On the latest episode of The Bellas Podcast, the twin sisters had an in-depth conversation—sparked in-part by a recent trip to the doctor's office, where they realized just how fast their due-dates are approaching—about managing their expectations and putting pressure on themselves.
Brie, who's expecting her second child with her husband Daniel Bryan (born Bryan Danielson), is especially worried these days.
"I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks [contractions]—a lot a lot—during the day and through the night," Brie said, also noting that she's now two centimeters dilated. "Just the stomach has been tightening a lot. So I'm like, gosh, is my body really starting to prepare for labor? And will I go in early?"
The mom to three-year-old Birdie Danielson added, "It was just crazy because Nicole and I were looking at each other, like, if we go full-term—because I have a scheduled C-section for August 1; I can't hold the baby longer than that—we only have two appointments left."
However, neither Brie nor Nikki want cesarean sections.
"Birdie came in through an emergency C-section, so I was really disappointed," Brie recalled. "I definitely got over it because I looked at the bigger picture: my baby is alive and healthy. And I can't ask for more than that."
She continued, "But I'm trying not to put pressure on this pregnancy because this is my last shot. You know, I'm only having two kids, and I really do want to have a vaginal birth. I wanna, like, push the baby out and then hold it. I don't wanna be cut open. Which is fine if I am, but I'm not trying to have high hopes because I don't want to be let down."
Nikki echoed Brie's sentiments about wanting to avoid surgery, also explaining that she's been grappling with her tendency to have high hopes for a lot of things, from a movie-like birth experience alongside her fiancé Artem Chigvintsev to getting back into shape after welcoming her son.
"Goodness, from where we're at right now—you and I going into labor, not knowing the birth plan that's gonna be handed to us, dealing with COVID-19, an election year, so many things—I think we all need to be open to changes and possibilities," Nikki expressed. "We all need to let go of expectations because we don't know what tomorrow's gonna bring."
This new mindset of Nikki's is particularly important as it applies to her self-esteem. According to the 36-year-old, throughout her pregnancy, she's been worried about what her post-baby body is going to look like.
"I already started to say in my head, 'Okay, January 2021, Nicole, you better have your abs back, you better be this weight, you better be in this shape..." she said on the podcast. "Because so many women in the spotlight get their body back so quick, I'm, like, holding myself to this level that everyone's expecting it, so I better deliver it."
Brie chimed in to say she went through the same thing after having Birdie, admitting it didn't help that just two months post-birth, she was filming Total Divas and "around all you women who were wrestling and wearing your crop tops and in killer shape."
"I really was hard on myself, which I think led me to a little bit of a postpartum [depression]," Brie told her sister. "I just was tearing myself apart. And I'm not doing it this time!"
Brie even admitted to keeping her "pregnancy group" small because "I don't want anyone to put stuff up in my head to make me feel the pressure of doing things a certain way."
At the same time the twins are trying to keep their negative thoughts at bay, they're making last-minute preparations, too.
As Nikki explained, "I'm gonna cram these next two weeks of videos and learning things because I'll admit, I hired a Douala who was gonna start to come four hours every day for about six weeks right after the baby was born to teach me breastfeeding, to teach me just things about being a mom."
She's also counting down the days until she can have "passionate sex" with Artem again.
"I dream about it...I just said, 'I can't wait for us to make love missionary-style again and just be sweating and staring into each other's eyes like we used to,'" Nikki said. "Just being so romantic and passionate. Because you know, I don't remember the last time I had missionary sex."
Well! If you want even more from the Bella twins, listen to the complete podcast episode here.