Since Serena Williams gave birth to her beautiful daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. back in September, the new momma has been hush hush about a lot of the details!
The tennis superstar is only now revealing in Vogue‘s February issue — which she covers with the little one — how she suffered a few complications after an emergency C-section when the baby’s heart rate started to drop.
Describing how “everything went bad,” the 36-year-old revealed it was the very next day when she started feeling short of breath, and was immediately worried about a pulmonary embolism due to her history with them in the past. A CT scan revealed small blood clots in her lungs, with the medical team putting her on an IV drip of blood thinner.
And over the course of the next few days, her C-section wound opened up from all the coughing because of her embolism. Doctors then discovered a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen, sending her back to the OR.
Now, months into motherhood, Serena admitted it’s been a new kind of challenge:
“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├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥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.”
She’s thought about just moving away with her family to San Francisco, but she’s not ready to hang up her tennis racket just yet:
“To be honest, there’s something really attractive about the idea of moving to San Francisco and just being a mom. But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams. I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights on 25.”
She currently has 23 Grand Slam titles.
“And actually, I think having a baby might help. When I’m too anxious I lose matches, and I feel like a lot of that anxiety disappeared when Olympia was born. Knowing I’ve got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don’t have to play another match. I don’t need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don’t need them. That’s a different feeling for me.”
What a beautiful feeling!
Read on for more HIGHlights from her interview, and be sure to ch-ch-check out the mother-daughter’s cover (below):
Joking about Roger Federer having twins: “It’s so unfair. He produced four babies and barely missed a tournament. I can’t even imagine where I’d be with twins right now. Probably at the bottom of the pool.”
On her female competitors: “I really believe that we have to build each other up and build our tour up,” she says. “The women in Billie Jean King’s day supported each other even though they competed fiercely. We’ve got to do that. That’s kind of the mark I want to leave. Play each other hard, but keep growing the sport.”
On her comeback: “There hasn’t been a clear No. 1 since I was there. It will be cool to see if I get there again, to what I call my spot ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ where I feel I belong.”
On what she wants to teach her daughter: ” I think sometimes women limit themselves. I’m not sure why we think that way, but I know that we’re sometimes taught to not dream as big as men, not to believe we can be a president or a CEO, when in the same household, a male child is told he can be anything he wants. I’m so glad I had a daughter. I want to teach her that there are no limits.”
@serenawilliams and her daughter, @olympiaohanian, star on the cover of our February issue! Tap the link in our bio for the full story, and reserve your copy on @Amazon at vogue.com/februaryissue2018. Photographed by @mariotestino, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, February 2018.A post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine) on Jan 10, 2018 at 5:02am PST
A much-anticipated return to the women├óΓé¼Γäós tour. Marriage. Motherhood. Has any of it slowed our February cover star @SerenaWilliams down? Apparently not. At all. Watch her crush the #LemonDanceChallenge in the link in our bio. Director @bardiazeinali Fashion Editor @anjuhlow2 DP @santiago_g3 Second Camera Carlos Martinez Santana First AC @chevyanderson Hair @vernonfrancois Makeup @sirjohnofficial Choreographer Garry Lewis Movement Coach @mettenarrative Gaffer Nicolas Donadio Key Grip Paul Womack Sound @roasteve Production @geprojects Editor @instagrahamsam, @modern.post Animations @gloriafx Featuring Wendy Rodriguez, Nickolas Chilcote Music “Lemon” by @nerd and @badgalriri Filmed at Palm Beach International Airport With thanks to @wheelsup8760A post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine) on Jan 10, 2018 at 5:32am PST
Be sure to read Williams’ full interview HERE for even more!
[Image via Instagram.]