Serena Williams has opened up about the complications she experienced following the birth of her baby daughter Alexis.
The professional tennis player, who welcomed her first child in September, revealed that she experienced serious medical problems after giving birth.
Speaking to Vogue magazine, the 23-time Grand Slam winner said that Alexis Olympia had to be delivered via an emergency C-section, after her heart rate dropped during contractions.
The surgery went well, and after dad Alexis cut the cord, the baby girl was laid on her mother’s chest, which Serena described as an ‘amazing feeling’. But then she added: ‘And then everything went bad.’
The day after her C-section, Serena started to feel short of breath and a CT scan showed that she had several small blood clots in her lungs.
She got treatment for that, but the intense coughing provoked by the pulmonary embolism caused her C-section wound to pop open and when she was back in surgery, doctors found that a large haematoma had flooded her abdomen.
The blood thinner she was taking to treat her blood clots was causing haemorrhaging at the the site of her C-section, so she had go into surgery again so that doctors could insert a filter into a major vein, in order to prevent more blood clots from dislodging and going into her lungs.
Due to the complications, she only left hospital a week later, and had to spend six weeks in bed.
Alexis, now her husband, said that even though he was more than happy to take care of their little one, it was hard to see Serena going through that.
‘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 harder. Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you’re trapped in it’, he said.
Following the traumatic delivery of her first child, Serena also admitted the first few months of motherhood have been challenging, saying the emotions are ‘insane’.
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‘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 just 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.’