Serena Williams always admitted that she almost died when she gave birth to her first child. She suffered from pulmonary embolism.
Throughout her career, she had many challenges but none like birth. “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,” Williams wrote.
She went through the pregnancy very easily until the moment when Alexis came to life. She did not take the epidural and tested the techniques she learned in birth training.
Every time there was a contraction the baby’s heartbeat dropped. This was the reason why the doctors told her that had to undergo a C-Section. At this moment, Williams learned the beauty of letting go.
Since it was my first child, I wanted to have the baby vaginally, but I thought to myself, ‘I’ve had so many surgeries, what’s another one?’
Being an athlete is so often about controlling your body, and wielding its power, but it’s also about knowing when to surrender. I was happy and relieved to let go; the energy in the room changed. We went from this intense, seemingly endless process to a clear plan for bringing this baby into the world, ”Serena Williams wrote.
Williams fell in love with the child but suddenly all this love ceased. She had a very strong pain and could not move her limbs at all. She was worried because she previously had blood clots in her lungs back in 2010.
The pain continued and she felt coughs so egregious her stitched wounds opened. Doctors later found a hematoma in her abdomen and more clots that had to be removed to avoid complications in the lungs.
“I felt like I was dying,” Williams wrote. For her, the feeling of death became a reality for a while if he had not fought. She requested a CAT scan of her lungs and a heparin drip. The nurse was ignoring her words several times.
That’s until the doctor heard her concern and decided to do a CAT scan to know the clots in her lungs.
For seven days she was operated on later here. She returned to her room where her family was waiting for her. If she had not insisted on the scanner today she would be dead.
In the U.S., Black women are nearly three times more likely to die during or after childbirth than their white counterparts. Many of these deaths are considered by experts to be preventable. Being heard and appropriately treated was the difference between life or death for me; “I know those statistics would be different if the medical establishment listened to every Black woman’s experience,” Williams wrote.