Nikki Bella gave birth to son Matteo Artemovich on July 31 and twin sister Brie delivered son Buddy Dessert on Aug. 1

By Christina Dugan
August 26, 2020 11:00 AM
Advertisement

What's really in a name? For Nikki and Brie Bella, a lot!

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the Total Bellas stars, both 36, discuss the special meaning of each of their son's unique names — and why they chose them.

Nikki, who welcomed her first child, Matteo Artemovich, with her fiancé, Dancing with the Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev, 38, on July 31, says she gets "chills" when describing her son's name.

"When I was pregnant, my trainer was talking about his son and this strength that he has and that when he gets knocked down, he gets right back up," Nikki explains. "And when he said, 'Oh, my Matteo,' I got alligator chills from head to toe."

"So I came home and I go, 'Artem, if we're having a boy, his name's Matteo,' " she adds. "I got this feeling when my trainer was talking about him. It means God's gift."

Paying homage to both of their heritages, the new parents added a little extra something.

"We're going to do with two "T"'s to keep it Italian," says Nikki, whose mother is of Italian descent. "In the Russian culture and tradition, you always take the father's first name as the middle name and you add 'vich' if it's a boy. So we kept that tradition. It's such a strong name. I love it because you rarely hear it. I had such an attachment to it. I just feel like my Matteo is such a light in this world. It fits in perfect."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Nikki Bella, Artem Chigvintsev, and Matteo
Brian Bowen Smith

Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: The Bella Twins streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

For Brie, who welcomed their second child son Buddy Dessert with husband Daniel Bryan on Aug. 1, the decision held just as much sentiment.

"We named our son Buddy because he's named after his late grandfather," Brie says. "Bryan's dad (who died in 2014) really wanted a grandson, and unfortunately, he's not alive to see that. But Bryan also really wanted a son to carry on the Danielson name. So we thought, 'How special to be named after his late grandfather?' "

(She and Bryan, 39, also have a 3-year-old daughter, Birdie.)

"For his middle name, I really wanted to incorporate my family," she adds. "Birdie's middle name is Joe after my grandfather, who just meant the world to me. So I wanted Buddy to have something of my grandmother. Her last name, her maiden name, is Dessert. When you look at it, people are going to say Dessert, because it's French. But it's pronounced 'desert.' "

Earlier this month, Nikki and Chigvintsev shared the news of their son's birth on Instagram, along with the first photo of their family of three.

The Bella Twins
Brian Bowen Smith
Brie, Daniel Bryan, Birdie and Buddy
Brian Bowen Smith

"7/31/2020 💙 Our baby boy is here and we couldn't be HAPPIER and more in LOVE! Everyone is safe and healthy," the new mom announced. "7/31/2020 please welcome our precious baby boy Chigvintsev 👶 proud of my love @thenikkibella," the first-time dad also posted.

A few hours prior to Nikki's post, Brie shared the news of her bundle of joy's arrival on social media.

"It's a BOY!!! 💙 8-1-2020," Brie said on Instagram."We are overwhelmed with joy and everyone is healthy!!!"

Nikki, who was originally due Aug. 6, went into labor a week early.

"Artem and I were so not prepared," she admits. "We barely had bags packed. I labored for 22 hours, and I pushed for two hours while wearing a mask because of COVID-19. It was 118 degrees in Phoenix, and our room wouldn't get colder than 76 degrees, so I was burning hot the whole time. I had two more rounds of pushing [to go] until my doctor said, 'You're going to have to have a c-section.' I said, 'No, he's coming out vaginally.' "

"I looked at Artem [who was allowed in the room with a mask], and I go, 'Put on the Lumineers!' And literally we 'Hey Ho'-ed and '-Ophelia'-ed Matteo into this world," the new mom adds. "I have never pushed so hard in my life. I almost tore off the handlebars!"

Twenty-two hours later, Brie welcomed Buddy via c-section.

"I was trying to have a VBAC [a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section] because I had an emergency c-section with Birdie, but I forgot I make stubborn babies, and they don't like to come out," says Brie. "When Matteo came on the 31st, I was like, 'No matter what, my baby is coming at 9 a.m. tomorrow.' We didn't know it was a boy yet."

"This experience was so different from my last — just to walk into a c-section and be completely alert," she adds. "When they pulled out Buddy, they put down the curtain, and my husband was like, 'Oh, I got a boy!' We were really overwhelmed with joy."