Gabrielle Union believes in radical transparency and how it fosters community. Because of this, she has made it her life’s work to be brutally honest about her experiences in hopes of connecting with others. With her latest book, You Got Anything Stronger, Union opens up about her struggle with having children and how it impacted her marriage to basketball star Dwyane Wade. More specifically, she discusses how she felt Wade would not continue to love her if she could not have a child for him.
Union and Wade struggled for years with fertility before choosing to pursue surrogacy. In the midst of all of this, Wade managed to father a child with another woman during a break with Gabby. Union discusses how these circumstances made her incredibly insecure in her relationship and marriage.
In an interview with Trevor Noah, she elaborated on how bad her insecurities got. When asked what she got from sharing her story Union confessed that she got a great deal of relief. Not being able to carry and birth her own child made her worry that she might never bond with their baby. She wondered if their daughter Kaavia James would love her the same. Even worst, she wondered if her husband Wade could love her and appreciate her even though she could not carry their baby. “Maybe he’s not ever going to be able to love me fully, completely, because I wasn’t able to do this. And I’ll never know. It’s brutal, it’s heartbreaking and it sucks.”
Union feels that more women struggle with this emotion and pretend not to. “I felt messy and icky,” she said of her feelings. Once she was able to discuss it via her book, she says she was able to release it and realize she is not alone. In other interviews, Union has also confessed to having “mom-guilt” and struggling with disciplining baby Kaavia. Union feels bad because she is so busy with work, so when it comes time to be tough on baby Kaav she struggles. “You gotta put your foot down! And I have a hard time with that, especially if I’ve been away from the house.”
Despite all of this, Union and Kaav seem to have a very strong bond and frequently let the world in on their relationship via social media. Kaavia has over 1.8 million followers on IG. In a post to Union’s page, you can see mommy and daughter doing an indoor workout complete with running in place, weights, and some adorable moves. Things take a turn when Kaav decides it is time to take their workout outside. A concerned union says, “oh, you want to take the running on the road?”
In another post, Kaavia fills in as a teacher and educates her parents on all things Kaavia. When asked what they are learning, the adorable three-year-old spelled out her own name. When Union asks, “So it’s Kaavia’s school where we learn about Kaavia?” Their shady baby responds, “yes.” Kaavia’s personality and adventures are so famous it has spun off a book series. “Shady Baby” is a New York Times bestseller. The upbeat picture book “teaches kids to speak their minds and stand up for what they believe in.”