The 30-year-old author (who welcomed her first child, baby girl Lyla, with Chris Pratt in August) went live on Instagram with the Bella twins, 36, on Thursday to have a candid discussion about all things motherhood.
During the chat, Nikki got real about postpartum depression, admitting that she first started feeling lonely throughout her pregnancy, mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic. She said that feeling hasn't totally gone away, even after her son Mateo, whom she shares with fiance Artem Chigvintsev, was born.
"For my postpartum depression, I'm doing better. I still have days where I struggle but I feel like I'm out of the dark hole," Nikki shared. "But for me it was like, here Mateo was four weeks old, and Artem got Dancing With the Stars. He got back on the show [after a season off] and I wanted to be supportive. Like, 'Go! I'll be fine. I'll meet you in Los Angeles,' because we were in Phoenix at the time."
"We were such a team. So when he left, like, my world got shook. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I can't do this on my own," she confessed. "Like, why did I say I could do this on my own? But now I need to be supportive and keep my mouth shut and not be negative."
Nikki continued on, telling Katherine that as the weeks were going on, she started becoming depressed with feelings of insecurity.
"I think where my depression kicked in is, not only did I miss my fiance, but I'm trying to be a great mom, and you really can't help it. I think that's the one thing I learned is, it just happens," she said. "So I knew I was kind of in that place. But then seeing Artem smiling on TV and being so happy. He's dancing with this beautiful woman [Kaitlyn Bristowe] and having the time of his life. And then I would look in the mirror, like, 'My hair's a mess, my boobs hurt, I need to pump, but like, Mateo's crying.' And then hating my body, I just started to fall off."
"My mom would always tell me, 'Have no regrets.' So when I fall into these moments of being mean or insecure, because I feel like [postpartum depression] has brought me a lot of insecurity, especially when what my fiance does as a profession, like it never was that way, and then I started to become that way," Nikki continued. "Then I realized, insecurity, it can make you just not a great person. So when I have these moments I just think of what my mom would say."
That being said, Nikki admitted she cannot wait for this season of Dancing With the Stars to be over in two weeks, so that she can have Artem back in her life full-time. Katherine can relate, as her husband was also away for a few months shooting Jurassic World.
"I told Artem the other night, I was like, 'I just feel lonely.' This pregnancy has felt lonely, not one of my best friends was ever able to touch my belly, even cousins. Family and friends are so important to me, but because Artem works so much and because we are in this pandemic, you just don't have people come over a lot," Nikki said. "I'm by myself so much. Still I'm feeling lonely, that's one thing I battle with. I feel bad, but I'm counting down until the season finale which is in two weeks, because I'm finally going to have my fiance back, we're going to be a family, and hopefully that loneliness will go away."
Katherine chimed in, telling Nikki, "I understand what you're saying about [Artem], because my husband just came back from being gone as well. So it's nice to be able to have your partner back, and I'm excited for him to come back too."
Brie revealed she had similar feelings with postpartum depression with her first baby, Birdie. The Total Bellas star welcomed her second child, baby boy Buddy, with husband Daniel Bryan in August.
"It was intense. With Birdie, maybe it was being a new mom, but I think what happened is, you get this FOMO of the old you; who you were before pregnancy, who you were before a child came into your life," Brie explained. "I would be sitting there, breastfeeding or just overtired, thinking, 'Am I ever going to be that person again? Is that life gonna come back? I miss that life.' Your brain is just going crazy, but you're too embarrassed to kind of say it out loud, because everyone's going to be like, 'Oh, do you hate your baby?'"
"So, I think I was trying to keep up with my sister to not lose that part of me," she continued. "When I really should have just let go, and enjoyed motherhood more with Birdie, like I am now with Buddy."
Hear more from the Bella twins in the video below.