Gabrielle Union Opens Up About Having '8 Or 9 Miscarriages' In Her First Memoir

"For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant."

Actress Gabrielle Union is set to release her first book on October 17 and in it, she's opening up about her difficult journey through infertility. In the memoir titled We're Going to Need More Winethe 44-year-old revealed she's had several miscarriages. 

In excerpts obtained by Peoplethe Being Mary Jane star wrote that she longed for a baby with NBA star husband Dwyane Wade, but went through several failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. 

For much of her life, Union didn't see having children as part of her future. Once she became a stepmom, however, everything changed. She's raising three boys with Wade, his 16-year-old nephew and his sons from a previous marriage who are 15 and 10. She realized there was no place she'd rather be than with them — and dreamed of becoming a mom to a child of her own. 

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Like so many other women, however, making that dream a reality has been a real struggle. 

"I have had eight or nine miscarriages," Union wrote in the book. "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."

Being in the public eye throughout her IVF journey has been especially difficult for Union because people often ask her whether she wants to have kids and if so, when? 

These probing questions, which Union gets from both family and strangers, can hurt so much more than people realize for those dealing with infertility. While people may mean well, these words are a reminder of the heartbreaking struggle.  

"For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, 'Do you want kids?' " she told People. "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."

"Once a month I look like I'm in my second trimester because I'm bloated," she continued. "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."

Despite how difficult the journey has been, Union and Wade "remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we've both dreamed of," according to her book. 

Millions of couples in the U.S. struggle to get pregnant. In fact, "about 12 percent of women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of marital status," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, we don't often talk about how difficult fertility issues can be for so many. And when we don't, we leave those struggling to feel like they're struggling alone. 

That's why it's so important that people like Union as well as other celebrities who have opened up about their struggle to conceive, such as Tyra Banks and Chrissy Teigen, speak openly about their experiences. It is, of course, a deeply personal conversation to have, but for those willing, it can make a real impact in the lives of many. 

Perhaps, more people will now think twice before flippantly asking someone whether they plan to have children thanks to Union sharing her experience. 

Cover image via lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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