Gabrielle Union says she felt like she was “surrendering to failure” when she and husband Dwyane Wade decided to have a surrogate carry their child. The 46-year-old Being Mary Jane alum and Bring It On actress, who is also a stepmother to the NBA star’s three sons from previous relationships, has been open about her struggle with infertility.
She has said she suffers from adenomyosis, a type of endometriosis, which can impair both the quantity and quality of a woman’s eggs—factors already not working in the actress’ favor given her age. Union said in 2017 that she had undergone at least eight miscarriages.
In November, Union made a surprise announcement that she and Wade had welcomed their first child together, a baby girl, via a surrogate.
“There’s nothing more that I wanted than to cook my own baby,” Union told Women’s Health in a cover interview published in its March 2019 issue. “The idea of [using a surrogate] felt like surrendering to failure.”
“People want to see the bump, hear that you got hemorrhoids—they want to know you’re like them,” she continued. “I was like, ‘This is going to seem like the most Hollywood s–t ever. Will I be embraced as a mom?’ It’s ter-rifying.”
Late last year, Union told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that having infertility made her think, “Did I fail in some kind of way? Am I defective in some kind of way? Am I less than in some kind of way? Am I less worthy in some kind of way?”
Union talked to Women’s Health about her criteria for finding a surrogate to carry her and Wade’s daughter, Kaavia James. She said she wanted the woman to like reading books.
The actress said when her and Wade’s daughter was born, she was like, “Oh my God, this is my baby,” adding, “I wanted to f-ight everybody in that room for various reasons and no reason.”
Now in her forties, Union says she is “in the right mindset and mental space,” and “open to being the best mom I can be.”