Serena Williams and her adorable little morsel of a baby Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr are on the cover of February’s Vogue, and inside she tells some cute stories about life with baby (Alexis has a little baby gym with dumb-bell shaped rattles) but most interestingly, she gives a harrowing account of how giving birth almost took her out.
Serena says that while her pregnancy was a breeze (hello, Australian Open) the birth of her daughter was fraught with danger, starting with her having to have an emergency C-section after Alexis’ heart rate kept dropping during contractions. And things just got sketchier from there.
The next day, while recovering in the hospital, Serena . 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. (Serena lives in fear of blood clots.) She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn’t worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away. The nurse thought her pain medicine might be making her confused.
Being the boss bitch that she is, Serena was insistent that she get that CT scan and drip. After getting further runaround (they first did an ultrasound on her legs which didn’t show anything) Serena finally got her CT which did in fact find clots in her lungs.
Minutes later she was on the drip. “I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!”
She still wasn’t out of the woods though because later her C-section wound popped open from her coughing up those lung clots. So she had to have surgery for that and while they were in there they found a large hematoma in her belly from the blood thinners. Then she had to have yet another surgery to have a filter inserted into a vein to prevent any more blood clots from getting to her lungs. Serena had to stay in the hospital for 6 days and couldn’t get out of bed for six weeks after she got home.
The fact that she was even considering playing in the Australian Open this year boggles the mind. If I have a particularly difficult bowel movement I’m taking a few weeks get to know my body again and Serena was out there on the road with her baby mere months after this ordeal trying to make it happen!