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Serena Williams Reflects on Near-Death Experience While Giving Birth

Serena Williams Reflects on Near-Death Experience While Giving Birth
Serena Williams on Instagram

In a personal essay for Elle, Serena Williams opened up about almost losing her life while giving birth to her daughter Olympia in September 2017.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams has opened up about the life-threatening complications she faced while giving birth to her daughter, Olympia.

Williams gave birth to Olympia, alongside husband Alexis Ohanian, in September 2017, in an emergency cesarean section.

In the new book "Arrival Stories: Women Share Their Experiences of Becoming Mothers," a collection of essays helmed by Amy Schumer and Christy Turlington Burns, Williams writes,"Giving birth to my baby, it turned out, was a test for how loud and how often I would have to call out before I was finally heard."

"I spoke to the nurse," the tennis star said. "I told her: 'I need to have a CAT scan of my lungs bilaterally, and then I need to be on my heparin drip.' She said, 'I think all this medicine is making you talk crazy.' I said, 'No, I'm telling you what I need: I need the scan immediately. And I need it to be done with dye.'"

After a total of four surgeries, Williams was finally able to leave the hospital, a week after giving birth. Though the journey to motherhood was difficult, the tennis player said it was worth it.

"I was nervous about meeting my baby," she said. "Throughout my pregnancy, I'd never felt a connection with her. While I loved being pregnant, I didn't have that amazing 'Oh my God, this is my baby' moment, ever. It's something people don't usually talk about because we're supposed to be in love from the first second."

While adding that she wasn't "gushing" over her daughter, Williams said that she kept waiting to feel like she knew her—even reaching out to her mom's friends for advice—but that feeling never came until she gave birth to Olympia in September 2017.

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