The last two months have been a whirlwind for Nikki Bella . The former WWE star welcomed her first child with fiance and Dancing with the Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev on July 31, she’s still shooting her E! reality show Total Bellas with her twin sister Brie, and is making the move from Phoenix to Los Angeles with newborn Matteo so they can be with Artem as he trains and competes with former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe on DWTS. As a result, she says she’s battling postpartum depression, despite trying to keep her emotions hidden.
On the Sept. 30 The Bellas Podcast with her sister Brie, Nikki explained that, “This past week, Brie and I, we were in Phoenix packing up our homes, filming Total Bellas. I had Matteo on my own; still had a whole house to pack up — did have help on that, but you still have to do so much — filming on top of it, and I had a massive breakdown.”
Nikki also revealed that she’d got some hired help with the baby, which contributed to her “mom guilt.” “It’s hard when you know your baby loves what you provide for him, like how feeding time is, how the song you sing when you swaddle him up or how you rock him and those things,” Nikki explained. “So sometimes it’s hard not to get mom guilt or feel like I’m just a failure as a mom when I’m not giving him those things and I’m letting someone else do it and he’s fussy and he’s crying and he’s upset.”
Because of Nikki’s background as a professional athlete, she’s tried to take on everything in her life with control and focus, revealing, “I’m competitive. I love being the best. I want to be number one. I mean, my whole life, I’ve been an athlete. And I realized I’ve taken that mentality as being a mom.”
But her family members including new mom Brie and her husband, pro-wrestler Daniel Bryan, who welcomed son Buddy on Aug. 1, had become worried about Nikki. The former DWTS contestant admitted that despite her loneliness, she “refused to ask for help.” Brie told her, “When you’re stubborn like you, Nicole, and you want things your way so you kind of don’t accept the help, it makes it even harder.”
Nikki’s emotions and the concern of her loved ones made her have a breakthrough revelation. “People have been worried about me. I’m like, why? I don’t think Artem’s gonna cheat, or hook up,” Nikki confessed. “I’m not jealous so why do I feel this way? And it is crazy, all of a sudden I started to realize I’m falling into a postpartum depression.”
“I am such a pleaser and I try to be a perfect girlfriend or a perfect fiancée so I act extra supportive even if something’s bothering me deep down inside,” she expressed. “I just wanted to be supportive of him because I want him to win the Mirrorball trophy—Artem definitely deserves it, Kailtyn deserves it. I want them to do amazing, I want them to make it to the finals…so I was hiding all this.”
“I felt bad for Artem because it made him feel terrible and then he’s like, ‘I wish you came to me sooner,'” Nikki explained. “He was just so sad at the fact that I was feeling all these things and I never told him.”
Artem too has been feeling lonely away from Nikki and their son. On the Sept. 22 episode of DWTS after dancing a fierce foxtrot with Kaitlyn, the 38-year-old revealed, “Right now, the little one is actually in Phoenix and not in LA because Nicole will have to shoot a few things for Total Bellas. And the [past] couple of days have pretty much like, just by myself [at home], which I find it very, very lonely.” Artem added, “I used to come home and just hold a bundle of joy in my hands. And it really just the most amazing thing.” Thank goodness the family will soon be reunited together in L.A.