Celebrity

Serena Williams Reveals Why She Won't Be Celebrating Her Daughter's First Birthday

Serena Williams/Instagram, Olympia Ohanian/Instagram

For the past 20 years, Serena Williams has taken the sports world by storm.

Although the tennis superstar is in the midst of an outstanding career - having won four gold Olympic medals and 23 grand slam championships in the women's singles category.

However, if you ask the 36-year-old athlete what her greatest achievement is, chances are she'll forgo mentioning her trophies and titles, and say it's becoming a mother instead.

While Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian welcomed their daughter Alexis Olympia into the world on September 1, 2017, her birth nearly led to the Nike spokeswoman's death.

In an interview with CNN, Williams said she was forced to have an emergency C-section, where serious consequences arose.

"It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation."

"So, when I fell short of breath, I didn’t wait for a second to alert the nurses. ‘This sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived."

Williams said shortly after, her C-section wound popped open due to "intense coughing," and had to return to surgery.

While there, her physicians found a "large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen."

"And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed."

But despite delivering a bouncing baby girl, Williams was not out of the woods just yet.

Earlier this month the tennis legend took to Instagram to share her battle against postpartum depression, which affects up to one in seven women according to the American Psychological Association.

Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week--it’s ok--I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

"Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom," Williams wrote.

"I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal."

"It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be."

"However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes."

"I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week--it’s ok--I am, too!!! There’s always [tomorrow]!"

While this wouldn't be the only time Williams would discuss about her daughter.

While at a press conference for the US Open, a reporter asked Williams if she has planned a party celebrate Olympia's first birthday, and the actress responded she did not.

"Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that," she explained.

Jehovah's Witness is a Christian denomination who believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being.

Those who practice the religion reject the Holy Trinity doctrine, and also don't celebrate birthdays, Easter, Christmas or other national holidays, as they believe these customs come from pagan origins.

[H/T: Metro, CNN]

Do you celebrate your children's birthdays? Let us know in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com