Serena Williams, 36, reveals to Vogue during an interview that Olympia was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dove dangerously low during contractions.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) January 10, 2018
Serena had a rarely easy pregnancy and the delivery went off without a hitch, but what came after happened to be very scary and life threatening.
Alexis cut the cord, and the wailing newborn fell silent the moment she was laid on her mother’s chest. “That was an amazing feeling,” Serena told vogue, “And then everything went bad.”
The day after the birth, Williams was experiencing a shortness of breath and told the staff that she was concerned that she had developed blood clots. Because of her history of blood clots, and because she was off her daily anticoagulant regimen due to the recent surgery, she immediately assumed she was having another pulmonary embolism.
She was given a drip, but constant coughing from her pulmonary embolism opened up the scar from the c-section, her abdomen quickly filled with her now-thinned blood from the same drugs which were saving her life.
She had filter inserted into a major vein, in order to prevent more clots from dislodging and traveling into her lungs. Serena came home a week later and was forced to bed rest for 6 weeks.
“I was happy to change diapers,” Alexis says, “but on top of everything she was going through, the feeling of not being able to help made it even harder. Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you’re trapped in it.”
During the interview Serena opens up to the hardships of being a mother.
“Sometimes I get really down and feel like, Man, I can’t do this,” she says. “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.”
Both parents want their daughter living a normal life.
“She’s obviously going to have a very special life, but there are enough cautionary tales about kids who grow up in the spotlight,’ said Alexis. “How do you make your kid live in reality when your own reality is so . . . unreal? This kid is going to have more Instagram followers than me in about three weeks.”
Alexis OIympia currently has 212,000 followers on Instagram while her father has 244,000.