Serena Williams's husband is sharing some of his hopes and fears about his wife giving birth to their second child.
In an exclusive interview with People, tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian said that while he's excited about welcoming baby number two, he is focused on making sure his wife, Williams, remains safe throughout her pregnancy and during childbirth.
Williams endured life-threatening complications after the emergency C-section birth of her first child.
“We’re ... obviously taking every precaution and doing everything we can to make sure everything goes smoothly for Serena,” Ohanian, 40, told the publication.
Ohanian and Williams welcomed their first child, daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., back in 2017.
“We’re not first-time parents anymore. I feel more confident about having a newborn, all of those things that I just had zero confidence about with Olympia because I’d never even been around babies at that point in my life,” he said.
Williams gave birth via an emergency C-section and, shortly after, had life-threatening complications.
"I can't believe how much went wrong on the way to meeting her," Williams said in her 2018 HBO documentary "Being Serena."
"I almost died."
In a 2018 interview with TODAY co-host Dylan Dryer, Williams opened up about her terrifying post-birth experience.
"I ended up getting a pulmonary embolism in my lung, then I had a blood clot in my leg, and they ended up having to insert a filter in me to keep any more blood clots from coming and forming," Williams told Dryer at the time.
"Everything is a blur," Williams said of the experience. "When I watch (the documentary) it's like: 'Oh yeah I remember that vaguely' or 'I don't have any recollection of that.'"
For 11 years and prior to her pregnancy, Williams knew she faced a higher risk of developing blood clots — in 2011 she suffered her first pulmonary embolism and nearly died.
In an essay for Elle, Williams said she had to fight to get doctors and nurses to take her seriously so she would not become another maternal mortality statistic, all while being in what she described as "excruciating pain."
“No one was really listening to what I was saying,” she wrote. “I may have passed out a few times."
The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed nation.
In the U.S., Black women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy- and birth-related complications than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In a 2022 essay for Vogue, Williams announced she was retiring from tennis, citing her many accomplishments, her post-birth health complications and the challenges of new motherhood.
"I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a Grand Slam final,” she wrote at the time. “I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression."
Williams and husband Ohanian revealed they were expecting their second child earlier this year, while attending the Met Gala.
“Was so excited when Anna Wintour invited the 3 of us to the Met Gala," Williams wrote in an Instagram post, confirming her pregnancy.
In addition to being worried about potential complications in pregnancy and childbirth, Ohanian told People he's also worried that he can no longer remember what it's like to care for a newborn.
“I think I’ve definitely forgotten what it’s like to have a new one around, so it might be a rude awakening, maybe literally,” he said. “But right now, we’re excited.”
No one is more excited than soon-to-be big sister Olympia, Ohanian told the publication, adding that the 5-year-old is "fired up" about having a younger sibling.
"She’s been wanting this," the Reddit founder said. "She’s been praying and asking about this for quite some time, so she’s very ready.”