Serena Williams, who is undoubtedly extremely familiar with her body's needs, was doubted by the people who should put her well-being above all. 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.
Monifa Bandele, vice president and chief partnership and equity officer at MomsRising, a political organization that works to end discrimination against mothers and women, says said that she appreciates Serena Williams for opening up about her experience, which has drawn more attention to this issue. I'd like her to have a normal life.
After her heart rate took a dip during labor, Williams said she had an emergency C-section. The surgery was fine, and Olympia's dad was standing by to cut the cord.
"And actually, I think having a baby might help".
But then, Serena says, everything went terribly wrong..
While recovering the next day at the hospital, Serena felt a shortness of breath. Over the next few days, Williams was back in surgery after one of her C-section scars popped open after she experienced coughing spells.
Serena did pull through, though, of course she did. At Williams' insistence, a doctor came and did an ultrasound of her legs.
Serena Williams's first two months of motherhood weren't easy at all. "I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip", she remembers telling the team. The ultrasound revealed nothing, but she was sent for a CT scan.
A CT scan revealed several small blood clots had settled in her lungs, and minutes later she was on a drip. Serena was started on an IV of heparin right away.
In his new post on Thursday, Ohanian, who tied the knot with Williams in November, wrote next to a picture of his wife and child, "I can't imagine life without these two". The same medication used to treat the embolism (and likely saved her life) had also caused bleeding at the surgical site.
Similarly, the tennis champion has always encouraged the importance of body positivity and self-acceptance, insisting "That you can be whatever size you are and you can be attractive inside and out". And while her story is indeed scary, it's not uncommon.
The United States has the worst maternal death rate in the world, according to reports. And black women are at an especially high risk.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women with a history of blood clots use an anti-clotting medication to prevent blood clots during pregnancy. The fact that a wealthy, powerful Black woman with her status was not believed by her doctors caused many to raise questions about how Black women are treated (or not treated) in the world of medicine.
A year ago there were two first-time major-winners while Serena was on maternity leave - Jelena Ostapenko at the French Open and Sloane Stephens at the US Open.