Serena Williams’ baby daughter is only 4 months old, but she’s already accomplished something most people only dream of: Alexis Olympia Ohanian and her mom have graced the cover of Vogue‘s February issue — and the beautiful mother-daughter duo was photographed by the legendary Mario Testino.
Williams is already prepared to get back on the tennis court, but she shared that becoming a mom was also one of her childhood dreams. “Now that I’m 36 and I look at my baby, I remember that this was also one of my goals when I was little, before tennis took over, when I was still kind of a normal girl who played with dolls,” she told the outlet.
Although both Williams and little Olympia are happy and healthy now, the tennis star shared that she dealt with frightening medical complications during the birth itself. Due to a low heart rate during contractions, Williams had to have an emergency C-section — and she spent the next six days undergoing multiple surgeries for a pulmonary embolism.
Although Williams plans to get back on the tennis court and earn a few more Grand Slams, her focus right now is Olympia. Unsurprisingly, Williams’ perfectionism extends to motherhood, and she got refreshingly real about the anxieties she experiences as a new mom — insecurities that are relatable for new moms everywhere.
“Sometimes I get really down and feel like, Man, I can’t do this,” Williams told Vogue. “It’s that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that’s just who I am. No one talks about the low moments — the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry.”
Luckily, Williams’ own mom, Oracene Price, has been by her side in Florida since Olympia’s birth. Price shared that her main concern is that Williams will work herself too hard; she hopes to help her daughter slow down as she adjusts to this new phase in her life. Williams also has the support of her new husband, Alexis Ohanian, and her close friends within the tennis circle. Even Sheryl Sandberg, Williams’ longtime hero and new good friend, has got her back.
Olympia definitely has the potential to be a star in her own right (I mean, just look at her mom and aunt). But Williams is wary of the idea of her daughter entering the tennis world. Although she says she wouldn’t change anything about her own life, Williams told Vogue that she wants Olympia to have “a normal life. I didn’t have that.”