Serena Williams might have made it look like having her first child was easy, but she revealed Tuesday that her experience was much tougher.
In a column on CNN.com, the tennis superstar revealed that she suffered from a life-threatening condition right after she had her daughter Olympia in September 2017.
“Before I knew it, Olympia was in my arms. It was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life. But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty,” she wrote. “It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot.”
Williams says she’s struggled with the condition her entire life but pregnancy complicated things. She says she went into emergency surgery after she suspected she had a blood clot.
“First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs,” she explained.
Williams revealed that she spent “the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.”
The seven time Wimbledon champ has made a recovery but continues to advocate for proper healthcare for impoverished black women across the world. She’s an International Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and focuses on giving children access to education around the world.
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