Serena Williams has spoken about the medical ordeal she faced after giving birth to her daughter.
The tennis superstar and her Reddit co-founder partner Alexis Ohanian welcomed Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September (17), with the couple marrying two months later in New Orleans.
Serena has been open about her easy pregnancy, and was eight weeks along when she won the Australian Open in January, but has now revealed to Vogue magazine that she had a difficult labor and Olympia was born by emergency caesarean section because her “heart rate dove dangerously low during contractions”.
While the first surgery was fine, Serena then experienced several serious health issues in the days after welcoming her baby, and at one point ran out of her hospital room and begged a nurse for a CT scan and IV heparin (blood thinner) as she was convinced she was having a pulmonary embolism, or blockage of an artery in the lungs.
“I was like, a Doppler (ultrasound)? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,” she recalled telling medical experts, prior to being sent to have a scan, where several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. “I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!”
But the drama didn’t end there and Serena’s C-section wound opened, leading to more surgery, whereby surgeons found a large haematoma had flooded her abdomen. She then required a filter to be inserted into a major vein, in order to prevent more clots.
A much-anticipated return to the women’s tour. Marriage. Motherhood. Has any of it slowed our February cover star @SerenaWilliams down? Apparently not. At all. Watch her crush the #LemonDanceChallenge in the link in our bio. Director @bardiazeinali Fashion Editor @anjuhlow2 DP @santiago_g3 Second Camera Carlos Martinez Santana First AC @chevyanderson Hair @vernonfrancois Makeup @sirjohnofficial Choreographer Garry Lewis Movement Coach @mettenarrative Gaffer Nicolas Donadio Key Grip Paul Womack Sound @roasteve Production @geprojects Editor @instagrahamsam, @modern.post Animations @gloriafx Featuring Wendy Rodriguez, Nickolas Chilcote Music “Lemon” by @nerd and @badgalriri Filmed at Palm Beach International Airport With thanks to @wheelsup8760
While the 36-year-old has had a turbulent introduction to motherhood, she has received a lot of support from Alexis and her mother Oracene Price, and is looking forward to what the future holds.
“I look at my baby, and I remember that this was one of my goals before tennis took over, when I was still kind of a normal girl who played with dolls,” she smiled. “We’re not spending a day apart until she’s eighteen.”