Just weeks after Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade welcomed their daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade, via a gestational carrier, the couple is opening up about their journey to parenthood in a new interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In a primetime special entitled "Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby," which airs Saturday on OWN, Union stated that even after having had a number of miscarriages, she never gave up her dream of having a biological child.
Despite Wade's concerns that fertility treatments were getting "dangerous" ("I always tell her, 'I want this baby just as much as you do, but I married you and you are the most important thing to me,'" he said), Union still felt pressure to carry a child before she turned to surrogacy.
"I've always been of the mindset, because this is what people tell you: you work hard, you do the right things, you're a good person, it will happen for you -- eventually," she explained. "I could not let go of this idea of creating life within me, that I could feel, that tied me to him, that he could be a part of, that the world could be a part of. I'm not letting myself and all these people down. I need to have -- I need to be pregnant for everybody, including myself."
Neither Union, 46, who has been open about her fertility struggles, nor Wade, 36, went public with the pregnancy until the day after Kaavia's birth on Nov. 7. She is the first child for the couple, who wed in 2014, though both are raising Wade's three sons from previous relationships. Despite their joy about the new addition, some of the reactions on social media, Wade told Winfrey, were painful for them to digest.
"The most hurtful thing was once we had our baby and everyone started to talk about, 'Why is she in the bed, holding the baby? Why's she got a gown on? Why's she acting like she just had a baby?'" he recalled. "Once again, people are uneducated on the process and why we decided to go skin-to-skin as soon as our baby came out."
In 2017, the actress wrote in her memoir, "We're Going to Need More Wine," that over the course of three years, she'd had "eight or nine" miscarriages and felt "my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant." This past August she revealed that she'd been diagnosed with adenomyosis, a form of endometriosis that can result in infertility.
"Towards the end of my fertility journey, I finally got some answers, because everyone had just sort of chalked it up to ‘You’re a career woman, you’ve prioritized your career, you waited too long and now you’re just too old to have a kid,'" she said. "'And that’s on you for wanting a career.'"
"The reality is I actually have adenomyosis,” she added. "There is nothing you can do about adenomyosis. The gag is that I had adenomyosis in my early 20s."