Serena Williams: 'Everything went bad' in medical ordeal after giving birth

Simona Halep Caroline Wozniacki lead race to seize Serena William's Australian Open crown

Olympia was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dove dangerously low during contractions. The surgery went well, Serena's husband Alexis cut the chord and the couple's tiny newborn was laid on Serena's chest for the first time. "That was an unbelievable feeling", she told Vogue. "And then everything went bad".

Serena, because of her history of blood clots, immediately believed she was having another pulmonary embolism. At first, a nurse who was treating Williams suggested that the pain medications she was taking might have been confusing her, but Williams insisted.

Serena told Vogue, "I was like, a Doppler?"

She walked out of the hospital room to avoid worrying her mother, and between gasps told the nearest nurse she needed a CT scan with contrast and a blood thinner right away. When doctors finally gave her a CT scan, it revealed that she did indeed have blood clots in her lungs, causing the shortness of breath. Minutes later she was on the drip.

"For me, the biggest thing was when I lost the first six finals of the year, I didn't let it really put me down", the 27-year-old said after her Singapore triumph."I looked at the positive and said I put myself in contention nearly every week and eventually it will have to turn". But, she tells Brit+Co, "Imagine if you are not Serena Williams..."

Halep's rise to the summit came despite the Romanian failing to break her grand-slam duck. In the United States, her number is classified in our maternal death statistics, but in many other countries, it would not have been.

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Statistically speaking, Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications, according to the Center for Disease Control. For those in some rural and urban areas, the situation is even direr. Still, they worry about raising their child in their unique lives.

To prevent more clots from dislodging and traveling into her lungs, Ms. Williams told Vogue she underwent another surgery to have a filter inserted into one of her veins.

Even for white and wealthy women, pregnancy can be a risky condition.

Her forced hiatus will extend past this year's tournament after she decided last week that she was not fully match-ready, giving the chasing pack more opportunities to stamp their authority on the women's game. As a follow-up several months later, ProPublica and NPR published a host of similar tales of near-misses from educated women who nearly died due to pregnancy complications. Williams now has 23, but she is aware of what's in the record books and wants to win 25. Therefore, MomsRising wants to see better hospital protocols in place that will help ensure black mothers get the best treatment, Bandele says, but also better legislation that will bring health equity for Black women.

However, a recent article in Vogue revealed that no matter how successful and powerful Black women become, they are still faced with doubt and disbelief, especially in the world of medicine.

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