"I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia," wrote Serena Williams for CNN.
The tennis star wrote an opinion piece where she discussed her pregnancy related complications and how she came out of it alive because she was lucky enough to find good medical assistance.
Serena explained the bittersweet experience of giving birth to her daughter in these words:
While I had a pretty easy pregnancy, my daughter was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions. The surgery went smoothly. Before I knew it, Olympia was in my arms. It was the most amazing feeling I've ever experienced in my life. But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty.
Serena happens to be suffering from pulmonary embolism, a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs is blocked by a blood clot.
Talking about the problem, Serena said:
First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors 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 traveling to my lungs.
She finally thanked the team of doctors who made it possible for her to fight these odds. She said that if the doctors did not know how to handle these complicated turn of events, she 'wouldn't be here today'.
A UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, Serena then touched upon the topic of prenatal and postnatal problems faced by women in developing countries.
Serena said that the women in these countries have pregnancy complications similar to hers, but unlike her, they don't have the access to good medical facilities.
When they have complications like mine, there are often no drugs, health facilities or doctors to save them. If they don't want to give birth at home, they have to travel great distances at the height of pregnancy.
She urged people to donate to UNICEF and work collectively towards the cause of making the process of giving birth, safe for all women around the world.
"Together, we can make this change. Together, we can be the change," she wrote in the end.
You can read the whole piece here.