"Kim immediately started telling me, 'Ashley, the pregnancy may be the hardest part, but the birth is the easiest,'" Graham recalled of the words Kardashian told her at Serena's New York Fashion Week show in mid-September. "I'm just taking in advice from everyone and not putting too much pressure on myself."
After the show, Graham made her way backstage. "Serena was like, 'Call me; we should talk.'"
Williams told Vogue she texts Graham with "anything that rolls off my mind. I was one of those people who wanted to know every ugly detail of what happens ... down there ... what happens everywhere. Like, why are my nipples so big a week into being pregnant? This makes no sense; the baby doesn't need to eat yet. I wanted to know every single thing, and I still love talking about it. Because I feel like it's important to kind of change the narrative and be like, it's normal to feel scared, and not be one of those women who are like, 'Oh, it's so great!' Just be scared out of your mind. That's normal."
What was once considered a private, nine-month period in a woman's life has become a bit of a pop-culture phenomenon, and Serena wonders if it all started when a naked and pregnant Demi Moore graced the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991.
Annie Leibovitz / Vogue
"I was only 10 at the time, but I remember thinking that was cool," Williams said. "I think it's a good thing, but it also puts a lot of pressure on women. For me, the whole lie about 'the snap back' was what bothered me. I had a little problem with the lies of girls on Instagram -- like, coming out of the hospital holding the baby and ... you know ... looking thinner than before. That's not happening to me! That's one thing I've learned, and the thing I tell Ashley: Everybody -- literally every body -- is different. You might jump back in an hour. I didn't."
Not long ago, Graham met Amy Schumer at a party. Almost as if she sniffed out the curious mom-to-be, the comedian took the model under her wing. Recently, Amy gave Ashley a tour of her nursery.
"I was like, 'Come over and I'll just tell you what I have learned and what I wish I knew,'" Schumer recalled to Vogue. "And then I was like, 'And the nicest thing I can do for you is tell you that you won't hear from me again, but you can call me anytime.' 'Cause it's a lot. People are so in your face when you're pregnant because they're so f--king excited for you. And you don't get it. You can't possibly get it. And then after you've had a baby you're like, 'Oh, I get it!'"
"She's a goddamn fire starter," she added of her friend. "Ashley just knocks the wind out of you. She's one of those rare, really authentic people. There's just no horseshit, you know? That's a compliment, right?"