It's not easy opening up about private life moments in the harsh social media age, but there are some rare occasions where revelations are met with warmth.
In a recent interview with Vogue, Serena Williams shared details about her harrowing birth story that quickly received an overwhelming response from women who went through similar ordeals. The tennis star posted a Facebook video with her 4-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia looking adorable, along with an open letter thanking those who have been vocal about their tough birth experiences.
"I didn’t expect that sharing our family’s story of Olympia’s birth and all of complications after giving birth would start such an outpouring of discussion from women—especially black women—who have faced similar complications and women whose problems go unaddressed," Williams began. "These aren’t just stories: according to the CDC, (Center for Disease Control) black women are over 3 times more likely than White women to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. We have a lot of work to do as a nation and I hope my story can inspire a conversation that gets us to close this gap."
Moving message from @serenawilliams on maternal health and racial disparities: "We have a lot of work to do as a nation and I hope my story can inspire a conversation that gets us to close this gap." https://t.co/n9p6cvgZNR pic.twitter.com/pUUmI6Vyl3— Annie Waldman (@AnnieWaldman) January 15, 2018
Williams explained in her Vogue interview that her baby’s heart rate dropped when she started having contractions, prompting an emergency cesarean section that was performed without issue. While her daughter was born without complications, doctors found several small blood clots in Williams' lungs. She later had to undergo surgery and was on bed rest for six weeks.
"I want to thank all of you who have opened up through online comments and other platforms to tell your story. I encourage you to continue to tell those stories," Williams said at the end of her Facebook letter. "This helps. We can help others. Our voices are our power."