Total Bellas: Nikki Bella struggles with postpartum depression as Artem Chigvintsev competes on DWTS

Nikki Bella struggled with postpartum depression so severe her doctor wanted to medicate her, she said on Thursday’s episode of Total Bellas.

The 37-year-old former wrestler was sleeping poorly since the birth of her son Matteo in July 2020, and she worried about him constantly.

Making matters worse, Matteo’s dad Artem Chigvintsev, 38, was away working on Dancing With The Stars, bonding with his new partner Kaitlyn Bristowe, 35, the season 11 Bachelorette.

Postpartum depression: Nikki Bella struggled with postpartum depression so severe her doctor wanted to medicate her, she said on Thursday’s episode of Total Bellas

Nikki was unwilling to ask anyone for help, and unable to trust anyone else with ‘Teo.

‘It’s been so f***ing hard,’ she told twin Brie Bella, 37. ‘I’m trying to keep it together and I’m about to lose it. I’m about to have a massive breakdown, and I could tell the doctor could tell yesterday. She came in and she’s like, ”I think I need to medicate you,” and I’m like, ”I don’t want to be medicated.”

Nikki said her doctor knew women could fall ‘deep into postpartum depression,’ and that ‘she was worried about me because she knows as a woman where our minds can be.’

‘The highs and lows are so extreme; they come on like flipping a switch,’ Nikki admitted. ‘One thing can be said and whoo! You’re down that dark hole so fast.’

Under pressure: The 37-year-old former wrestler was sleeping poorly since the birth of her son Matteo in July 2020, and she worried about him constantly

Under pressure: The 37-year-old former wrestler was sleeping poorly since the birth of her son Matteo in July 2020, and she worried about him constantly

In the midst of her struggle, Nikki bought a home in Napa Valley, California, without telling Artem about it. 

Artem wasn’t thrilled that she hadn’t consulted him.

His life had become so Los Angeles-centric that living in Napa was not ideal—especially since he might go on a DWTS tour.

Left out: Artem Chigvintsev wasn't thrilled that Nikki hadn't consulted him about buying a home in Napa Valley

Left out: Artem Chigvintsev wasn’t thrilled that Nikki hadn’t consulted him about buying a home in Napa Valley

‘I’m kind of shocked by Artem’s reaction, because I thought, ”Wait, I’m supporting you on living your dream”,’ Nikki said. ‘Support me on living mine.’

‘It’s really hard doing this all on my own,’ she continued. ‘I think what’s hard is when the person isn’t recognizing what’s going on, like you’re screaming inside but he’s not hearing it. And you just wish he could ask you if you’re okay.’

Earlier in the episode, Nikki and Artem had been the prototypical happy parents, cooing at their beautiful new son as he slept, and spending every minute staring at him.

Tough time: It's really hard doing this all on my own,' she continued. 'I think what's hard is when the person isn't recognizing what's going on, like you're screaming inside but he's not hearing it. And you just wish he could ask you if you're okay'

Tough time: It’s really hard doing this all on my own,’ she continued. ‘I think what’s hard is when the person isn’t recognizing what’s going on, like you’re screaming inside but he’s not hearing it. And you just wish he could ask you if you’re okay’

‘I’m just so happy right now,’ Nikki said. ‘There’s just no one else I’d want by my side to go through this with.’

One week later, it was announced that Artem would be back on DWTS, and things started to change.

‘I promise, it’s not going to interfere with your life,’ Artem told Nikki as they celebrated the news.

Happy times: Earlier in the episode, Nikki and Artem had been the prototypical happy parents, cooing at their beautiful new son as he slept, and spending every minute staring at him

Happy times: Earlier in the episode, Nikki and Artem had been the prototypical happy parents, cooing at their beautiful new son as he slept, and spending every minute staring at him

After he left, Nikki and Brie attended a photo shoot for their sons Matteo and Buddy, who were born just a day apart.

Someone asked Nikki if she could visit Artem on the set of DWTS, and she said no.

