Stop and let that breathe for a moment. "I didn't know I would have such, kind of, traumatic thoughts".
The 23-time Grand Slam champion insists the pain was all worthwhile now she has her first child with her at Wimbledon. "It was just routine every day", Williams said after reaching her 30th Grand Slam final by beating Germany's Julia Georges.
Williams' match against Goerges was even until 2-all, 30-all. This is not inevitable for me, I had a really tough delivery and multiple surgeries and nearly didn't make it to be honest. "I am a solicitor and I know how painful it is to go to work and then have to get up in the middle of the night". When she returned from maternity leave at Indian Wells in March, every baby step was celebrated. She's now made the final in two of the last three years.
The American's fiercely competitive streak fuelled her rise from the bullet-riddled courts of Compton in south-central Los Angeles, and she remains as driven as ever.
As top seed after top seed failed to advance past the early rounds, Serena sailed, dropping only one set in six matches.
If Ms Williams takes the title on Sunday, she will write herself into the Wimbledon history books. "To see her back, it's great".
"It's been a insane 10 months". "I was still pregnant at this time a year ago".
"It's insane. I don't even know how to feel because I literally didn't think I'd do this well in my fourth tournament back", said Williams. "It's not frustrating, but it's like, 'C'mon, guys, this is pretty awesome'".
"Whatever happens, honestly", Williams said, "it's an incredible effort from me".
That's a revealing confession from a player who has appeared as mentally unflappable as any other woman in this tournament.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with the only brief wobble coming in the ninth game when Williams was broken.
"Right now I'm sitting here at a semi-final of Wimbledon where a lot of people are dreaming of".
Goerges had come into her first Grand Slam semi-final having belted more winners (199), more aces (44) and more unreturned serves (113) than anyone else in the women's draw but those statistics counted for little when she came up against an opponent who is in hot pursuit of a record-equalling 24th major. That argument would get much stronger should she win her third career major-against Serena Williams at Wimbledon nonetheless-on Saturday.
Williams watched Wimbledon from afar a year ago when her sister Venus lost to Spain's Garbine Muguruza but, in truth, it feels as if she has never been away after she dropped only one set as she progressed to a 10th Wimbledon final. "That was the hardest part _ accepting that I didn't", Williams said. "I think it will be just like the last final; it will be really good". But this is different. "I still have a match to win, so I'm not even there yet".
Last September, Serena Williams was struggling to walk to the mailbox.
"Serena is the one who you want to play, who you want to get the experience from", said the German, whose previous five visits to the All England Club had ended in first-round defeats. I was limiting myself.