Any woman who has struggled to get pregnant and reach full term knows the huge emotional, physical, and mental toll it can take on a person. As medical science continues to provide more opportunities for women to get pregnant, there are both tangible and intangible prices that come with it, including the financial burden, physical side effects and potential effects on a person’s mental state.
One person who knows this all too well is actor Gabrielle Union. The star of Being Mary Jane is preparing to release her book We’re Going to Need More Wine, and writes honestly about her struggles with fertility.
“I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” writes Union in an excerpt now available online. “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.”
In the new book, available October 17, Union discusses the difficulties of answering friends and family members’ questions about whether she was trying to conceive. “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.”
Union married her husband, NBA star Dwayne Wade, in 2014, and became a stepmom to Wade’s two sons and his nephew. It was then that Union realized for the first time that she wanted to be a mother, but the journey for the 44 year-old has been both an emotional and physical roller coaster.
“Once a month I look like I’m in my second trimester because I’m bloated,” writes Union. “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.”
Although discussion on the topic has become more widespread in recent years, infertility is still often seen as a taboo subject, making many women feel lost and ashamed. Thanks to Union’s frank and emotional discussion of her personal struggles with fertility, she’s helping many women feel less alone.