The athlete was forced to undergo an emergency c-section as he baby's heart rate dropped during her contractions, and that led to blood clots in her lungs.
She asked a hospital nurse for a CT scan and IV heparin, but the nurse instead requested an ultrasound be performed. Doctors learned shortly after that she had several small clots in her lungs but she healed like a champ. "I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!" she said.
She was immediately given a drip, but when constant coughing from her pulmonary embolism opened up the scar from the c-section, her abdomen quickly filled with her now-thinned blood from the same drugs which were saving her life. The entire experience left her bedridden for the first six weeks of motherhood.
The birth of your first child should be a thrilling experience, but Serena Williams had some scary side effects after her daughter was born.
Williams was supposed to give a shot at defending her title at the Australian Open later this month but pulled out on Friday, saying she was "super close" but still not at the level she needs to be.
And Serena Williams truly is a super hero.
She added: "I was happy to change diapers, but on top of everything she was going through, the feeling of not being able to help made it even harder". She had targeted the Australian Open, which she won a year ago while only a few weeks pregnant, but that did not pan out after an exhibition match loss to Jelena Ostapenko last week.
"I absolutely want more Grand Slams", Williams said.
But that's not to be confused with the idea that Serena is anxious about reclaiming her spot as number one when she returns. I don't play to be the second best or the third best.
We're sure Olympia would have her say in the accompanying feature piece if, you know, she was old enough to talk, but the input from her mum is compelling enough on its own. "If there's no clear number one, it's like, yeah, I can get my spot back", she asserts. "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 attractive baby?' The emotions are insane".
"I hate playing her because she gets this look on her face where she just looks sad if she's losing - solemn", Serena said.