SERENA Williams has posed for a glamorous US Vogue cover shoot with her baby daughter Alexis and revealed she suffered two months of complications after the birth.
The mother and daughter duo grace the cover of the fashion Bible for their February 2018 issue and the tennis ace has opened up about the horrifying medical issues that left her facing multiple surgeries.
Serena, 36, welcomed her first child Alexis - who she refers to by her middle name, Olympia - in September with her husband Alexis Ohanian.
She has now told Vogue she had an emergency caesarean section after the baby's heart rate dropped to a dangerously low level.
The day after the operation, she fell ill and doctors found several small clots in her lungs.
Then she suffered another terrifying scare when her C-section scar popped open and medics found a large haematoma had flooded her abdomen.
Serena underwent several surgeries and was unable to get out of bed for six weeks.
She told Vogue: "That was an amazing feeling [being handed her daughter].
"And then everything went bad."
The sports star has a history of blood clots so she was the one who raised the alarm after she found herself feeling short of breath 24 hours after becoming a mum.
She explained: "I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!"
Serena was found to have a pulmonary embolism, and the coughing it caused meant her C-section wound popped open.
Because she had been taking blood-thinners to dispel the clots, the medication caused bleeding at the site of the incision doctors had made for the baby.
She had to undergo another surgery, and a week later she finally went home and found she wasn't even able to get out of bed.
Serena, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles during her tennis career, said she hated feeling helpless.
She added: "I was happy to change diapers, but on top of everything she was going through, the feeling of not being able to help made it even harder.
"Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you're trapped in it."
Serena and Alexis married in November, just two months after the birth of their daughter.
Their glitzy wedding in New Orleans was attended by stars including Kim Kardashian and Beyonce.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.
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