The tennis pro, who is the cover star of this month’s issue of Vogue, spoke to the magazine about her post-C-section experience. Williams says she started showing signs of having a pulmonary embolism — defined by Mayo Clinic as a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. After her CT scan, doctors revealed that the star had several small blood clots in her lungs.
Unfortunately, that was just the beginning. Later, her C-section wound opened due to her inability to prevent herself from coughing (brought on by the embolism in her lungs). The star said she would be forced to go back to surgery to have a filter inserted to prevent further blood clots from dislodging and traveling into her lungs. When she was finally able to return home, she spent the next six weeks in bed.
Williams also revealed that she has struggled with ups and downs during her first few months as a mother. "Sometimes I get really down and feel like, 'Man, I can’t do this,’" she said. "It’s that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that’s just who I am. No one talks about the low moments — the pressure you feel, the incredible let-down every time you hear the baby cry. 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."
The tennis world has her back, though. Fellow tennis pro Novak Djokovic has been sending Williams helpful articles, jokingly referring to their children as "doubles partners" because they were only born a day apart.
Williams also spoke to Vogue about the new the support in women's professional tennis. "I really believe that we have to build each other up and build our tour up," she said. "The women in Billie Jean King’s day supported each other, even though they competed fiercely. We’ve got to do that. That’s the kind of the mark I want to leave. Play each other hard, but keep growing the sport."
What's her ultimate goal? To beat Margaret Court’s 25 grand slam record. If anyone can do it, it’s Williams.
This post was written by Rebecca Cope. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.