"The love is just so overpowering that even though you're so tired, that bliss just takes over," Brie Bella tells PEOPLE

By Christina Dugan
August 26, 2020 08:00 AM
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Nikki and Brie Bella are overwhelmed with joy and ready to introduce their boys to the world. Meet Matteo and Buddy!

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the Total Bellas stars, both 36, open up about giving birth within 22 hours of each other and how in love they already are with their sons (despite the lack of sleep!).

"I've been up since 3 a.m., but this is what I've wanted my whole life," says Nikki, who welcomed her first child, son Matteo Artemovich, with her fiancé, Dancing with the Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev , 38, on July 31. "The fact that he's here — I'm just so in love and happy."

"That's what happens when you're on an infant schedule," adds Brie, who gave birth to son Buddy Dessert on Aug. 1. (She and her husband, wrestler Daniel Bryan, 39, also have a 3-year-old daughter, Birdie.) "But like Nikki said, the love is just so overpowering that even though you're so tired, that bliss just takes over."

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Nikki Bella, Artem Chigvintsev and Matteo
| Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

Originally due August 6, Nikki was on her way to get induced early (her doctors were worried about high blood pressure and offered the option of being induced one week prior), when her water broke in the doctor's office.

"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!"

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.

Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

Meanwhile, Brie — who jokes she was a little "upset" Nikki went into labor first — was scheduled for a c-section on Aug. 1.

"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." 

Brie Bella, Daniel Bryan, Birdie and Buddy
| Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

After being placed into hospital rooms right next to each other (another unplanned coincidence!), the sisters were finally able to meet each other's babies for the first time.

"What's crazy about Buddy and Mateo is, they both have the same scream-cry," says Nikki. "It's the cutest high-pitch noise and they're identical. Even their coos are identical and they're so cute. Now, Mateo, he will grunt and like punch my boobs when he's breastfeeding. Artem and I will sit and laugh because it's perfect little punches he'll do. He grunts at me, so I feel like I have a little boxer on my hands."

"Buddy loves kicking," Brie says of her son. "I actually was really nervous, because everyone's like, 'If you have a good baby, you're going to have a really bad one.' I was like, 'Well, Birdie was so good. So here comes my wild one.' He's calmer than what Birdie was."

"[Both babies] are calm and patient," Brie adds. "We're the wild ones and very feisty. Our little boys don't have our personalities yet. Birdie does. Birdie is our mini."

Season 6 of Total Bellas will air this fall on E!

For more from Nikki and Brie Bella, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.