Gabrielle Union recently released a snippet of an essay she wrote in her upcoming book on her struggles with infertility. The actress also detailed the arduous journey she took before her daughter was delivered through surrogacy.
Union recounted the day in 2016 that her doctor gave her the news that she would likely not carry a baby in her own body and that surrogacy was her best option.
“I had been through an adenomyosis diagnosis and more miscarriages than I could confidently count, and all I could do was nod. I was not ready to do that. I wanted the experience of being pregnant.,” she wrote.
Desperate, Union considered Lupron. Lupron is a drug given to men to slow the growth of cancer cells in the prostate by lowering testosterone. It is also used in infertility treatment for women going through the IVF process to prevent premature ovulation by interfering with the body’s normal hormonal process.
However, one of the side effects of Lupron for women is early menopause that can cause bones to become so weak they break. Union’s husband, Dwyane Wade, did not want her to take that risk.
“You’ve done enough. As much as we want this baby, I want you. We’ve lost too much in our relationship for me to be OK with encouraging you to do one more thing to your body and your soul.”
Infertility treatment is costly. The mental and physical costs are even greater.
After Union, 48, got over her initial grief about not being able to carry the baby, she began studying the process of surrogacy. The couple eventually found an agency they felt they could trust and a donor that met their requirements.
Union revealed that there was a racialized undertone on many of the surrogacy message boards that came from the hopeful white families about their preferred gestational carriers, usually Asian or Latino.
The couple found out later that the surrogate they chose on paper was a white woman.
All of their struggles paid off because Union and her husband got the baby they had hoped for, and Kaavia James was born in November 2018 after an emergency c-section.
Union details more of this experience in her upcoming book, “You Got Anything Stronger?” That was released on Sept. 14.