Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union is opening up about her struggles with infertility, failed IVF treatments, and several miscarriages.
“I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” the actress, 44, writes in her new book We’re Going to Need More Wine, according to People. “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant—I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
Union has been married to NBA player Dwyane Wade since 2014 and is stepmom to his three sons — Zaire, 15, and Zion, 10, and Xavier, 3 — from previous relationships.
“I never wanted kids,” she shared. “Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.”
The Birth of a Nation actress has had to deal with non-stop pregnancy rumors.
“Once a month I look like I’m in my second trimester because I’m bloated,” she shared, referring to the side-effects of her IVF injections. “It leads to the questions and it leads to the rumors and anytime I go into a doctor’s office I feel like I’m a member of SEAL Team Six undercover because I don’t want people to speculate.”
Through it all, she has faced societal pressures and stereotypes.
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’" Union said. “A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause."