Actress Gabrielle Union has opened up about her struggle to conceive in her new book where she admits that she’s had about eight or nine miscarriages in her life.
“I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” Union, 44, writes 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.”
Gabrielle says that after three years of failed IVF attempts she and her husband Dwyane Wade “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.”
However, despite her struggle to conceive, Gabrielle says she feels blessed to be a stepmom to Dwyane’s children. Wade currently has full custody of his 16-year-old nephew Dahveon Morris, and two sons from a previous marriage 15-year-old Zaire, and 10-year-old Zion. Wade’s third son 3-year-old Xavier lives with his mother.
“I never wanted kids,” she tells PEOPLE. “Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.”
Gabrielle opened up about how hard it is for her to constantly be asked when she is having kids while secretly dealing with multiple failed attempts.
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’” she says. “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 says. “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.”
Gabrielle’s book hits bookshelves Oct. 17 and she hopes “We’re Going to Need More Wine” will help people change the way they approach her about the topic.
Take a look at Gabrielle over the years.