Earlier this year, WWE and Total Bellas stars Nikki Bella and Brie Bella welcomed baby boys just one day apart. Nikki welcomed son Matteo with her fiancé Artem Chigvintsev, while Bella and her husband Daniel Bryan welcomed son Buddy on August 1. The 36-year-old twin sisters even stayed in neighboring hospital rooms following their deliveries. The pair opened up about their journeys since welcoming Matteo and Buddy on their Bellas podcast, including Nikki's struggle with postpartum depression.
“I’ve always prided myself that I can fight a lot of things mentally,” Nikki told her sister. “I’m very strong in that way. Postpartum has knocked me on my ass. This is something that is way different.” She went on to share that she underwent a "massive" breakdown following her first child's arrival. Not only was she caring for Matteo, she was also filming episodes of Total Bellas. Artem was filming the current season of Dancing With The Stars, as well, and often wasn't home.
“I think Brie was the first person who’s asked me in weeks: ‘How are you doing?’” Nikki continued. “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 her initial conversation with Brie, Nikki decided to visit her doctor. That's when she realized she was “starting to fall into a postpartum depression.” The WWE star said she "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.”
Another issue for Nikki was when Artem would come home from work and only pay attention to Matteo. “He’s like ‘At times, I felt like you were starting to hate me,’” Nikki shared. “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.’”
Brie, who is also mom to 3-year-old daughter Birdie, told her sister she could relate to her experience as a first time mom, as well. “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.”
Nikki reassured Brie and their listeners that things have been improving now that she asked for help. She also added that she and Artem are working on responding to each other's love languages.