Gabrielle Union Gets Candid about Daunting Surrogacy Journey in Time Essay

“Being Mary Jane” alum Gabrielle Union penned a heart-wrenching piece detailing her challenging experience with surrogacy and revealing she hesitated to try it out the first time it was recommended.

Actress Gabrielle Union recently wrote an essay titled "The Hard Truth About My Surrogacy Journey" for Time magazine and shared her heartbreaking experience journeying into motherhood.

The 48-year-old revealed that back in 2016, her doctor Kelly Baek, a reproductive endocrinologist based in Los Angeles, advised her that the only way to have a healthy baby was via surrogacy.

Actress Gabrielle Union-Wade at the Prada Resort 2019 fashion show on May 4, 2018 in New York City (left) and with her daughter Kaavia (right). | Photo: Getty Images and Instagram/@gabunion

Actress Gabrielle Union-Wade at the Prada Resort 2019 fashion show on May 4, 2018 in New York City (left) and with her daughter Kaavia (right). | Photo: Getty Images and Instagram/@gabunion

Union explained that at the time of the suggested solution, she had been through an adenomyosis diagnosis and more miscarriages than she could count:

“All I could do was nod. I was not ready to do that. I wanted the experience of being pregnant. To watch my body expand and shift and accommodate this miracle inside me.”

Gabrielle Union and Kaavia James Union Wade visit New York & Company Store in Burbank, CA to launch Kaavi James Collection on May 09, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

Gabrielle Union and Kaavia James Union Wade visit New York & Company Store in Burbank, CA to launch Kaavi James Collection on May 09, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

More than anything, the Nebraska native desired to be publicly pregnant. She said she wanted to shake off the distrust society has for women who do not have kids, adding she had already paid the price for that for years and wanted a return on it.

Union held out on the idea of surrogacy for a year after it was suggested to her and instead chose to endure more IVF cycles and pregnancy losses.

In addition, she decided to take the plunge nearly at the end of that year and took a drug called Lupron, which would give her a 30% chance of carrying a baby full term.

However, the drug came with unfavorable side effects, which meant Union would throw her body into early menopause and would break her bones easily.

Ultimately, her husband Dwayne Wade, 39, managed to convince her otherwise and told her she had done enough, a statement the "Bring It On" star did not appreciate, but he insisted:

“As much as we want this baby, I want you. We’ve lost too much in our relationship for me to be okay with encouraging you to do one more thing to your body and soul.”

Despite Wade’s comforting words, Union still had doubts at the back of her mind about the entire process at the beginning of her surrogacy journey.

However, after meeting the surrogate, Natalie, her fears swiftly diminished, especially after the carrier revealed she was a fan of hers, and in March 2018, Natalie returned a positive pregnancy test.

She showed off her visible pregnant tummy to Union during a doctor's appointment at the end of her first trimester, which triggered feelings of failure for the "Breaking In" star, who later admitted she smiled, but at the same time, a part of her felt worthless.

When Union saw her unborn child on an ultrasound, her spouse's face lit up while she shed tears in heartbreak. Looking at the ultrasound screen, she said she felt grief for her past multiple miscarriages, as it dawned on her how many babies she had lost.

In an Interview with Self in June 2020, the “LA’s Finest” alum shared her first loss was devastating and brutal, adding she stopped counting after her eighth or ninth one because it was one long loss.

Union said she felt as though motherhood and babies were rejecting her. Nonetheless, eventually, she welcomed her miracle baby daughter named Kaavia James, 2, in 2018 with NBA star Wade.  

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