In a confessional, Brie offered, ‘We all really wanted Artem to do Dancing With The Stars, and we were all praying… but it’s crazy because he’s so busy, he’s always gone, he has a really hot partner, they have really great chemistry, they’re always together. And now we kind of feel like we f***ed up.’

Prayers answered: In a confessional, Brie offered, 'We all really wanted Artem to do Dancing With The Stars, and we were all praying… but it's crazy because he's so busy, he's always gone, he has a really hot partner, they have really great chemistry, they're always together. And now we kind of feel like we f***ed up'

Prayers answered: In a confessional, Brie offered, ‘We all really wanted Artem to do Dancing With The Stars, and we were all praying… but it’s crazy because he’s so busy, he’s always gone, he has a really hot partner, they have really great chemistry, they’re always together. And now we kind of feel like we f***ed up’

One night, the sisters had a DWTS watch party, and Brie ribbed Nikki about Kaitlyn, asking her whether she minded ‘all the humping’ between her and Artem.

It was clear Nikki was jealous, though she only smiled.

‘It’s real intimate,’ Brie said, needling her sister again as they watched Artem dance. ‘Whoa. They dance real good together. Kaitlyn and Artem had amazing chemistry.’

Clearly jealous: It was clear Nikki was jealous, though she only smiled while watching Artem perform on Dancing With The Stars with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Clearly jealous: It was clear Nikki was jealous, though she only smiled while watching Artem perform on Dancing With The Stars with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Nikki privately admitted that she had tried to make Artem happy when he was recently off DWTS, so it was hard seeing him smile so much it looked ‘like his face was gonna crack in half.’

‘That’s the Artem I wish I could have,’ she mourned.

She carried Matteo out of the room as a concerned Brie followed her.

Big smile: Nikki privately admitted that she had tried to make Artem happy when he was recently off DWTS, so it was hard seeing him smile so much it looked 'like his face was gonna crack in half'

Big smile: Nikki privately admitted that she had tried to make Artem happy when he was recently off DWTS, so it was hard seeing him smile so much it looked ‘like his face was gonna crack in half’

‘I’m really worried about my sister, because all these different things keep rattling her brain, and she’s all by herself,’ Brie said in a confessional. ‘And it kills me, ’cause I look at her, and I’m like, ”You cannot keep going like this. You need help, ’cause you’re just gonna collapse”.’

‘It’s just—it’s hard,’ Nikki admitted of watching Artem and caring for Matteo.

Brie lent her husband Bryan Danielson, 39, aka ‘The Baby Whisperer,’ to Nikki to help her out.

Being honest: 'It's just—it's hard,' Nikki admitted of watching Artem and caring for Matteo

Being honest: ‘It’s just—it’s hard,’ Nikki admitted of watching Artem and caring for Matteo

She also had just closed escrow on her own house in Napa, and would move within the month.

The twins ran a wine business and had just released a new wine, so Napa seemed like a good place to live.

Nikki was supposed to move with Brie, but the owners of the home she wanted had pulled out.

New home: Brie had just closed escrow on her own house in Napa, and would move within the month with husband Bryan Danielson and their two children

New home: Brie had just closed escrow on her own house in Napa, and would move within the month with husband Bryan Danielson and their two children

Soon Nikki found another house just 900 feet from Brie and Bryan’s, and put an offer in on it.

‘You didn’t buy this because Artem’s doing Dancing With The Stars, you’re feeling a little lonely…?’ Brie queried, as the twins hung out at a park.

‘That’s why he can’t be mad,’ Nikki retorted. ‘Maybe he should be around more. Just kidding.’

Good question: 'You didn't buy this because Artem's doing Dancing With The Stars, you're feeling a little lonely…?' Brie queried, as the twins hung out at a park

Good question: ‘You didn’t buy this because Artem’s doing Dancing With The Stars, you’re feeling a little lonely…?’ Brie queried, as the twins hung out at a park

At a birthday party for their mother Kathy Laurinaitis, 56, the girls spent the day relaxing.

Nikki made up with her brother JJ Garcia, 34, from whom she had been estranged for some time because they’d fought over political differences.

