Serena Williams: ‘Doctors aren’t listening’ so black women are dying

Serena Williams Birth
Serena Williams and baby girl. (Photograph: by Mario Testino, Vogue, February 2018)

She’s been here for years but after giving birth to baby girl Alexis Jr, Serena Williams is ready for her big comeback and posted to Instagram to announce her intentions saying:

“It’s official. My comeback is here. This Thursday I will start playing tennis again professionally for the first time since giving birth to my daughter. This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida- both my home states. Thursday, the day I play my very first match, marks international women’s day. My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back (if you want of course!!) So I created my Serena Gold toned “S” pin.”

— WATCH: Serena Williams shuts down airport runway and dances on Vogue shoot because she’s just that fly — 

Serena almost died giving birth

Serena Williams’ beautiful Vogue cover story inspired lots of oohs and aaahs, but the story that accompanied the cover caused quite a stir online. In the interview, the newly married tennis pro shared scary post-partum moments that many women on Twitter could unfortunately relate to and they noted how Williams’ celebrity did not spare her from what seemed to be dismissive treatment from hospital staff.

According to Vogue:

“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!’”

After that harrowing situation, Williams popped open her fresh C-section wound from the forceful coughing caused by the blood clots. Williams and her daughter are now faring well, but women on Twitter rallied together to highlight that Williams’ post-partum experience is not uncommon for women, especially Black women.

A cause close to her heart

Williams is also rallying her fans to wear the gold-toned pin in support for her charity which supports the Yetunde Price Resource center, which honors the life and legacy of her sister Price by assisting, educating and strengthening individuals and families affected by violence and trauma, according to the website. Serena’s sister, Yetunde Price was the victim of a drive-by shooting on September 14, 2003, in Compton, a city city in Los Angeles known for its history of gang violence. She was shot in the head while driving in an SUV with her boyfriend.

“When I am playing you can wear it and show support not only from me but also for my charity which supports the Yetunde Price Resource center. I want this gold “S” mean something special to you personally. What is one S word in your life that means something to you? Mine is Strong and Sure! So when I wear my “S” pin I am representing Strength, and Sureness,” she wrote.

“What would your “S” mean? They are for now only available for my fans that come see my at Indian wells, and Miami starting Wednesday as well as Thursday when I play!! Sooooo if you are watching me stop by the Serena booth to grab a “S” pin. Post pics of you wearing your “S” and tag me!” she continued.

Welcome back champ!

— Serena Williams thanks husband for billboards praising her for being a great mom in sweetest way possible — 

Serena’s Husband gives her the ultimate push present

Although Serena’s ready to return, she’s been enjoying her time off too.

Williams got the greatest push present of all time!

The new mom and tennis titan was beaming after driving by four huge billboards in Palm Springs giving praise to her from her new hubby Alexis Ohanian.

Williams was surprised by Ohanian’s extravagant gift as she drove by the billboards on her way to a tournament. The billboards outline the love the couple share along with their 5-month-old baby girl Alexis Jr.

Serena Williams said: “I’m so fortunate to have @alexisohanian and @olympiaohanian by my side for my comeback,” Williams captioned a drone video of the billboards on Wednesday, February 28. “I love my surprise so much from them. I feel so special. Love you both.”

— Serena Williams saved her own damn life after giving birth because apparently that’s what black women have to do — 

A surprise fit for a queen

Ohanian recruited the help of AdQuick to pull off the billboard surprise on Monday, February 26, by setting up four oversize photos of baby Alexis alongside the acronym G.M.O.A.T. (Greatest Momma of All Time) on a freeway leading to Indian Wells, California, where Serena Williams is scheduled to compete in the 2018 BNP Paribas Open in March.

“These just went up on alongside I-10 into Palm Springs,” the Initialized Capital cofounder on Instagram. “@olympiaohanian & I wanted to welcome her back to tennis. Designed them myself, with some help from Jr. #GMOAT.”

Ohanian might have taken this play from Serena’s own playbook. In a recent Gatorade ad, Williams honored her baby girl saying:

“Sometimes you’ll score goals, sometimes you won’t. But the goals you set, you’ll reach together. “You’ll find the courage to stand tall, work harder and speak louder on whatever playing field you choose in life. So keep playing, my girl. Keep playing.”

The power couple welcomed Alexis Jr. in September and married in New Orleans in November.

Thanks to Ohanian, men everywhere will have to up their A-game when it comes to push presents.