Serena Williams had quite a busy 2017. She won her 23rd Grand Slam while pregnant, gave birth to her daughter, and got married. Now, in 2018, she’s poised to have another incredible year as she enjoys being a mother to her baby girl and being a wife to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
In a recent interview with Vogue, Williams opened up about her life with little Alexis Olympia, who is named after her father, and the health emergency she had following her daughter’s birth. She also talked about her return to the tennis court and why she does not want Alexis Jr. to follow her career path as a professional tennis player.
Alexis Olympia Jr. was born via emergency C-section
Williams believes that she had a fairly easy pregnancy, but when it came time to give birth there were complications. At one point, Alexis Olympia’s heart rate dipped so low that doctors needed to perform an emergency C-section.
Luckily, the surgery was a success and Alexis Jr. came into the world on Sept. 1, 2017.
Williams had to have surgery following the birth
The very next day after giving birth though, Williams had another emergency. The tennis star was experiencing shortness of breath and because she was off of her regular anticoagulant medication following the C-section, she feared it was a blood clot. Williams was correct as doctors discovered that she had developed multiple clots in her lungs.
She was given a drip, but her cough caused complications to her C-section. The medical team then found a hematoma had filled her abdomen, caused by the very same blood-thinning drugs that were saving her life. Finally, doctors inserted a filter into a major vein to prevent more clots from entering her lungs, and she remained in the hospital recovering for a week.
She was put on bed rest for several weeks
When she finally was able to go home, she was ordered to stay in bed for six weeks. And since plans for a night nurse didn’t work out, much of the responsibility with the baby fell on Alexis Sr.
“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,” he said of the ordeal which left his wife on bed rest. “Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you’re trapped in it.”
Williams said she was tested through low points
Being in bed instead of really enjoying your baby right after they’re born wasn’t an ideal situation and something that Williams admitted really tested her. She wasn’t prepared for all the different emotions that came along with being a new mom.
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 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.
Why she doesn’t want Alexis to play tennis
Williams loves her daughter and wants only the best for her in life. But she doesn’t want Alexis Jr. to follow her career path and become a professional tennis player.
“I would hate her to have to deal with comparisons or expectations,” she explained. “It’s so much work, and I’ve given up so much. I don’t regret it, but it’s like Sliding Doors: Go through a different door and lead a different life. I’d like her to have a normal life. I didn’t have that.”
Williams still wants to win more Grand Slams
The best tennis player in the world also discussed her return to the court and said she has one goal: to win more Grand Slams. Williams currently has 23, but she is aware of what’s in the record books and wants to win 25.
But whether she accomplishes that feat or not, she has already cemented her legacy as it’s hard to argue that she isn’t the greatest to ever pick up a racket.
She’s also working on her clothing line and other ventures
While she’s eyeing a return to tennis in March, Williams is staying busy with other projects.
She is working on her clothing line and investing in tech ventures owned by women and African Americans as well as continuing her philanthropic efforts focused on children and education.
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