When we think of tennis superstar Serena Williams, many superlatives come to mind; powerful, athletic, imposing and even sexy.  One descriptor that never comes to the public mind is vulnerable. It’s hard to envision Williams in any situation that she couldn’t eventually dominate.  

Serena Williams Is The First Tennis Player To Win 23 Grand Slam Singles Titles In Open Era | TIME

Serena Williams is the FIRST tennis player to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era. "I see these young women, including myself, who are working so hard and training for hours and hours every day just to have the opportunity to go out on the court and play their best.

Even while pregnant with baby Alexis Olympia, Williams was competing against some of the best athletes in the world, and destroying them! However, in a recent write up in Vogue magazine, Serena reveals the health scare that could have turned deadly.

From the article:

She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn’t worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away. The nurse thought her pain medicine might be making her confused. But Serena insisted, and soon enough a doctor was performing an ultrasound of her legs. “I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,” she remembers telling the team. The ultrasound revealed nothing, so they sent her for the CT, and sure enough, several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. Minutes later she was on the drip. “I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!”

Indeed, listen to Dr. Williams! While others might be ambiguous to the goings on of their respective bodies, historically elite athletes such as Williams have always been more in tune with their bodies than your average Joe, or Joan, Schmo.

The article revealed that this was but the first of a six-day string of health scares for Serena. A pulmonary embolism in her lungs, and the resulting harsh cough, caused Serena’s C-section wound to split open. Doctors found that a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen due the blood-thinner she was given for the original problem, the blood clot.

Serena Williams opens up about medical scare after giving birth to baby girl

The tennis star revealed that she sustained a pulmonary embolism that caused her C-section wound to pop open shortly after she gave birth in a new interview with Vogue magazine.

She had to go back on the operating table once again to have a filter inserted in a major vein to prevent more blood clots.  Because of that, and a night nurse that backed out last minute, Williams spent most of her first six weeks as a Mom bedridden.

“Sometimes I get really down and feel like, Man, I can’t do this,” she says. “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 letdown every time you hear the baby cry. 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.”