Nikki Bella, 36, recently revealed that she’s been secretly battling postpartum depression. The former WWE star welcomed her first child with fiance and Dancing With The Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev, 38, on July 31 and since then she’s struggled with postpartum depression. But her battle with the baby blues hasn’t put her off of having more kids.
A source close to the stunning star tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that she definitely wants to have another child with Artem — just not quite yet. “Nikki wants more kids with Artem but she would like to try in a couple of years. She had a difficult situation with postpartum and wants to get back in shape and get a connection with Matteo before she tries again.”
“She would love to have two kids like her sister,” the source adds. “She can’t wait till Artem is done with Dancing With The Stars so they can really start spending more time together being a family of three. Because a fam of four will happen hopefully, but in a few years she’d like to try.”
Although Nikki has been having a hard time, a second source close to the WWE alum tells HollywoodLife that she kept it well hidden. “Nikki didn’t really let anyone know what she was going through. She covered it up very well and kept telling everyone she was doing great so it’s a big surprise to a lot of her friends that she was suffering from postpartum.”
And the source says it was also a big shock to her fiancé. “Artem didn’t know either, which is pretty tough on him. He’s a very caring guy so he feels terrible that she was hurting and he didn’t know. But now that it’s all out in the open it’s so much better. He’s still extremely busy [with DWTS] but at least he’s aware and they are talking about it and everyone is making sure Nikki gets the support Nikki needs.”
Part of the struggle for Nikki was that she didn’t slow down for very long after giving birth. She went right back to shooting her E! reality show Total Bellas. And she took on the job of packing up her house in Arizone to make 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.
During the Sept. 30 epode of The Bellas Podcast with her twin sister Brie, Nikki opened up about how tough her postpartum experience has really been. “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 admitted that she’d got some hired help with her baby and was struggling with 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.”
Nikki shared that she had a hard time admitting she needed help. “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 into being a mom.”
Fortunately Nikki’s sister Brie and her husband, pro-wrestler Daniel Bryan, who welcomed son Buddy on Aug. 1, were worried about her. And their fears forced her to face the truth about how she was feeling. “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.”
Artem was also having a hard time and feeling lonely away from Nikki and their son. On the Sept. 22 episode of DWTS he 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.”