Serena Williams Shares Childbirth Ordeal

From - January 11, 2018

Serena Williams Shares Childbirth Ordeal

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 -- Though Serena Williams commands the tennis court with ease when she plays, life-threatening complications following the birth of her daughter sidelined her for six weeks.

Williams tells the story of her medical ordeal in the latest issue of Vogue, published Wednesday.

After an easy pregnancy, things turned precarious when she had to have an emergency C-section because the baby's heart rate was dropping rapidly during contractions. The C-section went off without a hitch and her daughter, Olympia, was born on Sept. 1. But what followed was far from smooth, Williams told the magazine.

The next day, Williams suddenly felt short of breath. Having suffered a pulmonary embolism in 2011 following a fall, Williams knew in her bones what was wrong.

She had a history of blood clots in her lungs and she had been taken off blood thinners before delivery, so she did not waste time telling the nurses and doctors what to do. To make sure her mom would not worry, Williams said she walked out of her room while gasping for breath and told a nurse that she needed a CT scan and IV heparin (a blood thinner) immediately.

But the medical professionals were not easily convinced. The nurse thought pain medication might be confusing Williams, while a doctor ordered only an ultrasound of her legs. Nothing was found, so they sent her for a CT scan. Williams turned out to be right. There were several small blood clots in her lungs and a heparin drip was started within minutes, she told Vogue.

But the complications did not end there.

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