Nikki Bella Says She 'Hated' Fiancé Artem Chigvintsev During 'Dark' Postpartum Depression
Nikki Bella is giving a candid look at her experience with postpartum depression.
During Wednesday's episode of The Bellas Podcast, Nikki sat down with her twin sister Brie Bella where she revealed she has been feeling "super depressed" following the birth of her son Matteo with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev.
“I love being the best, I want to be number one. ... I've realized I've taken that mentality as a mom," Nikki told her sister, who welcomed her son Buddy less than 24 hours before Nikki gave birth to Matteo. She also added, "I’ve always prided myself that I can fight a lot of things mentally. I'm very strong in that way."
However, she continued, "Postpartum has knocked me on my ass. This is something that is way different.”
The new mom revealed that she "refused to ask for help" in caring for Matteo and ended up having a "massive breakdown" while shooting Total Bellas.
Nikki, 36, went on to share that it wasn't until her sister checked in on her that she realized she needed help.
"I think Brie, was the first person who's asked me in weeks — it was in front of Bryan — she goes, 'How are you doing?' I was about to say, 'Fine.' And my lips started shaking and I burst into alligator tears. Like, I broke down. Because that was the first time someone asked me in a while how I was doing, and I wasn't doing okay," she said.
The former professional wrestler admitted she wasn't aware of the mental health struggles that would follow having a baby.
"I didn’t realize at week seven, you kind of come out of your baby blues and … go two different paths," she said. "You go the path of being healthy or you go down the path of being depressed, and that depression path can be a really dark, deep hole. I was starting to feel invisible."
Noting that it wasn't Chigvintsev's fault, Nikki continued, "It just started to build up. Being alone with Matteo and just feeling lonely and not loved and invisible."
When her fiancé Chigvintsev, 38, returned from filming Dancing with the Stars, Nikki said she started to feel anger toward the Russian dancer.
"He’s like ‘At times, I felt like you were starting to hate me.' He’s like, ‘You could be mean.’ And I’m not gonna lie, I did have moments of being mean," she recalled. "I did have moments when I looked at him and I hated him. It’s true. There were times I’d look at him and I’m like, ‘I think I hate you.’ "
Brie — who shares her new baby with husband Daniel Bryan — chimed in that she's "been there" and has had similar experiences to her sister.
“I had a little bit of postpartum depression,” she said. “When I looked at you, it’s more than just being sleep-deprived. She’s lonely. She’s doing a lot of this on her own. … Being parents was never supposed to be this lonely.”
During last week's podcast, Nikki admitted to her sister that she and Chigvintsev have "already been having sex."
"I didn't even make it to the six-week point, I just started at five. I was like I'm healed, I'm fine," she said. "Even though last night it didn't seem fine, but that's okay. It was a little different."
"I felt like organs were about to drop out," Nikki said of the experience. "I was like, shoot, did I mess up?"
"Okay Nicole, enough about all the gross stuff going on with our vaginas, especially yours," Brie said.