Tennis champion Serena Williams opened up about the blood clots and hematoma she suffered from after giving birth to her daughter in September.
In her stunning cover shoot for the February issue of Vogue, the Grand Slam champion revealed all the medical complications she endured following the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Her daughter was delivered via C-section after the baby’s heart rate became dangerously low during Serena’s contractions.
“That was an amazing feeling,” Williams said. “And then everything went bad.”
The 36-year-old professional athlete began experiencing shortness of breath and instantly knew that blood clots were the culprit after she battled a pulmonary embolism in 2011. Serena asked nurses to give her a CT scan and an IV drip of heparin, to thin her blood.
“I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,” she recalled of the scary delivery.
Doctors performed testing that proved Serena was correct and she had indeed developed blood clots in her lungs.
“I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!” she added.
However, that was only the beginning of the difficult delivery. Serena then ruptured her C-section incision area due to her coughing fits. Upon going back in for surgery, the tennis champion learned that she a large hematoma in her abdominal region. Serena then had to undergo surgery to have a filter placed into one of her veins to prevent more blood clots from traveling to her lungs.
Following the difficult delivery, Williams spent the next six weeks bedridden. Her husband Alex helped take care of the household.
“I was happy to change diapers, but on top of everything she was going through, the feeling of not being able to help made it even worse,” he said.
“Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you’re trapped in it.”
Williams also shared her intense feelings of postpartum.
“Sometimes I get really down and feel like, ‘Man, I can’t do this.’”
“It’s that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that’s who I am. No one talks about the low moments — the pressure you feel, the incredible let down every time you hear the baby cry. I’ve broken down I don’t know how many times. Or I’ll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, ‘Why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby?’ The emotions are insane.”
We’re all happy that Serena made it through her painful delivery successfully like the champion she is.
Take a look at Serena Williams photos from her cover shoot with Vogue.