Gabrielle Union has been very open about her struggles with infertility. The actor underwent several rounds of IVF and endured multiple miscarriages when trying to conceive with her husband Dwyane Wade. But carrying a baby to term wasn’t in the cards for Union, and in 2018, she turned to surrogacy — and her daughter, Kaavia James, was born in November. However, in spite of having a happy, healthy baby, the actor admits she still struggles. In a recent interview with Women’s Health, Union said surrogacy made her feel like a failure.
“There’s nothing more that I wanted than to cook my own baby,” Union said, and “the idea of it [surrogacy] felt like surrendering to failure.”
Union also told the magazine she worried she wouldn’t be “embraced as a mom” by others because she didn’t carry Kaavia. “People want to see the bump, hear that you got hemorrhoids — they want to know you’re like them,” she said. “I was like ‘This is going to seem like the most Hollywood s— ever. Will I be embraced as a mom?’ It’s terrifying.” But Union’s fears were for naught, and once she accepted the idea of surrogacy, she looked for a gestational carrier with a very specific trait.
“Some people care about the race, religion, or food habits of their surrogate,” Union said, but “I was like, ‘I want a reader.’”
Union previously spoke about her struggles with infertility at the #BlogHer18 Creators Summit in New York City. “Fertility is not an older women’s issue,” Union said. “It’s an issue, period.” She then went on to discuss how a condition called adenomyosis, also known as “inside-out endometriosis,” affected (and still affects) her life.
“I could have had adenomyosis in my early 20s, and instead of someone diagnosing me, they were like, ‘You have periods that last nine and 10 days? And you’re bleeding through overnight pads?’ It’s not a mere inconvenience. Perhaps there’s something more there,” Union said. Adenomyosis is linked to decreased fertility.
As for Union’s hopes for her daughter, she is just like any mom. “I want to let her be free. I want to instill in her morals, values. And then I want to give her space to fill in those gaps, fall on her ass, and make mistakes.”
Read Union’s entire interview in the March issue of Women’s Health.