test. After months of negatives, I just figured it would be negative. When I saw the positive—you know, I’m an athlete—it felt like I had won a championship! It took my breath away. I screamed out to tell Bryan.”
“I suffered from migraines during my first trimester, plus a lot of fatigue, but I had zero morning sickness. I usually have lots of energy, so I couldn’t believe how pregnancy put me on my butt. Now that I’m heading into my third trimester, though, I sometimes look down and think, ‘Oh yeah, I’m pregnant.’ I like that it hasn’t really stopped me from doing anything.”
Nailing the name
“We’re having a little girl, and her name will be Birdy Joe Danielson. Joe, her middle name, is after my grandfather—his name was Joseph, and he meant the world to me. Birdy is because my husband and his whole family are B’s. And he married me, a B too, so his one request was that our kids have B names. I didn’t realize how hard it was to find girl B names, but we both came across Birdy and knew that was it!”
Looking to labor
“I’m preparing for a natural birth. I hope I can stick with that, but obviously I’m open to medical help if need be. You don’t know what can happen. The baby could come early, or you could need an emergency C-section. So much of that scares me! But I know I can stand pain because of my career. I’ll never forget the first time I stepped into a ring and was told to flip myself over another person—to do the ‘sunset flip.’ It hurt so badly. Childbirth is going to be more painful than wrestling, but I know I will survive.”
Deciding what to share
“The Total Bellas film crew is going to follow me into the delivery room. I’m going to allow them to document me giving birth and having this little miracle. But they won’t be with me and Bryan for a few weeks after the baby’s born. It’s such a special time that I don’t want the cameras interfering. I’m not even interested in being on social media. I just want my husband and me to be a couple figuring out that first month privately. We plan to enjoy every moment without a producer saying, ‘Hey, can we move everything over here?’ I just want to sit on the couch and breastfeed my baby.”
Planning on nursing
I’ve talked to friends; they’ve all had issues with their baby not latching on right away. You concentrate so much on the birthing part that sometimes you forget the important parts that come once the baby arrives. I’ll remind myself to be patient. I feel breastfeeding creates a special bond with your baby. The fact that you can feed your child with your body is the most fascinating thing in the world to me.”
“I need my space. Right now we’re in the house that’s featured on the shows, but I don’t think we’re all going to be able to fit in here, so Bryan and I are going to be in a house nearby. My sister’s going to stick around, and I also have my mom and younger brother in town. Having their help will be great.”
Getting her body back
“The minute you stop working out intensely, it’s hard to get back into it, but because I’ve been an athlete for so long, I know it takes pain to reach a goal. I’ll definitely have weight to lose; I was 20 pounds up at 23 weeks along. My sister-in-law, who is a new mom, did great with that, though. I told her, ‘You haven’t worked out once, you’ve just breastfed for the last month and lost all your baby weight!’ That’s insane. I think it’ll be a lot harder for me, but I’m ready for the challenge.”
Parenting the eco way
“Bryan and I plan to use reusable diapers. There are a lot more options than before. We know it won’t be as convenient, but we want to do it to help the planet. And everything on our registry is eco-friendly or organic. I’m cautious about chemicals in products like bedding and even baby clothes.”
Returning to the ring
“I do want to make a comeback. I would love to go back after giving birth and getting used to having a baby. I’d love to start training again, for a couple of matches, just to prove to myself that I can have a baby and get back in that ring.”