Serena Williams reveals why she will not be celebrating her daughter's first birthday
Despite the fact that she is the daughter of an elite and highly paid athlete, Alexis Olympia shouldn't be expecting to receive any gifts on her first birthday this week.
Serena Williams' daughter arrived 12 months ago this week, however, while both mother and daughter are healthy and happy now, this wasn't always the case. Serena, who gave birth on 1st September via an emergency C-section, nearly lost her life as a result of the complications that she had during her pregnancy.
Explaining the ordeal to CNN, Serena said:
"It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation. So, when I fell short of breath, I didn’t wait for a second to alert the nurses.
"This sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived. First, my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen.
"And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed."
However, the mother-of-one recovered and returned to the court. The 36-year-old, who dominated the women's tennis game before the arrival of her little one, has understandably not been quite at her peak since her return, but still managed to finish as a runner-up in this year's Wimbledon Championships.
While you would think that Olympia's birthday would be a cause of celebration and a reason to toast life itself, Serena has revealed that there will be no celebration in the slightest.
Responding to a reporter asking: "Is there a birthday party planned?", the 36-year-old said: "Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that."
It is believed Serena’s husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is also practising the religion with his wife, despite that fact that he did not grow up in a religious household.
Speaking to Vogue last year, Serena said: "Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practised it and have been wanting to get into it. ‘Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first."
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being, and reject the Trinity doctrine. They do not celebrate religious holidays like Christmas, and do not observe birthdays or national holidays either, feeling that many of these customs have pagan origins and do not celebrate God.
So, it looks like Alexis Olympia will not be having birthday parties. Still, though, she is the daughter of Serena Williams, so probably won't struggle too much.