Brie Bella is one of the toughest female wrestlers in the business, but motherhood takes place in a completely new arena.
The star of E!’s Total Bellas discussed her daughter Birdie Joe’s unexpected labor in Mini Magazine‘s holiday issue, saying she had expected an “easy” labor since she was an athlete.
“It was the complete opposite of what I expected,” Bella, 34, said. “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.”
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The star decided to change her birth plan and have an epidural. With a brief respite from the pain, the sports star was back to pushing after a two-hour nap. But her little girl was far from ready to born yet.
“I pushed for three hours straight and couldn’t get Birdie out,” she said. “After 21 hours of labor, it ended in an emergency C-section. Birdie had a 14-inch head! Even though it wasn’t the birth experience I had in mind, I’m so happy Birdie came into this world safely.”
Bella gave birth to her daughter in May, who she shares with husband and WWE SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan (whose real name is Bryan Danielson).
On picking their first child’s name, the Total Divas star said it was simple from the start.
“My husband’s only request was that we name all of our children with B names,” she said. “His whole family are B’s and I’m a B, so he really wanted our kids to be B’s. From there, we wanted a nature-inspired name and that’s how we decided on Birdie. Her middle name is Joe after my grandfather who meant the world to me.”
The mother of one said she receives a lot of help from her husband in juggling her career and motherhood, but admitted she sacrifices sleep in order to get things done.
“I honestly couldn’t do it without Bryan. Every week, we sit down and come up with a plan of how we can take care of Birdie and thrive in our careers,” she said. “Teamwork is everything!”
Since her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter, Bella had to say goodbye to wrestling, announcing she was leaving in 2016, according to Wrestling Inc.
“I had to hang up my boots in wrestling. It was really hard because my sister and I were at the forefront of the Women’s Revolution at WWE,” she admitted. “It was difficult to take a back seat when they were finally giving the women what they wanted, but in saying that, it also opened up many doors.”
She continued, “There’s a lot of value to being a mother. It allowed me to grow closer to my mom fans and let them join me on my journey to motherhood via Total Bellas. Most importantly, I now understand the meaning of ‘When one door closes, another one opens.’ “