"We watched and prayed as the doctors and nurses resuscitated our daughter back to life," singer Colton Dixon tells PEOPLE

By Benjamin VanHoose and Anya Leon
September 03, 2020 03:05 PM
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Colton Dixon relied on his faith when the recent arrival of his newborns didn't go according to plan.

On Aug. 18, the American Idol alum and wife Annie welcomed identical twin daughters Ava Dior and Athens Elizabeth after what Dixon calls "the perfect pregnancy." The delivery, however, didn't go as smoothly.

"Annie never got sick, not once. Every checkup was textbook perfect," he tells PEOPLE. "People would stare at just how well she was carrying not one, but two babies. But the delivery was a different story."

Dixon, 28, says that the couple's "plans changed" after about 30 hours of labor, and Annie prepared for an emergency cesarean section.

"We never expected our little Ava Dior would arrive in the world without a pulse. In that moment, we had a choice: faith or fear," says the singer. "We watched and prayed as the doctors and nurses resuscitated our daughter back to life."

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Colton Dixon's daughter Dior
Colton Dixon
Colton Dixon's daughters Dior and Athens
@Darlingjulietphoto /Julia Cox
Colton Dixon and wife Annie with daughters Dior and Athens
@Darlingjulietphoto /Julia Cox

"After several days in the NICU, Dior was able to join us at home, happy and healthy. That was a great day," he adds. "Life doesn't always happen the way we want it to, but we believe that life is more about the way we respond to things than what happens to us. We thank God and our amazing doctors and nurses for our two little miracles."

The Christian music artist, who placed seventh on the 11th season of Idol, says the experience gave a newfound poignancy to his tune from earlier this year titled "Miracles," telling PEOPLE, "To be honest, this recent journey has given the song a whole new meaning to me."

Ava, or simply Dior as her parents have come to call her, was born weighing 7 lbs., 1 oz., while her sister Athens weighed in at 5 lbs., 6 oz.

"Everyone meet Athens Elizabeth and Ava Dior Dixon. We are over the moon to experience life with these twin girls," the couple told PEOPLE last month. Sharing a photo of their newborns' tiny toes, the new parents added, "They truly are our two little miracles."

@Darlingjulietphoto /Julia Cox
Colton Dixon's daughters Dior and Athens
@Darlingjulietphoto /Julia Cox

Dixon's rep revealed the couple's pregnancy news exclusively to PEOPLE in February, following up a few weeks later with the surprise that they were actually expecting twins — though they originally thought the babies were fraternal and later announced during the couple's April sex reveal that the girls were identical.

"I went in to the ultrasound too excited to sit, so I stood as our technician started showing us a first glimpse of our baby," Dixon previously recalled. "Before I knew it, I was back in the chair trying to wrap my head around TWINS!"

"As soon as we got home, I got to work painting and rearranging furniture all over the house," he continued. "I admit that my wife was the stronger one that day, but I don't think we could be more excited to meet our two little ones. What a blessing."

"I felt like we were in a dream," added Annie of learning that they would soon become a family of four. "It did not feel real at first. Once the news set in, it brought another level of excitement."