Gabrielle Union says surrogacy felt like ‘surrendering to failure’

‘Will I be embraced as a mum?’

Katie O'Malley
Thursday 07 February 2019 11:19
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Gabrielle Union says that using a surrogate to carry her child made her feel like “surrendering to failure”.

Last year, the 46-year-old actor revealed she’d been diagnosed with adenomyosis, a condition that can result in heaving bleeding, chronic anemia and the cells lining the womb growing into the muscle of the uterus.

However, in November 2018, the Being Mary Jane star announced that she and husband Dwayne 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 tells Women’s Health. “The idea of [using a surrogate] felt like surrendering to failure.”

Union previously revealed she had undergone at least eight miscarriages and three years of failed IVF treatments.

In the interview, Union says she had to come to terms with how the public would react to her decision to use a surrogate.

“People want to see the bump, hear that you got hemorrhoids—they want to know you’re like them. I was like, ‘This is going to seem like the most Hollywood sh*t ever. Will I be embraced as a mom?’ It’s terrifying.”

However, when her baby Kaavia James came into the world, her fears for other people’s opinions about her decision disappeared.

“I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is my baby,’” she recalls. “I wanted to fight everybody in that room for various reasons and no reason.”

Opening up about finding the right surrogate to carry her child, Union said it was important for the surrogate to like reading books.

“Some people care about the race, religion, or food habits of their surrogate. I was like, ‘I want a reader.’”

Describing the type of parent she wants to be for her daughter, Union reveals: “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. Get an F because she didn’t study. Pick the wrong dude. Pick the wrong friends and figure it out. I don’t want to be super judge-y.”

Union is also a stepmother to her husband’s three sons – Zaire Blessing Dwyane, Zion Malachi Airamis, and Xavier Zechariah – from previous relationships, and raises his nephew, Dahveon Morris.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey last year Union revealed that caring for her husband’s extended family has helped her view motherhood differently.

“I saw motherhood and parenthood with very realistic eyes,” she said.

“It looked hard. I wanted a life of flitting around the country and lack of responsibility and all that. Parenthood is about sacrifice, being consistent, and being present. Then he got full custody. I signed up for the boys quicker than I signed up for him.”

Last year, Kim Kardashian opened up about her decision to use a gestational carrier – a pregnancy which involves a woman carrrying a baby that she has no genetic link to – to give birth to her third child, Saint West.

The mother-of-three suffered from placenta accreta – a condition in pregnancy where the placenta is attached and embedded too deeply into the wall of the uterus – during her previous two pregnancies.

“I hated being pregnant,” the reality star told ELLE US. “But as much as I hated it, I still wished I could have done it on my own. The control is hard at the beginning. Once you let that go, it’s the best experience. I would recommend surrogacy for anybody.”

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