Later that week, Nikki called Artem and announced that she had put in an offer on another place in Napa Valley, even though they hadn’t spoken about it.

Making up: Nikki made up with her brother JJ Garcia, 34, from whom she had been estranged for some time because they'd fought over political differences

Making up: Nikki made up with her brother JJ Garcia, 34, from whom she had been estranged for some time because they’d fought over political differences

The twins hadn’t told their mother, either, even after they closed on both of their houses and Brie started packing.

Kathy had recently been through brain surgery and had six months to a year of recovery ahead of her.

‘How the hell am I gonna tell her I’m moving to Napa Valley?’ Nikki wondered. ‘She made it through incredibly hard surgery, she’s lucky to be alive, and now her daughters are picking their s*** up and leaving.’

Amazingly, Kathy received the news well—because she realized how much her girls loved Napa—though she called it a ‘bummer,’ and ‘sad.’

Moving news: Kathy Laurinaitis, 56, took the news that her daughters were moving surprisingly well

Moving news: Kathy Laurinaitis, 56, took the news that her daughters were moving surprisingly well

Nikki then had to tell Artem that their offer was accepted and they were in escrow.

‘It’s very frustrating,’ he said to the cameras. ‘I wanted to wait until we were done [with DWTS] to make big move decisions.’

He told Nikki he wished that she asked him, because he felt like he wasn’t a part of the ‘life-changing’ choices she made.

Dance tour: Artem told Nikki that he could potentially be away on the DWTS tour

Dance tour: Artem told Nikki that he could potentially be away on the DWTS tour

‘Is that all?’ she asked coldly, as Artem wondered if they were on ‘a business call.’

Nikki privately said she didn’t think he knew how hard it was for her alone, and she worried that he would be gone for six months.

‘I’m honestly about to crack,’ she told the cameras. ‘I’d do anything to have him back.’

Cracking point: 'I'm honestly about to crack,' Nikki told the cameras. 'I'd do anything to have him back'

Cracking point: ‘I’m honestly about to crack,’ Nikki told the cameras. ‘I’d do anything to have him back’

She told Brie that she just needed Artem, but he was so busy—and with the move and baby, ‘I don’t sleep, like, ever. I’m just so tired.’

‘But then I have to deal with Artem’s partner, and when I see all that stuff I can’t help it, it triggers me,’ she added.

‘It’s like, ”Can you come home and laugh with me? Can you come home and ask me how I’m doing?” Like I want to feel wanted and sexy…’

Long distance: Artem spoke with Nikki over the phone, but it seemed like a business call

Long distance: Artem spoke with Nikki over the phone, but it seemed like a business call

Nikki felt guilty because she had pushed Artem to do DWTS again, and she didn’t want to come off as nagging him.

Brie and Bryan told her she needed to be clearer with Matteo’s dad.

‘What you’re doing right now is really hard,’ Bryan reassured her. ‘Don’t feel bad when you come to this point and you realize, ”This is not working for me. I thought I could do this and I can’t.” ‘Cause every woman is different, and every man is different. You can’t just expect him to know what you need…. You have to be okay asking for help.’

Total Bellas will return next week on the E! network.

Multiple emotions: Nikki felt guilty because she had pushed Artem to do DWTS again, and she didn't want to come off as nagging him

Multiple emotions: Nikki felt guilty because she had pushed Artem to do DWTS again, and she didn’t want to come off as nagging him

Sage advice: 'What you're doing right now is really hard,' Bryan reassured her. 'Don't feel bad when you come to this point and you realize, ''This is not working for me. I thought I could do this and I can't.'' 'Cause every woman is different, and every man is different. You can't just expect him to know what you need…. You have to be okay asking for help'

Sage advice: ‘What you’re doing right now is really hard,’ Bryan reassured her. ‘Don’t feel bad when you come to this point and you realize, ”This is not working for me. I thought I could do this and I can’t.” ‘Cause every woman is different, and every man is different. You can’t just expect him to know what you need…. You have to be okay asking for help’

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