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Serena Williams opens up about life-threatening birth as she graces Vogue with daughter Alexis Olympia

The tennis star welcomed Alexis Olympia in September

Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
January 10, 2018
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Serena Williams has opened up about her harrowing experience of giving birth. Appearing on Vogue's cover for the magazine's February issue with her baby daughter, Alexis Olympia, the tennis champion discussed the life-threatening health complications she faced, while discussing how much her life has changed since becoming a mother. The 36-year-old, who is married to Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, explained how Alexis Olympia's heart rate started to drop during her delivery, which meant she had to give birth via emergency C-section. She shared: "That was an amazing feeling, and then everything went bad."

serena williams vogue

Serena Williams and Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. on February's issue of Vogue

READ: Serena Williams asks for breastfeeding advice

The cover photo, which was shot by Mario Testino, sees Serena looking lovely in a bold red Versace dress, while holding Alexis Olympia close to her chest - making her little tot the youngest person, at four-months-old, to grace the cover of Vogue. In the accompanying interview, the sports star revealed that she felt short of breath the day after giving birth to her daughter. She told medical staff that she was concerned that she had developed blood clots. Doctors soon learnt that Serena had several clots in her lungs and she was immediately given a drip.

Serena opened up about birth and motherhood

STORY: Serena Williams makes stunning red-carpet appearance 10 weeks after giving birth

Serena went on to discuss the challenges she now faces as a mother, telling the publication: "Sometimes I get really down and feel like, 'Man, I can't do this'. 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." She added: "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." Vogue's February 2018 is available to buy from 16 January.

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