“I’ve always prided myself that I can fight a lot of things mentally,” the former professional wrestler, 36, said on the Wednesday, September 30, “Total Bellas Podcast” episode. “I’m very strong in that way. Postpartum has knocked me on my ass. This is something that is way different.”
The reality star went on to say that she had a “massive” breakdown when she “refused to ask for help” while caring for Matteo and filming Total Bellas.
“I think [my twin sister], Brie [Bella], was the first person who’s asked me in weeks: ‘How are you doing?’” Nikki said on Wednesday. “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 OK.”
After a “deep conversation” with her doctor, the new mom realized, “I’m starting to fall into a postpartum depression.”
She explained, “I didn’t realize at week seven, you kind of come out of your baby blues and … go two different paths. 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. … It just started to build up. Being alone with Matteo and just feeling lonely and not loved and invisible.”
When Chigvintsev, 38, came home from filming the ABC show, he mostly focused on their infant, she went on to tell Brie, 36. When she told the Russian dancer how she felt, he wished she’d been open about her feelings “sooner.”
“He’s like ‘At times, I felt like you were starting to hate me,’” Nikki recalled. “He’s like, ‘You could be mean.’ And I’m not gonna lie, I did have moments of being mean. 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.’”
Since their discussion, the engaged couple have been focusing more on their specific love languages.
As for Brie, the E! personality said she’s “been there” in Nikki’s shoes. “I had a little bit of postpartum depression,” she explained. “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.”