Serena Williams Reveals Why She Didn’t Share the News of Her Pregnancy With Her Daughter, Olympia

While opening up about her decision to share her pregnancy news on the Met Gala red carpet, Serena Williams is revealing why she also kept her pregnancy a secret from her 5-year-old daughter Olympia.

In a snippet of a YouTube video she shared on Instagram, Serena explained that “Olympia does not know right now that I am pregnant, so the big reveal will be at the Met, and then before we leave, I’ll tell Olympia.”

And the reason why she kept it a secret from her little girl until she made it public is for a very relatable reason most parents will understand. “The reason I haven’t told her is because she can’t keep a secret,” Serena explained.

As Mamas Uncut previously reported, Serena Williams was dressed in a stunning black and white ensemble garnished with hundreds of pearls, when she and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, shared the big news.

RELATED: Serena Williams Stuns With Shocking Announcement at the MET Gala

The announcement comes several months after Williams revealed she and Alexis were working to grow their family after she retired from Tennis. “In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family,” Serena wrote for Vogue at the time. 

“I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.”

In the past, Williams has also been open about her first labor experience in a personal essay she wrote for ELLE. 

In 2022, Williams shared the terrifying moment when she saved her own life by advocating for herself after her daughter, Olympia was born.

Williams detailed how her body before Olympia was ultimately for tennis and since becoming a mother, “the stakes of the game have shifted for me.”

“My body has belonged to tennis for so long. I’ve suffered every injury imaginable, and I know my body,” she writes. “When I found out I was pregnant two days before the 2017 Australian Open, my body had already switched allegiances.”

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She also touched on how it wasn’t until after she met her baby that she felt a connection to Olympia. “I was nervous about meeting my baby. Throughout my pregnancy, I’d never felt a connection with her.”

“While I loved being pregnant, I didn’t have that amazing Oh my God, this is my baby moment, ever. It’s something people don’t usually talk about because we’re supposed to be in love from the first second. Yes, I was a lioness who would protect her baby at any cost, but I wasn’t gushing over her. I kept waiting to feel like I knew her during pregnancy, but the feeling never came. Some of my mom-friends told me they didn’t feel the connection in the womb either, which made me feel better, but still, I longed for it.”

Williams has spoken about her traumatic birth experience before, and in her essay, recalls the busy birthing room from the “meetings going on without me” to her intense need for “calm, affirmative direction.” Her doctor ended up giving that to her when she makes the decision that Williams will have a C-section, which the athlete says left her “relieved to let go.”

“Being an athlete is so often about controlling your body, wielding its power, but it’s also about knowing when to surrender. I was happy and relieved to let go; the energy in the room totally changed,” she shared. “We went from this intense, seemingly endless process to a clear plan for bringing this baby into the world.”

In fact, it was Williams’ post-birth experience that led her to reclaim her agency in the situation. “In the U.S., Black women are nearly three times more likely to die during or after childbirth than their white counterparts. Many of these deaths are considered by experts to be preventable,” she shares.

“Being heard and appropriately treated was the difference between life or death for me; I know those statistics would be different if the medical establishment listened to every Black woman’s experience.” Williams went on to detail how none of the nurses around her were “really listening to what I was saying” until Williams could speak with her doctor and demand a CAT scan of her lungs after multiple surgeries.  

“I fought hard, and I ended up getting the CAT scan. I’m so grateful to her,” she writes. “Lo and behold, I had a blood clot in my lungs, and they needed to insert a filter into my veins to break up the clot before it reached my heart.”

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