Serena Williams is a happy and healthy mama – four months after her daughter Alexis Olympia was born – but the chaos that came after C-section was the greatest health crisis of her life.
Speaking of holding her newborn for the first time, Williams, 36, told the magazine: "That was an amazing feeling… and then everything went bad."
The athlete's heart rate dove dangerously low during contractions, and while her surgery went perfectly, the next day she found it hard to breathe. Seeing as she has a history of blood clots, and was off her daily anticoagulant, she instantly assumed she was having a pulmonary embolism.
She walked out of the hospital room, found the nearest nurse and told her she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin right away. The nurse though Williams was just confused form her medicine, but after she insisted, a doctor began performing an ultrasound on her legs.
"I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip," recalled Williams.
After the procedure was done, the doctors found several small blood clots in the star's lungs. They immediately put her on the drip.
"I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!" joked the tennis pro to Vogue.
The health crisis went on for six more days.
After coughing for hours due to her pulmonary embolism, Williams suffered from an opening in her C-section wound.
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She returned to surgery, only for doctors to find that a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen, due to the blood thinner that had ironically saved her life. A filter was inserted into one of her major veins to prevent more clots from forming.
Eventually, Serena Williams was allowed to come home – yet she had to spend her first six weeks as a mother stuck in bed!
"Sometimes I get really down and feel like, Man, I can't do this," Williams said of learning to become a mother after her terrifying health scare. "It's that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that's just who I am. No one talks about the low moments—the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown 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."
Regardless of the complications that inevitably come with motherhood, Serena Williams is the happiest she's ever been with husband Alexis Ohanian and their adorable baby daughter.
Miracles do happen!
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