The tennis pro mom had her beautiful baby girl, Olympia with her new husband, Alexis Ohanian in September. Her birth experience was made difficult by an emergency C-section, which doctors performed after her heart rate dangerously pummeled during contractions. Her fright was only eclipsed by the moments after the surgery when her daughter was laid on her chest. It was a temporary joy that would soon come to an end.
“That was an amazing feeling,” Williams recalled about her daughter’s wonderful first moments with her. “And then everything went bad.”
Things went devastatingly south for the tennis star, who has a history of blood clots, a life-threatening condition that disproportionately affects Black women in record numbers. Blacks have a 30 percent to 60 percent higher incidence of either deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) or both than other racial groups, Afro reported. The star “lives in fear” of blood clots, with doctors having found several of them in her lungs just a day after she delivered her child.
The pulmonary embolism later caused coughing spells for Williams that made her C-section wound open up. She had to undergo another surgery in which doctors found a large hematoma in her abdomen, the result of a “medical catch-22 in which the potentially lifesaving blood thinner caused hemorrhaging at the site of her C-section.” Doctors performed another surgery to stop the clogs from traveling to her lungs. The scary ordeal was then complicated by the fact that she couldn’t get out of bed while recovering at home.
Ohanian revealed what it was like to see his now-wife in pain. “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.”
The medical trials have impacted Williams, however, motherhood has proven to be a test in other ways. Williams revealed bouts of postpartum depression, another condition that disproportionately affects Black women.
“Sometimes I get really down and feel like, Man, I can’t do this,” Williams said. “…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.”
Williams’ mother, Oracene Price reminded the tennis star that support helps one to fight the hugest battles. The tennis pro is determined to win her fight, on and off the court.