Serena Williams Says The Birth That Almost Killed Her Has Made Her So Much Stronger

The tennis star took to Facebook to discuss her unique position and women told their own stories in her comments

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Despite having an enviably successful career (one that saw her win the Australian open), tennis pro Serena Williams was not so lucky in childbirth.

The 36 year-old recently opened up about welcoming her first child into the world in September of last year, explaining that Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dangerously low.

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In her interview with Vogue she also detailed that the day after the birth, she suffered a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs). She explains how, due to her knowledge of her own medical history, she told the nurses what to do. They didn't listen at first, giving her an ultrasound instead of a CT scan, though they swiftly headed her warning, and all was (eventually) well.

This extract from her Vogue interview was picked up by many people on Twitter, who read it in the context of America's disproportionate mortality rate of African-American mothers.

Some suggested Williams' social status, wealth and no doubt expensive healthcare were what possibly saved her that day, and that, if she were poorer and not famous, it may have been a different story.

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The tech entrepreneur took to Facebook yesterday to publicly discuss the birth, as well as what lessons can be learned from it.

Alongside an adorable video of Williams and her husband's, Snapchat mogul Alexis Ohanian, daughter, Williams wrote about her thoughts on people's reaction to her birth story:

I didn't expect that sharing our family's story of Olympia's birth and all of complications after giving birth would start such an outpouring of discussion from women — especially black women — who have faced similar complications and women whose problems go unaddressed.

She pointed out the statistical disparity between black and white women in the U.S. stating, 'We have a lot of work to do as a nation and I hope my story can inspire a conversation that gets us to close this gap.'

Serena Williams on her wedding day

She was, however, quick to point out that, though this particular conversation might be about race, it is not the only one to be had.

While her birth made her think about racial inequalities, it also taught her about female strength, whether in herself or in others, irrespective of having children.

'We are powerful!!!' she wrote.

No matter what is thrown her way, Williams proves herself to be a hero time and time again.

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